Not a normal item on the blog, but an interesting one at that! Nitecore also makes portable battery power packs in addition to flashlights. NitecoreStore.com offered to let me have a look at their new super thin carbon fiber trimmed 10,000 mAh battery pack that sports both USB-C and USB-A connections. Take a look at how it compares to two other popular charging packs below!
Product Link: NitecoreStore.com
What’s in the Box?
- Nitecore NB10000 Energy Brick
- USB-A to USB-C Charging Cable
- Instruction Manual (10 Languages)
- Warranty Card
High Level Specifications
|Input||USB-C: 5V-2.4A / 9V-2A|
|Output 1||USB-C: 5V-3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A|
|Output 2||USB-A: 5V-3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A|
|Water Resistance||IPX5 – Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions, limited ingress permitted (According to RainfordSolutions.com)|
- 10,000 mAH Capacity Lithium-Ion Battery (not user serviceable or replaceable)
- USB-A Discharging Port
- USB-C Charging/Discharging Port
- Mode/Status Button
- LED Indicator Lights
- Low Current Mode
- Carbon-Fiber Front & Back Scales
Supported Charging/Discharging Protocols
Per the included instruction manual/sheet, the NB10000 supports a multitude of charging protocols. Some of these are pretty standard ones like Quick Charge (QC), Power Delivery (PD) and of course Apple & Samsung Fast Charging. However, I’ll be honest, I had no idea what BC 1.2, MTK PE+ (Pump Express) and PPS Output were. It also seems that FCP, AFC, & SFCP are Huawei specific charging protocols. I’ve included some links to those protocols if you would like to learn about them. Additionally, while researching some of these charging technologies, I stumbled on an integrated circuit that may be used in the NB10000 as it lists all of the following protocols specifically. Here is a link to that document if you are curious. Warning: It’s extremely technical
|QC 2.0 & 3.0||Input & Output|
|PD 2.0 & 3.0||Input & Output|
|Apple & Samsung Fast Charging||Output Only|
|BC 1.2 & PPS Output||Output Only|
|MTK PE+ 1.1 & 2.0||Output Only|
|FCP / AFC / SFCP||Input & Output|
Where the NB10000 differs from most other battery packs is how thin the unit is. With its thin Lithium-Ion (it may be lithium polymer) battery, its able to come in at under half the thickness as my two comparison units. Its thinner than my Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max in a basic silicone case. The carbon fiber scales are a nice addition for appearance purposes. With Nitecore using carbon fiber, they are able to keep the NB10000 thin and provide additional protection to this power pack.
|Nitecore NB10000||Anker PowerCore 10000||Anker PowerCore 10000 Redux|
|Length (mm / in.)||12.2 / 4.8||90.7 / 3.25||104.0 / 4.0|
|Width or Thickness (mm / in.)||59.5 / 2.3||62.3 / 2.4||52.4 / 2.0|
|Height (mm / in.)||10.7 / 0.4||22.0 / 0.8||25.4 / 1.0|
|Weight (gram / oz.)||150 / 5.3||181 / 6.3||185 / 6.5|
|Low Charge Current Capability||Yes||No||Yes|
|Output Ports||USB-A & USB-C||USB-A Only||USB-A Only|
Recharging and Advertised vs. Tested Capacity
As you notice with all battery packs, they are sold primarily based on the capacity of the pack. We kind of just take it for granted that we are getting the capacity that we are purchasing. In most cases, I believe that we get mostly what we pay for, but looking at the chart above, the Nitecore does provide users with capacity closer to the advertised capacity than the two Anker units.
I fully discharged the NB10000 and documented its recharge capacity with the Makerhawk USB Power Meter UM25C three times.
I used multiple devices to discharge the NB10000 until its’s battery indicator was showing low and the NB10000 would not turn on to charge anything. Speaking of the battery indicator, the NB10000 has an illuminated mode switch which has four indicating LEDs mounted within. Three of the 4 LEDs are blue and are used to indicate the power level while the unit is being charged or if it’s charging a device. In my opinion, the LEDs are hard to distinguish from each other. They are slightly blurry if you will. The fourth LED is a white one and is used to indicate if the NB1000 is using low current mode. I’ll talk about that next. Regarding the three blue LEDs, if all three of them are illuminated, the NB10000 is at roughly 100% capacity. If 2 are illuminated, roughly 70% capacity. If 1 is illuminated, roughly 30% capacity. If the NB10000 is extremely low in power level, a single blue LED will blink.
Briefly mentioned above, the NB10000 has a low current charging mode. A low current charging mode is an important feature on battery packs now days. Small devices like headphones & watches do not have large capacity batteries. With some battery packs, when the low power device being charged gets close to full, the current draw is so low that most chargers turn off. The NB10000 will do the same if you do not enable low current mode. To turn on low current mode, simply press and hold the mode switch until the 1st white indicating LED illuminates alongside the blue power level indicators. The white LED will stay illuminated while you charge your device. One thing to note is that low current charging mode is enable until you disable it. Therefore, before you charge your phone or larger device, disable the low current charging mode by pressing and holding the mode button until it turns off. For visibility, the NB10000, leaves the low charging current white LED illuminated at all time when in low current charging mode.
Nitecore does not provide you with a charging block. However, I used this RavPower 3.4A/17W charging block that provides 2.4 Amp output per port for nearly all my testing. You can use the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable. Additionally, you are welcome to use a USB-C power block and a USB-C to USB-C cable to charge the NB10000 as well.
