XTAR PB2S Powerbank and Charger Review

XTAR has a new powerbank on the market.  The name is PB2S, and it’s an upgraded PB2.  This one has noteworthy improvements – USB-C and support for bigger cells.  Read on for a bit of testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Price

I’m seeing this around the web for $18 or so.  Illumn has the limited Red version, for example.

Short Review

It’s a very suitable powerbank and charger.  I like the grippy surface – I liked that about the PB2 as well.

Long Review

Key Features

Type-C Dual-role Fast Charger and Power Bank
·Portable Charger with Power Bank Function
·QC3.0+PD3.0 Fast Charging
·Great Compatibility, More Than 18650
·Precise Numerical Tube Displays More All-round
·Type-C Dual-role Fast Charging, Two Ports Output All Together
·DIY the Capacity as Your Will
·High-quality Negative Pole Makes Impedance Smaller
·Fashionable Four Colours to be Chosen
·Magnetic Cover, Dust-proof and Drop-proof
·Built-in Ribbon, Easy for Removing the Batteries

Manual and Packaging

The package is typical XTAR, but with a window to show the product.  Makes sense since there are multiple colors.

What’s Included

  • XTAR PB2S Charger/powerbank
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual

Build Quality and Durability

The first thing you’ll notice about the PB2s is the feel.  It’s a plastic device but there’s a coating that gives it a nice soft grippy feel.  I actually love the coating.  Super nice in-hand.  The front just has “XTAR” and also a digital display.  The back has some specs as well.

One end is just rounded off, but the other has all the ports.  There’s a regular USB-A for output, and a USB-C for input and output.  I’ll say right here that my tester for USB-C connection output isn’t working, so I wasn’t able to test that aspect.

The negative terminal has a springy rod, for making good contact with both 18650 and 21700 cells.

The door isn’t hinged and comes off freely.  There’s a small indention for getting a fingernail in to pop the magnetic door off.

The bar magnets hold the door quite well.

Inside is a ribbon for easy removal of cells.

Here’s a bit of photon phreak pharapernalia.

Size

Officially: 125 mm x 58 mm x 28 mm, and 85g.

It’s quite a bit bigger than the PB2, but pleasantly holds 21700 cells.  That makes the total capacity possibilities much higher than the PB2.

Power

Input power is provided by USB-C.  XTAR includes the cable below.

The inside is sized for 18650 and 21700 cells.  Two of either or any mix.

Both of course fit completely inside the device, and the door fits just fine with even the larger 21700 cells.

Here’s charging a single cell.  Current is quite high for a single cell, and I can’t see a way to change that.

Here’s one cell logged when two are charging.  Charging two cells provides a much more reasonable 1.2ish A to the cell.

Here’s the USB output from the USB-A port.  First just a couple of minutes, so you can see how high current can go – In this case only up to just under 3A out, and the voltage drops and output stops.

Then the whole test, discharging an 18650 completely.  The device holds the current – 2.1A in this case – until output stops completely.  The cell was around 3.3V when I checked it (a few minutes after the test stopped.)

Unfortunately I don’t have a tester for USB-C.  Well I do but it’s broken.  (It’s a Ruideng UM25C, and that’s my summary/review of that device – it doesn’t work for the one thing I need to use it for.)

The output is QC3.0 output, too which is great.  It can do 2A at 5V, or 2A at 9V too, which is 18W.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single button on the PB2S.  It’s nearly flush with the body, and a bit hard to find without looking.

The screen shows through the body (which is neat) and displays voltage, current, and percentage of charge.  Actually the Amperage and Voltage display pertain to the output.  In the case below, that’s showing it can output 5.1V on “OUT1” which is the USB-A port.  “In” is also displayed if the device is charging the cells inside.

The button truly does not do much.  It’ll cause the device to awaken, or if you hold it for a while, it’ll cause the device to go to sleep.  If the device is asleep, it’s also off.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Can output both USB and USB-C at the same time
  • QC3.0 as an option (up to 9V)
  • Utilizes USB-C for in and out

What I don’t like

  • Button doesn’t really do anything important
  • No way to scale back charge current for cells inside the device.

Notes

  • This item was provided by XTAR for review.  I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this charger, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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