REVIEW – Still thinking all power banks are the same. I can’t say that beyond the adage “the best powerbank is the one you have with you” I haven’t also found most of them to be pretty darn similar other than form and maybe a unique feature. Well, Real Graphene’s new G-Lite 60 Power Bank is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and worthy of your attention. Read on.
What is it?
The G-Lite Series Power Bank is a 5,000mAh, 60W battery pack for your power hungry devices. It employs graphene’s unique properties to enable higher performance from the battery inside while keeping the overall package slim and portable.
What’s in the box?
- G-Lite Series Power Bank
- USB-C /USB-C charging cable
- Bullet 3
- Battery: Graphene Composite Li: 3.7v/5000mAh/18.5Wh
- Input: USB-C PD: 5v/3A 9v/3A 12v/3A | 15v/3A 20v/3A @60W
USB-C Output: Max 30w PD (PPS)
- USB-C PD: 5v/3A, 9v/3A, 12v/2.5A, 15v/2A, 20v/1.5A
- USB-C PD PPS: 5-11v/3A, 5-16v/2A @30w
USB-A Output: Max 18w
- 5v/3A, 9v/2A, 12v/1.5a
Design and features
The first thing you’ll notice is that the top and bottom of the battery pack feature anodized aluminum covers that have been striated giving the G-lite a unique look, especially with the etched brand badge.
On the business end of the battery pack you’ll find two ports, a USB-A as well as a USB-C that doubles as an input for charging the G-Lite.
5 indicator lights illuminate to provide additional info. The 4 white LEDs show charge status of the pack in quarter intervals while the larger vertical pill shape LED lights up green when fast charging power is in process.
On the sidewalls are the certification markings, input/output specs in addition to a side button on the corner adjacent to the LEDs.
A single press will show you the current charge status, while a double-press activates an enhanced charging mode for devices below 200mA like headphones and watches. (Area around the button has been spot highlighted to help visibility in my photo).
The G-Lite also supports pass through charging, meaning you can use the USB-A port to charge a device (up to 10w) while you are charging the G-lite through the USB-C port. That means that while the G-Lite is charging most phones will still charge at full speed, while tablets and larger devices would see a reduced charging speed if they’re capable of charging at over 10w.
The included USB-C to USB-C cable will ensure you can charge at the maximum speed your compatible device will allow.
Using graphene within the structure of the battery pack helps to significantly improve conductivity and impact protection as well as reduce heat and weight. As a result, the pack is expected to last 5x longer than current lithium batteries and will survive over 1,000 life cycles versus standard batteries which average 300 cycles. You can find out more about graphene here.
Like anything with a battery, the first step is to connect it to a power source and complete a full charge. The G-Lite does not ship with an AC adapter, although Real Graphene sent their 60w USB-C PD wall charger along with the G-Lite for this review.
When connected the 4-stage LED showed that the G-Lite was over 75% full with 3 solid LEDs and the 4th one blinking, and the green LED lit to show it was charging at higher speeds. When full the green LED turns off with all 4 white LEDs solid.
When you’re ready to charge up one of your devices, connect G-Lite’s included USB-C to USB-C cable to your device and it will start charging right away. If you need to charge a device with any other connector type you’ll need to provide your own cable.
Note that charging speeds are dependent on the max charging speed of your device as well as the limitations of any cable you provide. Additionally, any device will charge faster if you aren’t actively using it, and have adjusted any power management settings to allow for the fastest charge possible.
How well does it charge devices? Well here are some examples…
I let my iPad Pro 11″ run low until it blinked off by itself. Using the G-Lite and its included USB-C cable, it restarted the iPad and charged it to 41% in 36 minutes before tapping out.
Using a USB tester later I was able to see that the iPad pulled 14.8v and ~ 1.2A. If actively using the iPad it would pull up to 1.9A.
I then connected the G-Lite (and cable) to the 60w adapter they supplied and was impressed to see it reach a full charge in just over 22 minutes. While repeat charge cycles for me routinely hit that time, Real Graphene claims this can charge as quickly as 17 minutes. It’s possible with different chargers or cables you might get close to that, but 22 is still pretty stellar regardless.
The same USB tester shows when 19.6v and 2.92A when recharging the G-Lite. That’s using almost all of the 60w supplied by the charger which is why it charges so fast.
I then dug an old iPhone 6 Plus out of the closet that was long since dead. Plugged that into the G-Lite with a USB-C to lightning cable and the USB tester inline. It charged the iPhone up to full with somewhere over 50% battery left. Note that it did this at a slower speed and it took about 2 hours.
I was also able to connect and charge my MacBook Pro. This is something you might do in a pinch, but if you’re actively using your MacBook or other USB-C laptop, you’re likely to be maintaining a charge level rather than adding to it.
The form factor is relatively standard for a power bank. It’s a pretty slim unit with a footprint that matches the iPhone 11 Pro almost exactly making it really easy to stack both in one hand and take a call should you need to.
For me, there’s the standard set of things I’ll need to charge like my phone or iPad, but there’s often more random needs like a GoPro battery or my Nitecore headlamp that usually end up needing a charge as I’m trying to head out the door. What Real Graphene has achieved here is a very portable battery that you can literally slam a full charge into in 20 minutes, letting you manage more of your charging on the go.
What I like
- Fast-to-charge battery pack
- Lightweight and sturdy
- USB-C and USB-A ports
- Pass through charging (charge it and a device from one wall connection)
What I’d change
- Nothing, but eagerly awaiting larger sized packs
It’s inevitable that the devices we use regularly will need a charge at the worst possible time. As a result, one of the best investments for your daily carry kit is a battery pack. That said, a battery pack is only as good as your ability to keep it charged. Real Graphene has knocked it out of the park where that is concerned in a good looking, low-profile package.