Is it just me or have smartphones reached their maximum thinness? What else can they do to help cut down on the weight and size of the phone, while still maintaining normal operation? It seems like they may be looking to cut battery life.

If you are a Pokémon GO player, have you noticed that your smartphone’s battery isn’t as great as you thought it was? With the constant GPS feed, max brightness on your screen, and internet connectivity, your battery is working overtime to make sure that you have a happy time walking around on sidewalks catching Pokémon.

Heat is also a cancer for batteries. Think about working outside while you exercise or going on a run in high humidity. For those that have, you know that it feels awful and you just can’t wait for a break. That same feeling is what your battery is dealing with.

As I’ve said before, portable batteries can be quite the life saver. They help maintain a healthy battery and keep you running for longer days. Whether you are hiking in the woods, playing Pokémon, or just having a long late night study session, when your phone dies, your world slows down.

I’ve reviewed my fair share of portable battery banks here at Tech Support Forum and it’s time for another to see how it withstands my daily phone usage. With a featured brand of the past, this massive 16,000 mAh battery is ready for the spotlight.

Welcome to my review of the Lumsing Harmonica portable battery charger. Throughout this review, I will be discussing the following: the design, functionality, and my final thoughts. A special thank you to Lumsing for providing me with this product.



Design

The Harmonica name used by Lumsing is a clever and iconic one. When evaluating battery packs you normally see names like Xtreme, PowerCore, or Compact.

Here, the Harmonica name is more than just a great way to remember a product, it represents the product’s shape. We all know what a Harmonica looks like and the Lumsing Harmonica follows that same shape.

There is a long hand-sized base that is constructed out of an all-body glossy plastic. My unit is the black and silver variant, while white and gold are also available; the silver remains the same.

With a glossy finish, the Harmonica does suffer from fingerprints and smudges, but at least the glossy, brushed-looked, silver remains clean.

The I/O does not contain little holes for you to blow into and produce music, but rather contains the side mounted micro USB input, power LED status lights, and two full sized USB ports on the end of the unit.

Currently, the USB ports on the end of the unit are in a stacked orientation. I would have preferred them to be side-by-side as this would prevent any close calls by thicker USB cables. The orientation of the other model is a more preferable design in my opinion.

Something that must be mentioned is the build quality of this unit. Typically these battery banks show signs of weakness in the build quality, with either flexing or cheap materials, but the Harmonica stands out with one of the better feeling bodies I’ve felt in the multiple reviews I’ve done for battery banks.

Even when applying my strength to attempt to bend the body, the Harmonica didn't budge at all, and I added quite an amount of stress. At 10 ounces, this battery bank isn’t pants-pocket worthy, but I wouldn’t worry if I accidently dropped it on a hard surface. Although there may be cosmetic damage, there shouldn’t be an iota of internal harm.



Functionality

Battery banks are all about the same in their functionality. They charge your USB devices, whether it be a camera, phone, or tablet; they can typically get the job done in a timely manner.

Lumsing, however, did something that appeared to be odd. They included 3A USB ports by default. Phones today are now coming with 2.1A chargers, while tablets hover around 2.1A or 2.5A.

For those wondering, yes, using a higher amperage in a device than what is recommended can harm the device over time. Luckily for you, this battery bank comes with what has become standard, an internal charging monitor.

By calibrating how much power your connected device needs, the internal switch will only output what is needed. If your phone needs 2.1A, then you should be receiving 2.1A. This is of course up to a maximum of 3A.

When the product arrived at my front door, it arrived with a 25% power status. This was excellent for me as it gave me a quick and easy recharge test. Connected to a wall 2.1A USB port, I was able to recharge the unit in about 4 hours (+/-30 minutes). Even over constant usage, it seems to take about an hour to charge 25%.

When it comes to charging a device, I provide it with a fair rating. That 3A I spoke about earlier is a shared amperage, meaning both of those USB ports share a maximum 3A. This is fine if you are charging one device, but connect two and you get 1.5A for each side.

With my two year old Note 4 battery connected to the charger, I received faster than expected charging with 30% on the phone reaching 60% in 45 minutes. However, I connected an LG tablet to the battery bank at the same time and my phone actually decreased in battery percentage while connected and in usage.

If you have both devices turned off, then battery charging will resume, but at a very slow pace.

Inside the Harmonica is an LG Li-Ion battery that holds a maximum of 16,000 mAh. This is a large capacity for the Harmonica’s smaller size. To put this into perspective, this is a full recharge of my Note 4 at least five times. I averaged about three full recharges before letting the Harmonica juice back up. These batteries, like your phone, don’t like to be drained completely, so at 25% I always recharge.

My Final Thoughts

Priced at $26, I feel like this is a hit or miss product. The build quality is superb and the style is unlike the others on the market. However, the shared 3A ports can be a bummer if you want to charge more than one device. I find that one device charging is perfect for the Harmonica and if you plan on being on the go then this is a device to get.

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© 2016 Justin Vendette