REVIEW – Wireless power banks allow compatible phones and devices to be charged on the go without wires. The CARRY, by Courant, ups the ante as a PD power bank that provides wireless charging and can also be charged wirelessly. Does this really spell the end of wires? Read on to see what I think!
What is it?
The CARRY is a power bank that offers both wired charging and recharging as well as wireless charging and recharging. The CARRY is actually the first portable charger to implement wireless charging input and output. A single USB Type-C connection permits bidirectional charing with up to 18 watts. The leather top of the CARRY may be used to wirelessly charge a device with up to 10 watts of wireless power transmission. The base may be used to charge the CARRY with 5 watts. The CARRY may recharge a device either wired or wirelessly while also being charged wired or wirelessly simultaneously. The stackable charging mode is a convenient way to always ensure your mobile and charger are topped off.
What’s in the box?
- User manual
- Courant Product Brochure
- USB-C to USB-A cable
- Dust Bag
- Single-Device Fast Wireless Charging
- Wireless Charging Input and Output
- 8000 mAh, Up to Two Full Phone Charges
- Up to 10W Wireless Output
- 5W Wireless Input
- USB C 18W Input & Output
- Certifications: Qi, CE, FCC, ROHS
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.9 x 0.7 in
Design and features
The CARRY is packaged in a black telescoping box that opens to the side. The top of the box has a photograph of the CARRY.
The CARRY has the Courant logo of three dots centered on the top of the CARRY. The dots are embossed on the box to mimic the actual product. The rear of the box has product information. Pulling on a fabric tab on the side opens the box.
When the box is opened the CARRY is covered by a black paper liner with the Courant brochure mounted in the center. The CARRY sits within a foam frame in the box. Below the CARRY is a compartment that holds the USB cable and dust bag.
The CARRY does not have the obvious function as a power pack. Picking it up, it actually looks and feels like it is an eyeglass case, a cigarette case, or the like. This is due to the fact that that the product labeling, power switch and status LEDs, and USB Type-C port are all very subdued. The other characteristic that makes it difficult to easily identify the real use of the CARRY is the luxurious leather top cover. The iClever BoostCube reviewed in 2018 also has a leather cover, but the one on the CARRY has a more refined pebble-grain finish.
The left side features a small power button and three LEDs. Holding the button for 1 second will turn it on or off. Quickly pressing the button while the unit is off will show the remaining power. The manual states the levels are low, medium and full, but it is unclear if this more precisely means 33%, 66%, and 100%.
Upon turning on the unit the LEDs will indicate the remaining power, blick twice and then start pulsing in unison indicating that the unit is searching for a device to charge. If there is an error in the coupling of the wireless signal the center LED and outside LEDs will blink alternately. While wirelessly discharging the LEDs will remain lit and indicate the battery reserve. The LEDs will blink twice after about 30 seconds of not finding a device to charge to indicate that the unit is turning off. While the CARRY is charging the LEDs blink in a sweeping motion (like a Cylon or Knight Rider or something else Glen Larson has contributed to.) During charging the LEDs do not indicate the charge capacity of the CARRY.
The back features the single cable connection on the CARRY, a type-C USB port.
The bottom is a curved aluminum shell with a leather insert. Above the leather is an embossed label of the company Courant. Below the leather is the only indication that this is a charger. It lists the capacity at 8000mAh and lists the input and output capabilities.
With dimensions of 5.5 x 2.9 x 0.7 in it is taller and thinner than most power banks. As more power banks explore battery options outside of the 18560 cell I expect that more power banks will adopt the dimensions of the CARRY. At 248 grams it is amongst the heaviest power banks based on the 8000mAh capacity. The Xcentz PB-34011 only weighs 184 grams for 10000mAh.
You can store the CARRY in the included dust bag. It has a soft interior and the front is labeled with Courant.
The CARRY also comes with a 5 foot long USB cable with braided nylon covered cable and aluminum connectors
The CARRY was able to supply 15.4 watts (4.34 V, 3.51 A) to a load tester that I have using the USB Type-C plug. This is technically outside of the supplied current for this voltage so I don’t expect it to reach 18 watts (although the BlitzWolf Bw-p3 is able to supply 18 watts [4.69 V, 3.85 A] using the same setup.) During the CARRY charging, I observed a 15 watt (9 V, 1.7 A) draw. The battery pack may not draw a full 18 watts depending on the condition of the battery so this is expected.
When charing my LG G7 wirelessly, I can verify that the CARRY is able to charge the phone using a fast charge protocol. But, the fast charging only works if that is the only function that the CARRY is supporting. When the CARRY is recharging, the wireless charging is only at normal speed. Also if the power bank is charging some other device the wireless charging is only at normal speed. The device the power bank is charging with a wire can still be charged using 18 watts.
While not using wires is trendy and high-tech there is a performance penalty for all that chic. For instance, at a given state it would take 2 hours 33 minutes to charge wirelessly, 1 hour 59 minutes to fast charge wirelessly, but only 1 hour 26 minutes to charge using a PD wire.
The wireless charging worked on the iClever BoostCube, an Anker Powerwave Stand, and a Samsung branded wireless charger but does not work on the Belkin Boost↑Up wireless charger. The protection circuit must be confused by the multiple coils in the CARRY.
What I like
- Trendy looking
- Stackable charging
What I’d change
- Fast wireless charge on a full battery
- second USB port
The CARRY is a recipient of an honorable mention of the CES 2020 Innovation Award. The technology that CARRY uses is patented. However, all of this innovation is costly and comes with a noticeable performance penalty compared with the fastest wired option available. The wired Xcentz model with 25% more capacity costs 7.5 less than the CARRY with wireless support and a luxury finish. If you live life by the motto go big (wirelessly) or go home than the CARRY is for you. Otherwise, plugging your phone in a power bank will work just fine.