If you're going on a long trip, away from the power grid, you will most likely need an external battery for your mobile devices. Unless, of course, you plan on taking that old Nokia 6310 phone with you, which lasts ten days easily. In this review, we take a look at an external battery from Canyon, namely Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank. The 78 in the product code stands for 7800 mAh, and that's a decent capacity for an external battery. Let's see how it performs, in this review:
Unboxing the Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank
The unit comes in a black and orange box with several plastic see-through windows. Relevant information is presented on the box, including the length of the Micro USB cable and the maximum output of the unit.
Inside, you will find the power bank, the cable and a small manual which provides additional information regarding the operation and the controls. The unit we tested was blue, but the product is also available in white, black and yellow.
Construction and hardware specifications
The device is solid and well built. It has a weight of 6.35 oz (180 grams) and its dimensions are 3.93 x 2.46 x 0.91 inches (100 x 62.6 x 23.3 mm). The Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank has a Lithium Polymer battery with a stated capacity of 7800 mAh. To give you a reference point, an average mobile phone battery is rated at 2200-2500 mAh. The device can be charged by connecting it to a power source via a micro USB cable. The input current is 1A (ampere), which means it won't charge very fast, while the output is 1A for one USB port and 2A for the other.
All the ports are placed on one side and are labeled (IN and OUT). What isn't labeled, though, is which USB port can supply 2A and which 1A of current. It is written in the manual, but we think a different port color or a proper label would have been a good idea. In principle, a port which can provide a higher amperage can charge a device faster. In the picture above, the port on the right is the one which can provide 2A.
A nice addition is the LED flashlight, which can be useful when no other lighting is available. It's ok for reading or in case you can't find your keys in the tent, just don't expect it to light the night sky.
The device only has one button, which is used to power on (short press) and power off (long press) the device. It also controls the flashlight (push the button twice to turn it on or off). The available charge is indicated by the four blue LEDs when the device is powered on, with three LEDs on for less than 75%, two for less that 50% and one for less than 25%.
For more info and pictures, visit the official page of the product: Canyon CNE-CPB78.
U sing the Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank
During our testing, we measured the charge times and the ability to charge one or two devices. The device itself takes quite a long time to charge to full capacity - we measured an agonising five hours for a full charge. Charging a Sony Xperia Z1 compact, with a 2300 mAh battery, took 2 hours and 15 minutes on the 2A USB port. The Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank was able to charge the smartphone fully two times before needing to be connected to a power outlet. For those of you who are wondering how come a power bank with a 7800 mAh rated capacity can only fully charge a 2200 mAh battery twice, the answer is "efficiency". The technology involved has an efficiency of 70-80%, and that means that only 70-80% of the capacity can be used for actual charging, with the rest being wasted as heat. This gives us 5500-6250 mAh available for this unit. In general, you should take this 70-80% efficiency into account when purchasing an external battery.
The Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank can still charge connected devices while being connected to the outlet. The charging times will be much longer in this case, since the input current is not enough to charge the power bank and the connected devices at maximum speed. We had no issues charging two devices at the same time.
The power bank is not bulky and can be easily carried in a laptop bag. The Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank looks good enough to be placed on the table of the coffee shop and solid enough for field trips.
Overall, we were satisfied with the CNE-CPB78 power bank and we did not find any major flaws. The only issue was the insufficient labeling of the two USB ports (1A and 2A output).
The Canyon CNE-CPB78 power bank is a solid device, with a pleasant look and good features for an external battery. For those of you who need to be away from the power grid for extended periods and need to keep small mobile devices powered, the decent capacity (7800 mAh), two USB ports, LED indicators and flashlight make the Canyon CNE-CPB78 a good buy at approximately $20. The device will fully charge an average smartphone or tablet twice before needing to be recharged, so for those of you who have power-hungry devices or have to travel for longer periods, you might want to look at external batteries with a larger capacity.