Thursday , September 20 2018 Ausdroid » Tech on the Road » Cygnett ChargeUp Pro Review – 20,000 mAh USB battery keeps going and going and going

Cygnett’s ChargeUp Pro is a beast of a battery, with a price tag attached that matches its capacity and stature.

The battery itself is about the size of a small paperback book, and it offers a huge 20,000 mAh capacity. There’s some heft associated with it, weighing in at 450g – that’s only just on the right side of half a kilo, so you need to know what you’re getting yourself in for.

The main body is soft-touch plastic in teal or black, with a hard glossy plastic on one end. This area houses the USB connectors (1x USB-C, 1x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-A 2.0) and a power button. There’s also four blue LEDs recessed into the plastic to indicate the charge level.

It’s probably the single largest capacity battery I’ve ever carried around, and it can provide charge to literally every device in my bag. That alone guarantees it its spot.

I’ve long ago made peace with the fact that I need to carry a battery with me, especially if I’m doing things on my phone that consume battery power quickly (Ingress or Pokemon Go, for example). To that end, I chose to carry the ChargeUp Pro in the front pocket of my backpack along with a couple of A-to-C and Micro USB cables.

The ChargeUp Pro is more than just a high capacity battery, though. One of the initial attractions for Ausdroid was the battery’s USB-C port and its support of USB Power Delivery, a charging standard that allows the battery to keep up with higher power demands of USB-C devices like my MacBook Pro and Nintendo Switch.

It’s not light and it’s not small – especially compared to other batteries – but the fact that it can provide power to EVERYTHING in my backpack is what keeps it there.

Unfortunately, while the ChargeUp Pro can keep pace with my Switch, it can’t handle my MacBook Pro – a 15-inch model that charges from its AC outlet at 87W, but the ChargeUp tops out at 45W. It will charge, but it’ll charge slower than you’d like. If you’re on a flight and wanting to keep your laptop powered you might need to take a nap while it charges from 0%.

Charging from the USB-A ports puts out a more standard charge of up to 2.1A and you can take advantage of the battery’s other big selling point – Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0, on the blue USB 3.0 port – to push 15W (5V at 3A) to keep more modern devices charged.

An interesting quirk I found with the battery was that it didn’t automatically detect devices getting plugged into the USB-A ports as other batteries from companies like Anker and Belkin did. There’s a small power button next to the battery’s ports that just needs a long press to get the amps flowing, although that’s not needed for USB-C. You may also need to be careful of the cables you use, as high power draw can expose an underperforming cable you might otherwise trust.

You might not be ready for the amount of time it takes to charge the battery. While the ChargeUp Pro supports fast output of its power, it only ships with a little USB-A-to-C cable in the box and no charger, so you’ll definitely need to use your own. You may end up leaving the house with a less the full charge on the battery. With the total capacity on offer though, that’s not likely to give you cause for concern unless you’re planning to be away from power for a while – in which case, plan ahead.

If you’re planning a trip, the ChargeUp Pro might be the only battery you need to take with you. If you’ve got equipment that can support it (by which I mean a laptop that takes USB-C power) and USB-chargeable devices, you’re set. You might even use the ChargeUp Pro as a back-to-base battery on a trip, and keep a smaller battery charged for everyday use. There’s just so many options on offer by capacity and compatibility.

ChargeUp Pro isn’t a cheap battery, but its $169.95 RRP reflects its versatility and its raw capacity. You can find it discounted fairly often (we’ve seen it going for ~$130 occasionally, so keep an eye on shopping comparison sites and OzBargain), and while Cygnett offers 10% off your first order on their website. Cygnett has good coverage at Australian retail too, and we’ve seen it listed on JB Hi-fi, Myer, Kogan (& Dick Smith), The Good Guys and Harvey Norman’s websites.

If you’ve got the hankering for a big battery and devices that can draw power from it, and can live with the portability trade-off, the ChargeUp Pro will serve you well.

Jason Murray   2nd Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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Tom Sekulic
Ausdroid Reader

At only $AU35 (from GearBest), the same 20,000mAh capacity and Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0, Original Xiaomi Power Bank 2C easily beats the Cygnet product. Highly recommended!

Richard
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Richard

Xiaomi PB 2C does not do USB-C PD, sorry. Even the PBPro only does USB-C in.

FYI Cygnet PBs are 20% off at JB currently.

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