I’m lucky to work from home. Yes, it means that I can wear comfy clothes and get whatever I like for lunch. Also, it means that I’m always near a power source, which is vital with a phone that never lasts the whole day.
Back in SA, and when I’d travel or whatnot, I had a whole collection of power banks. I’ve had branded ones, gorgeous pink ones that only worked with iPhones, etc. So when the team behind Halo asked if I was interested in reviewing their power bank, of course I jumped at the chance.
The power bank is quite, um, powerful. That’s because it is a whopping 20,000mAh. For a bit of perspective, that’s 6-7 charges on an iPhone or 4 full charges of a Nintendo Switch.
But it’s how you charge it that makes it so special. Sure, you can use the mini-USB to charge with a plug as normal for power banks. But Halo sets itself apart with the solar panel. Charging in the sun (even without direct sunlight) the solar-powered power bank is a true must-have.
It’s important to keep in mind how big the power bank is, though. When I first put it in the blazing Arizona sun, I charged it for hours and it didn’t move from 50%. I figured the solar panels weren’t working. But in fact, I was also able to charge my phone without changing from 50% either.
Generally, an afternoon in the sun means I can easily charge my phone without depleting the power bank, or even changing the percentage level. There are four lights to show the charge levels of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. There’s also a green light that goes on when the solar panels are picking up enough light to charge.
Speaking of lights, like many power banks, the Halo has a flashlight mode. It uses the same panel that you can use for wireless charging and has a variety of settings. You can have the awesomely bright light, medium light, or a flashing light for emergencies (or a portable rave?).
Beyond the wireless charging, the Halo has 3 USB ports for charging. Two of them output at 5V/2A with the third at 5V/1A. So you’ll never be stuck deciding whose device is most important, you can charge them all quickly and easily.
I have to say, I would have loved something like this in SA. A light that could also charge phones and a gaming device at once? Yes please! Add in the solar stuff to make it even more viable during powercuts and it’s pure win.
At this point, I use it as a portable, backup power source. So, while hanging out in the lounge or outside, I can continue to charge my phone and Dean can charge his vape if need be. It can also be ideal for an evening braai or BBQ, have outdoor light and charge devices. If you like to hike, you could even hang this on your pack during the day, and use the light and power bank when the sun goes down.
It is worth noting that the power bank is fairly heavy. This is not something to throw in your pocket or handbag. This is a bigger device that does way more. I’d consider it a must-have if you are outdoorsy, travel often, on-the-go, or live somewhere with an unreliable power supply. It has simply become a part of my daily life, and I’m so glad to have it for a whole range of situations.