10,000 mAh! That must be a magic number for folks as there are so many portable power packs available from many manufacturers that promise 10,000 mAh capacity. The capacity is basically how much juice is stored in the power pack that can be transferred to your phone, headphones, nearly anything powered by USB. I happen to have two relatively new and only used a few times portable power packs that advertise 10,000 mAh capacity. Below, I’ve detailed out a physical comparison between the Nitecore NB10000, Anker PowerCore 10000, and the Anker PowerCore 10000 Redux. If you take a look at the table below, you will see “Tested Full Charge Capacity”.
|Device||Charge Attempt||Advertised Capacity||Tested Full Charge Capacity||Testing vs. Advertised Capacity||Duration (Hour:Minutes)|
|Nitecore NB10000||1||10,000 mAh||8,681 mAh||86.8%||3:57|
|Nitecore NB10000||2||10,000 mAh||8,968 mAh||89.6%||4:04|
|Nitecore NB10000||3||10,000 mAh||9,035 mAh||90.3%||4:03|
|Anker PowerCore 10000||1||10,000 mAh||8,300 mAh||83.0%||5:17|
|Anker PowerCore 10000 Redux||1||10,000 mAh||8,418 mAh||84.1%||4:57|
Most Lithium-Ion batteries have a minimum discharge voltage to prevent damage to the batteries. I believe that the minimum discharge voltage can be a factor with regard to not able to obtain a full 10,000 mAh capacity on these units. However, many factors can play into battery capacity. Specifically, the minimum discharge voltage, quality of the battery cell, the temperature the batteries are stored in, the age of the batteries, and how many times you’ve recharged the batteries all affect battery health and ultimately your battery pack’s capacity. This document provides folks with a wealth of knowledge on Lithium batteries and factors that affect their performance/life/capacity.
The Nitecore NB10000 came out on top with a best test of obtaining 90% of advertised capacity. It charges quicker than the Anker units as well.
Charging My Phone
I also wanted to test the NB10000 with something everyone could relate to, so I just used my phone. The only piece of special equipment I have is my USB power that I mentioned above. I’m using an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. Its stated capacity is 3,969 mAh. Per the iOS operating system, my battery health is roughly 90%. 90% of 3,969 mAh is 3,572 mAh. Assuming that I’m able to utilize roughly 90% of the NB10000’s capacity, I should be able to able to charge my phone twice.
I discharged my iPhone until it turned off and would not turn on. I plugged the phone into the NB10000 using an Anker USB-C to Lightning cable. After 17 minutes, the phone charged to 30%. After, 30 minutes, 54% charged. After 50 minutes, 81% charged. The phone was full at roughly 94 minutes. The NB10000 is showing 2 blue indicating LEDs after fully charging the iPhone.
While charging, I did notice that the NB10000 gets warm. I was able to measure 111 degrees on the surface of the device. Although, I forgot to take a photo. The NB10000 may be sacrificing battery longevity for speed of recharging devices. Keep the unit properly ventilated while charging to ensure proper cooling. This will help keep the battery health the best possible.
After the initial discharge, I connected the NB10000 back up to the power block and recharged and monitored the power with the USB power meter. The NB10000 recharged fully in 2 hours 32 minutes. The USB power meter stated that it took roughly 4,951 mAh to recharge the NB10000. There is some amount of capacity sacrificed to charge the phone.
Now that the NB10000 is fully charged again, I depleted the battery in my iPhone again. I wanted to see how many consecutive charges I could squeeze out of the battery pack. I connected the charger to my phone and again, it took roughly 95 minutes to fully charge. Over the course of the next few hours, I depleted my battery on the iPhone again to where it would not turn on. I connected it back to the NB1000 and was able to recharge my iPhone to 79% over 45 minutes.
So, after all the testing, I was able to squeeze 1.8 charges out of the NB1000 for my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
What I Like
- Advertised vs Tested Capacity – The NB10000 has the highest percentage of useful capacity vs. advertised capacity of the units I tested.
- Low Current Charging – This feature is important to have if you desire to charge your headphones and small electronics.
- Thinness & Weight – Its lighter and thinner than other similar capacity units.
- Auto On/Off – I like that the device automatically turns on and off when you plug in a device to charge.
- Charge Multiple Devices at Once – You can charge multiple devices at once with the USB-A and USB-C ports.
What I Don’t Like
- Length/Height – While the NB10000 is thin, its quite tall.
- Power Level Display – The indicators are hard to distinguish from each other and are blurry
- Gets Warm – The NB10000 gets warm when charging devices using the fast charge protocol. I think that this may degrade batteries over time and reduce the overall capacity.
Nitecore provides a 1-year warranty on the NB10000. During the first 15 days after purchase, you will be provided with a full replacement though your local dealer/place of purchase. After 15 days, the NB10000 will be repaired free of charge. Nitecore also states that even after 1-year, they will repair the light for only the cost of the replacement parts.
Nitecore also offers you the chance to extend your warranty by 5 months by registering and validation your product purchase. You can complete this by visiting http://charger.nitecore.com/validation and using supplying the validation code contained on the sticker on the back of the box.
In my opinion, this is a great portable power pack. 10,000 mAh is enough to get me through a day or two depending on usage. It’s all packaged up in a sleek carbon fiber trimmed case. The tested vs actual capacity test figures are quite impressive as well when compared to the two other units.
I think what stands out with the NB1000 is by supporting so many fast charging protocols, you are able to get usable power out of the NB10000 quickly. I feel that a 50% charge after only 30 minutes is quite impressive.
With it’s compact size, it will fit in your pocket quite easily.
If you have this unit, I’m curious of your thoughts. Feel free to comment below and I’ll gladly answer.
I want to thank NitecoreStore.com for letting me have a look at this portable power bank! While NitecoreStore provided the NB10000 to me for evaluation, it does not influence my personal opinion. Additionally, I was not compensated in any other way for this review. This review and all of my reviews are my own thoughts and opinions gathered after carrying and/or use of the light/product.
Product Links: NitecoreStore.com