XTAR PB2C Charger / Powerbank Review

There’s a new version of the convenient XTAR powerbank/charger.  It’s the PB2C, and adds USB-C charging.  Also relevant is what it takes away – cost.  This one is inexpensive!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Price

The very low price of $11.99 will get you one of these chargers!

Short Review

It’s a nice little charger.  It’s fantastic in orange.  It accepts protected and unprotected cells.  I don’t really understand why it won’t do USB-C out, and wish it did.  The USB out makes it a good enough powerbank, so for the price it suits me.

Long Review

Key Features

· Combined with charge and discharge functions
· Compatible with all types of 18650 batteries
· No capacity limitation, strong versatility and compatibility
· 6-fold protections ensure safe charging
· Put in your pocket and easy for travel
· Magnetic lid makes it convenient
· Type-C powered, dual-way in/output

Manual and Packaging

What’s Included

  • XTAR PB2C Charger/powerbank
  • Cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual

And my package included one cell, which you can see above.

Build Quality and Durability

XTAR sent me the orange version, which is obviously the best and fastest version.

If you had a previous generation of this device, you’ll note that this one’s a good bit different.  Gone is the rubbery grippy feeling.  This one’s just hard plastic.

That’s probably actually better, anyway.  Also gone is the display that shows numbers and percents and whatever – what we have here is a simple 4 LED display.

Inside the labels show an imprinted label of cell direction and also charge rate.

Inside is also a little ribbon, which helps remove cells.

 

These springs seen below are what allow the longer protected and/or button top cells.  They have enough travel to allow it.

The positive end is just a little tab.

The port end is very specifically labeled.  The big USB port is out only.  The USB-C port is in only.

The inside of the completely removable lit is imprinted (not stickered) with the charger capabilities.

There’s also a model sticker.

The top is easy to remove, because there are little tabs right on the magnet area.  The magnets do hold the top on very securely.  But the magnets are all that hold on the top.

Size

Officially: 110mm x 51mm x 24.3mm, and 55g empty.

Power

The PB2C is powered by the USB-C port.  An appropriate cable is included – USB to USB-C.  I could not make the device work on USB-C to USB-C connection, but my supply of those is limited, so you could have better luck (though, it does seem to be unsupported).

As stated above, the two ports are very clearly labeled.  The bigger port is regular USB, and is for the powerbank function only.  The smaller port is USB-C, and is for the charging function only.  Again, the USB-C port does not have any power out function.  And certainly no PD function.

One nice thing about this model is that it now supports just about any size 18650 cell.

Here are a few graphs.  I had to use both my methods of recording, because the device bays don’t allow room for a cell and my main test apparatus.  The first, charging just one cell, isn’t actually all that helpful…

But the second seems to much more fairly describe charging two cells at ~2A, which is the claim made by XTAR.

And here’s a bit of testing on the USB output.  It’s only 5V output, and only up to around 2A, but all with minimal voltage sag.

And the powerbank supplies that 2 (ish) A for the full life of the cell, down to around 3.35V.  That’s a very conservative voltage.  In actuality, the cutoff is probably 3V or under, but drawing them down at 2A puts enough burden on the cells that they likely bounce back up that high by the time I checked them.

In any case, both charging and output look good.

User Interface and Operation

There’s just one button on the PB2C.  All it does it turn the device on.  The PB2C goes into standby fairly quickly, and clicking this button on the side will reactivate it for use as a powerbank.

That’s really all the switch does.  And that’s enough for this device.

There are a few other features and technical details, but they’re covered by the manual.  Like charging specifics – One cell charges at 2A, 2 cells charge at 1A each.  With one cell in, USB out is 1A max.  With 2 cells in, USB out is 2A max.  The lights flash in meaningful ways, too.  When somethings wrong, all 4 flash.  When charging is complete, they all are lit steady.  When charging, they “flicker one by one.”

Conclusion

What I like

  • It’s orange.  And it’s the right orange
  • Very simple to use
  • Seems to do what it claims to do
  • Very inexpensive

What I don’t like

  • The USB-C port doesn’t go both ways (despite the confusing wording on the product page)

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

3 thoughts on “XTAR PB2C Charger / Powerbank Review

  1. Could it be possible that the first charging graph is because you started charging the cell which was 4 volts?

    1. The cell wasn’t started at 4V – I start all these test with a depleted cell (around 3V). That’s just what the cell voltage jumps to when 2A is supplied.

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