Keep on connecting, streaming, and playing with the Belkin BPB012 Powerbank 20K, providing over 75 additional hours of battery life for your devices.
Digital Reviews Network have reviewed dozens of power banks over the years, because, even while our society moves further and closer to an “always connected” world, our devices are STILL running out of juice at the most inconvenient – or even disastrous times.
Even the top of the line smartphones struggle to make it through a full day of heavy usage without a top-up. And if we find ourselves far away from a suitable charging point, we still don’t have a great alternative to combat anxiety about the endurance of our electronic companions – or do we?
Enter Belkin’s latest, and one of the most powerful (in terms of capacity) additions to the field – the BPB012 Power Bank 20K. The 20K being a reference to the capacity of the battery, measured in mAh, or milliampere hour. But, just how good is it, and will it spell the end of battery anxiety?
Like most Belkin devices, it comes in a clean white box with green accents. I’ve said in previous reviews that I like TCL’s smartphones due to their similar aesthetic, and I like it here too, the box clearly shows you images of what you’re getting, and makes a few promises as to the capacity and performance of the battery – specifically, that you can charge up to three devices at the same time with up to 15W of output, and that it contains up to 78hours of extra battery life.
Inside the box is the Powerbank itself, a 6-inch USB-A to USB-C cable, manufacturer’s info and certifications, and a printed quick guide. Let’s face it though, the quick guide really shouldn’t be needed, as it is pretty much plug and play.
The power bank is made of plastic with a matt finish – available in either Black, Blue or Rose Gold (which to me looks to be more of a pale pink) which look good, but isn’t going to take out any awards for the most attractive device you own. But it’s clean, functional and simple.
The power bank itself is a size small enough to fit into your pocket, falling roughly the same size as a Galaxy S10+ (159.4mm length, 80mm wide, 22.76mm height), although with a little extra height (25.9mm) and weight, so you’ll probably find more comfort if you instead keep it inside a bag instead.
On the device itself, there’s a small power button on the side used to wake the device (it will automatically put itself into sleep mode when not being used), along with four LED indicators to display remaining charge, and a small Belkin logo the front.
On the top edge is the USB-C port for input and output, and two USB-A ports.
The BPB012 has a 2-year warranty on the power bank.
The BPB012 does hold REACH and RoHS certification (for those familiar with EU regulation and guidelines) and Proposition 65 certification too (for those Californian people who might be reading.)
However, the BPB012 is not MFi (Made for iPhone) Certified. The MFi certification process is a series of compliance and safety tests (requiring that the manufacturer pay Apple royalties) to gain a badge on their packaging.
While this might be concerning for some, I would like to highlight the $2,500 Connected Equipment Warranty (CEW) that Belkin offers, providing repair or replacement of connected equipment damaged from surges or spikes that occur when they are properly connected to the power bank. It’s a nice peace-of-mind guarantee, especially considering the cost of replacing a top end smartphone.
The Belkin BPB012 can provide output power from a single port, two ports, or three ports simultaneously. It has a maximum shared total output of 5V / 3A / 15W.
The BPB012 also supports pass-through charging that lets you charge your device from either of the USB-A ports, and recharge the powerbank via the USB-C port at the same time.
Unfortunately, I will point out that despite having a USB C port, the BPB012 does NOT support USB-C Power Delivery, so you won’t be able to charge your MacBook or other USB C device. For that you will need to pay extra for the BoostCharge USB-C PD Power Bank.
Likewise, the BPB012 doesn’t support fast charging, so while you may be able to charge a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra four times over, you’re not going to be doing so at the same blinding speeds of your 45W cable. For reference, while charging my Samsung S22 Ultra, I was getting 5.05V, 1.77A, 8.95W under normal charging speed, while charging only the single device.
Thankfully the BPB012 is easily portable, so the slower charging speeds aren’t a deal breaker, but it does somewhat limit the usefulness of the device.
Likewise, charging the power bank is going to take a long time, the exact amount of which will depend on the charge level of the power bank when you start charging it, whether you’re using the pass-through option while charging, and the capabilities of the charger being used to charge the power bank.
Unfortunately, while charging the power bank you limit the portability of the unit to the length of your charging cable, so make sure you are charging this overnight (or several) if it’s been used throughout the day.
It is no doubt that the BoostCharge BPB012 Power Bank is a powerful accessory that will see you safe in an emergency, even if you have several power hungry devices sitting at 1% charge remaining.
In short, while it’s an impressive power bank, I can’t help but think it’s outshined a little by its bigger brother – the far more capable Belkin Boost Charge USB-C PD Powerbank 20K. For only a small amount more, you not only gain support for fast charge (for Iphone 8 or later), but also has a 30W USB-C Power Delivery input / output (and which can simultaneously charging a 2nd device at 12W), which drastically reduces the charging time of the power bank itself.
While certainly not deal-breakers, the comparative disadvantages of the BPB012 mean I would recommend considering it as an emergency power source, and not a staple part of your daily use.
That said, if you’re limited in your budget, but still are looking for something you can rely on for extended periods while travelling in remote locations with several devices (or while on a road-trip with teenagers who remain glued to their smartphones the entire journey), the Belkin BPB012 Boost Charge 20K still has you covered and presents a serious challenge to the competition.
DRN would like to thank Belkin for providing the review unit.