Consumer Council finds quality of most power banks disappointing

The Consumer Council has found wide disparities in the quality of power banks for mobile devices.

Nine of the power banks tested failed to comply with safety requirements while four were over 40 percent short of their claimed power capacity, Apple Daily reports.

The watchdog recently ran tests on 30 portable chargers selling for HK$79 to HK$500, and found that the quality of most products was pretty disappointing.

Out of the 30 samples tested, only four got full marks while the one with the lowest marks only scored 1.5 out of five.

Part of the test was to use the power banks 100 times to simulate the conditions they would be in in a year’s time.

Results show that “The Coop Idea Journey CP-PB-09” broke down after charging it 26 times, prompting them to buy another unit of the same brand to continue the tests.

On the other hand, a power bank called “INFINITY QC808” had inflated by four millimeters after it was charged 100 times.

Several brands like “Maxtron”, “VERUS”, “Maxpower”, and “Leouw” all failed the safety tests as they could not withstanda flame longer than one minute after the exterior was lit for only 30 seconds.

The Consumer Council said a short circuit could ignite a power bank, and therefore its exterior should be less flammable.

The test results also showed that the power capacity of “VERUS V12”, “PRODA PPL-23”, and “Leouw LE-212” were over 40 percent short of what they claim to have.

Retailers of VERUS said they have changed the manufacturer of their batteries and promised to increase the frequency of their quality checks.

“PRODA” importer REMAX said it has taken the model off the shelves and said users can return the products to their points of purchase.

Hui King-man, chairman of the publicity and community relations committee, said the Consumer Council has received over 11 complaints related to power banks in the eight months to August, representing an 83 percent increase from the same period last year.

Most complaints involved delays and poor quality, including models that allegedly damaged the phones to which they were connected.

Hui urged relevant authorities to tighten safety requirements on power banks, noting that in Singapore, all power banks must pass safety tests before they are allowed to be sold.

Assistant Professor Yu Yau-wai from the City University reminded the public to pull plug on the power bank immediately after charging to avoid damaging the phone battery.

He also said that the optimum amount of battery one would want within their phone is around 10 to 90 percent battery power.

Power bank users should also avoid using the device in extreme weather such as below zero degrees or over 35 degrees Celsius.

According to the Civil Aviation Department, airline passengers are allowed to bring onboard two power banks each but they are not allowed to check in the batteries to prevent short circuits during flights.

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