This is a guest review by Emperor Zensekai.
Purchasing The Pokeball Power Banks
There are apparently three “generations” of Pokeball power banks (portable phone chargers) available online. I purchased the first and second generation Pokeball power banks off Amazon, which I will be reviewing here. I did not purchase the third generation “Pikachu Projection Pokeball”, which costs US$15-20 more than the other two models.
The Gen 1 Pokeball power bank was supposed to arrive a day earlier, but it got delayed due to a shipping error. That was just one bump in my epic quest to get one of these Pokeball power banks. I actually had to cancel and get a refund for two other Pokeball power banks I purchased from other e-commerce websites, because I did not receive them even after waiting for 1.5 months!
Word of advice : Don’t bother with the power banks that promise 20,000+ mAh. Chances are you will never get it.
I actually bought both of these Pokeball power banks to hedge my bets. I figured that there was a good chance that either one would never make it, or break soon after I receive them… and I would have to get another refund.
The Two Pokeball Power Bank Models
Both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Pokeball power banks are about the same price, ~US$20.
The Gen 1 Pokeball power bank has four “slits” that light up, with the USB port is in the center. It has a rated battery capacity of 10,000 mAh.
The Gen 2 Pokeball power bank looks more like a Pokeball, with a rim light and two USB ports. It has a rated battery capacity of 12,000 mAh.
From the research I ended up doing to figure all this out, there are real inconsistencies amongst the sellers. I don’t suggest that you buy any that aren’t fulfilled by Amazon themselves!
There seems to be a ⅓ to ¼ failure rate from the reviews I read on these power banks. Some of them may be due to the lack of an instruction manual though, as I will details below.
The Gen 1 seller went out of their way to properly secure the Pokeball power bank in the box. They even tossed in a cute Pokeball keychain!
The packaging for the Gen 2 Pokeball power bank was bad though. The box inside the package had come over, and the power bank was halfway out of it.
The Gen 1 Pokeball power bank looked as advertised, but the the rim lighting of the Gen 2 Pokeball power bank was nowhere near as bright as seen in the advertised pictures!
Using The Pokeball Power Banks
I prefer the look and feel of the Gen 2 model, but it was very hard to get the USB cable into the socket. It was also heavier than the Gen 1 model, which makes questing for Pokemons with this attached harder… because I have physical issues. However, it is still my favourite of the two.
Getting these power banks is a nightmare, but the part that worries me the most is the lack of instruction manuals in both models. The Gen 1 model has very brief instructions in broken English on the side of the box. The Gen 2 model came with no instructions at all.
Check out the “all your base are belong to us” type of English instructions provided with the Gen 1 Pokeball power bank :
- It means full of charge when four lamps are fully berght [sic] and not flashing.
- Need to keep the battery when not in use for a longtime [sic].
I assume that means you have to keep the battery charged if you are not going to use it for weeks. I also assume that this applies to both Pokeball power banks.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if either Pokeball power bank can be damaged by overcharging, or if they have an automatic cut-off built-in. Thankfully, the light pattern on the Gen 2 model is very apparent when you recharge it. It’s much harder to tell the charge level of the Gen 1 model.
I’m really excited about these Pokeball power banks, and I like them a lot. I just had to do a ton of research to get them.
I think some of the bad reviews on these power banks are due to the lack of an instruction manual on how to use and maintain them. They are not intuitive to the average American who’s used to buying and using products from top-tier companies like Apple and Sony.
You have to be somewhat mindful of these no-brand electronics. I’m relatively certain that if I drop them on a hard floor from six feet or so, they would be damaged. Or if you left one charging for extended periods of time.
Oddly, neither power bank came with any USB cable. You will need to purchase a USB-to-micro USB cable, commonly used by Android smartphones, to recharge it. You can use the same cable to recharge your Android smartphone. You will need a separate Lightning cable for these power banks to recharge your iPhones or iPads.
Overall, I really like these Pokeball power banks. US$20-25 is a fair price for either models. I personally prefer the Gen. 2 model. Finally, I can farm Pokeballs at Pokestops without running low on battery, and do it in proper Pokemon style!