Today’s Sacrificial Lamb
Over the past year, I have torn open SilverStone’s PB06 and QQC’s Q-Swap. So, when I came across GETIHU’s 10Ah, I bought it on a whim, if only to see how a $16 power bank fares against more expensive competitors in a comparable capacity class.
The GETIHU power bank comes in the form of a 153mm-long, 76mm-wide, and 10mm-thick elongated "D" extruded aluminum body. It weighs in at 200g and features powder-coated paint to give it some grit for grip. Is this power bank intended to stand on the concave edge of its D-shell? Assuming it is, then the brand label was printed upside-down. If it isn’t, then the sharp corners and mild edges are unnecessary liabilities. I can only wonder why GETIHU didn’t go with the same comfortable five-millimeter radius on both edges. Either way, oops!
To nobody's surprise, the inexpensive PB-01 ships in a modest cardboard box with monochrome print. Since these get distributed primarily via sites like Amazon, where marketing’s role is complete before hardware leaves the warehouse, there isn’t much of a point in wasting budget on full-color packaging meant to grab your attention on retail shelves.
Simplicity continues within. The whole box, including the compartment-dividing tray, is made from one piece of cardboard, cut and folded cleverly.
Due to how much the switch sticks out, the tray features a matching notch to accommodate it along the left edge. From what I have been told by GETIHU, many customers complained about accidentally activating the PB-01. As a result, newer variants are apparently equipped with stubbier switches.
Black Or White
While I don't care about cable color all that much, I still find it funny when companies mismatch their kit. GETIHU includes a 27cm white A-to-micro-B cable to go with its black power bank.
Since such a short cable is rarely sufficient to reach wall adapters, even under favorable conditions like the kitchen counter, you’ll likely find yourself using some other cable to charge the PB-01 (unless you happen to have a desktop charger or hub).
Let There Be Light
My box also included an unexpected LED light on a flexible stem, which looks nearly identical to the one I bought in a $6 six-pack. Aside from the ‘G’ silk-screened on GETIHU's lamp, the other notable difference is that my generic light has a metallized plastic piece in the rear slot, while GETIHU’s has the same diffuse white plastic on both sides.
Both versions provide more usable and uniform light than the built-in LED. If you own something similar, but crave increased brightness, removing the diffuser triples output. Be forewarned, though: the blindingly bright dots will make you see spots for several minutes if you accidentally look at them for more than a few seconds.
How do the light outputs compare? To the left, we have the power bank’s built-in LED, which produces a bright spot with a halo way out of the frame. In the middle, we have the gift lamp with its diffuser lens installed illuminating the wall with dim, yet usable light. The right is also GETIHU’s lamp, this time with its front diffuser taken off, making it many times brighter. If you are wondering why the back is so much brighter with the diffuser installed, that’s simply from light getting internally reflected.
If you like using USB LEDs a lot, you may want to look elsewhere for your lighting needs. GETIHU’s gift is about as bright at 230mA with its diffuser off as my generic USB lamps are at 200mA with their diffusers still attached.
All three photos were taken at 640 ISO, 1/13” shutter, and F/3.5 aperture.
(Re-)Stating The Obvious
What information do you get in GETIHU’s little single-sided manual? The first fold after the cover goes over the power bank’s interface, which is largely self-explanatory. The second page discusses the charging process and package contents; this is where I learned that the light is a "gift." The third fold calls out warnings and specifications, while the final fold contains warranty information. Of these, only the packing list and warranty information seem of any real use. The rest should be obvious to people with common sense.
The Dimensional Challenge
The PB-01 is 10% lighter and 27% smaller than QQC’s modular battery approach. SilverStone’s PB06, on the other hand, is in a league of its own at three times the thickness and 62% heavier weight courtesy of the heavy gauge construction necessary for its jump-starting capability.
All else being equal, which one of the three would I carry around on an everyday basis? The PB06 is clearly too big to casually tote around. Between GETIHU’s built-in extras and extruded aluminum body, and QQC’s more compact footprint, I’d call it a tie.
Here Come The Specs Again
As is common with power-related products, specifications, certification marks, and some of the warnings mentioned in the manual are also repeated somewhere on the device itself. Unsurprisingly, the last line here tells us that GETIHU’s power bank is manufactured in China.
Am I the only one who thinks it would have been neat to print the manual's most essential parts on there using discreet gray ink instead of throwing in the folded sheet?
In case you didn’t read the manual or the reasonably large print on the back side, certifications and some of the basic specs are also repeated on the end cap’s sticker.
I would have expected the sticker to say “GETIHU” instead of “POWER.” I suspect the company simply went with its power bank ODM’s sticker instead of paying extra for a custom one.
The Business End
GETIHU’s PB-01 features two output ports, a switch that turns the outputs on with a single press or toggles the LED lamp with double-presses, the LED lamp itself, and four tiny charge level indicator LEDs along the top edge.
If you remember my automotive USB power adapter round-up from 2016, you may suspect that both ports here are simply hooked up in parallel, sharing whatever output current capacity the power bank offers, with the only difference between them being battery charging resistors on the otherwise unused data lines.