When I arrived at my first CES, I quickly discovered that the long days and congested cellular networks caused my phone’s battery to lose its charge in no time. We raced around looking for external batteries. From a design perspective, the Coal Portable Charger is a throwback to the external batteries of that time. But that’s only part of the story.
The Coal Portable Charger is available in two capacities. There is an 8,000mAh version and, for those who need something more, there is also a 12,000mAh option. The 8,000mAh version has a type C 5V 2A input, a USB 5V 2.1A output and a type C 5V 3A input. The 12,000mAh version the same ports but adds an extra USB 5V 1A port.
The batteries don’t have integrated cables the way some external batteries do. They don’t have a built-in flashlight. And they don’t offer wireless charging. In other words, when it comes to actual feature, these batteries are a bit of a throwback to the ones we were using a few years ago. There are, however, a few differences worthy of note that make this a compelling offering in 2019.
First, though, let’s take a look at what the company has to say about their creation.
Who says power can’t be pretty? Introducing COAL White Gold. The perfect blend of portable power and sizzlin’ style. Providing 8000 mAh or 12000 mAh of charging capacity for your smart phone, tablet, action camera and much more. COAL uses USB Type-C QC 3.0 input to charge your power bank fast or device fast.
So what makes this a 2019 external battery? A few things.
First, there’s the tech. This battery has a USB-C port and a USB-A port. The USB-C port serves a dual purpose. It is used to rapidly charge the battery but can also be used to rapidly charge a smartphone or tablet. It can fully charge a smartphone in just two hours and can charge most phones twice and a smartwatch 28 times. The larger capacity battery offers even more charges.
Universal Type-C port goes both ways. It’s input, it’s output and it will never embarrass you by being upside down.
Moreover, thanks to the use of USB-C for recharging the battery, that task can be accomplished in just four hours if you are using a fast charging wall adapter. (COAL offers such a wall adapter as an additional purchase.)
Also, the COAL battery includes:
- QUALCOMM INOV: Quick Charge v3.0 uses Intelligent Negotiation for Optimal Voltage that allows your device to power in whatever increment it needs from 3.6V to 20V for the fastest charge.
- QUALCOMM QUICK CHARGE 3.0: Engineered to refuel devices up to four times faster than conventional charging.
- CHARGE PROTECTION: Automatically turns the charger off when your battery is full. Protects against overcharging and overheating.
This simple, boxy battery packs the latest tech. But there’s more. For example, it looks cool.
The “cap” on one the side with the ports is glossy black plastic. Pressing a button on the side turns on a power level indicator to one side if this black section.
The digital readout makes it easy to see how much additional charge is available. Pressing the same button for a few additional seconds turns the battery on and off.
The rest of the battery has a soft touch finish and a cool, geometric design. Available in Carbon, Pitch, Bronze, Cobalt or, as is the case with the review sample I received, Quartz, they all look great. This is a far cry from the plain black batteries we used for the past few years. The COAL external battery looks like something you would want to carry.
More than that, however, what caught my eye though, and the reason I wanted to review this battery, is the cable that is included with this $45 accessory.
Included with the COAL battery is a 3 foot, triple-headed adapter cable for a fast, flexible life. This 24/28 gage cable is thick enough to avoid becoming a tangled mess but, more importantly, the thickness of the cable means it is more efficient. As they explain:
Cable size matters. Fatter is faster. 24/28 gauge cable allows maximum current flow to charger giving you a faster charge vs standard cables.
The real trick is found in the fact that this is a “triple-headed adapter cable.” The main cable ends in a micro-USB connector. That’s important since many headphones and older and lower-priced phones still use this connection for charging. There is a Lightning connector permanently fixed to the cable that slides over the micro-USB connector to turn it into an Apple-friendly charging cable. There is also a USB-C connector. It too slides over the micro-USB connector and turns the cable into a USB-C charging cable. That’s important as more and more devices, including the new iPad Pro, make use of the USB-C type connection.
The inclusion of a charging cable with an external battery is nice. The fact that COAL decided to include a cable that is able to charge every possible mobile device you own is fantastic. And the fact that, for just $45, you get a capable external battery and a single cable that can do multiple tricks makes this a product anyone in the market for a new power pack should consider. Learn more here.
You can get yours here on Amazon for $45 [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Decent capacity at a reasonable price; LED power indicator; Nice, attractive design; USB-C port serves double-duty and does so quickly; Included cable is awesome
What Needs Improvement: No attached charging cables; No wireless charging