When it comes to convenience and portability, the Charmast Mini power bank is hard to beat. Confusingly masquerading as a miniature snorkel apparatus, this portable charger can fit into most pockets while doubling up as a cute prop for any Metal Gear Solid diving gear cosplay.
In all seriousness, though, don’t put this power bank in your mouth or underwater as, although its charge capacity is lacking, it’s ready to supercharge most gaming sessions and is a blast to use on the go. In this Charmast Mini power bank review, we explore this punchy titan of electric pocket fuel that holds a dedicated burst of power but may not suit everyone’s needs.
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- Incredibly portable and compact
- Charge indicator LED lights
- Available in multiple colors
- High-speed charging compatible – fast charging (PD) and quick charging (QC)
- Lower 5,000 mAh capacity
- Limited to either USB-C or lightning connector
- Can’t charge more than one device at a time
- Quite bulky and uncomfortable to use when holding the phone in landscape mode
Price and availability
As highlighted in our best power banks guide, you can find the Charmast Mini on Amazon with an original MSRP of $30. This RRP is pretty steep, pitting it against higher capacity yet bulkier 10,000 mAh power banks or those with better quality of life features. However, it appears to have dropped to half its MSRP, which is a much more attractive price point.
Features and design
Straight out of the box, it’s immediately apparent how portable and solid this unit is. Ergonomically speaking, it’s a delight to hold, with its ‘T- tetromino’ shape and relatively small 91g weight, making it an excellent option if you need a device that’s easy to grasp in hectic outdoor environments. Thankfully, after repeated attempts to launch this power bank while it’s attached to my phone, it retains a tight grip. I particularly appreciate the included USB-C or lightning connector cap, as it offers further protection for that ‘throw it in your bag while you run for a bus’ mentality.
The Charmast Mini is an unassumingly attractive power bank, available in a range of colors to match your phone’s back cover or case. The blue LED battery indicators and wake button add extra functionality points, even if these are arguably the bare minimum features in today’s market – an LED screen with a percentage indicator would be preferable.
Unfortunately, how the Charmast Mini power bank connects to the end of your phone adds extra bulk, making it quite uncomfortable to play games in landscape mode unless you mastered the dreaded crab-hand pose from the PSP Monster Hunter games.
This design may also cause issues for users who suffer wrist pain or RSI in their hands or fingers, forcing you to overstretch or counterbalance the additional weight on one side of your phone. But if your favorite games and apps are predominantly portrait, this is far less troublesome – for example, the Charmast Mini is a solid option for Pokémon Go Community Days. Just be sure your phone case supports this power bank, as it needs a case thickness of less than 4mm to connect fully.
Battery life and performance
The Charmast Mini is a savant of the quick-burst energy lifestyle. Like a phoenix from the ashes, it excels in supercharging most devices either to full or almost full state, mainly thanks to its support for 20w fast charging and 18w quick charging for the USB-C model or 20w and 18w fast charging for the lightning connector model. These are excellent factors when you consider the one downside to this device – its limited 5,000 mAh capacity.
Luckily, its capacity doesn’t hold it back too much. Considering what an average user would have enabled when out and about, I tested this power bank over five days from a 19-22% phone battery starting point. To create a constant, I enabled the always-on display and disabled WiFi while using my phone to play games like Genshin Impact, along with general Chrome browsing, Google Maps navigating, and watching videos on YouTube.
Testing in these circumstances with a phone of 3650 mAh capacity, I found that my device fully charged in 2-2.5 hours. Fast charging was active in each test, meaning that even with the power draw caused by these apps, this charger matched this workload while recharging my phone simultaneously. In comparison, leaving my phone idle and charging from the same battery percentage takes around one hour and 50 minutes. In terms of recharging, though, this power bank regrettably doesn’t reach the advertised recharge speed of 1.5 hours, even with a USB-C to USB-C cable connected to a wall plug rated at 9V 2A, instead taking two hours to recharge fully in all tests.
Should you buy the Charmast Mini Power Bank?
After a week of solid public transport and city life usage, I can easily attest that this is the most convenient and least intrusive power bank I’ve ever used. Honestly, the freedom of not needing a cable to connect to my power bank is blissful.
For its original MSRP, though, higher capacity models exist that can charge most phones to 100% battery more than once. If you can withstand the inconvenience of cables, the Charmast Mini simply cannot contend with its heftier competitors. Additionally, unless you have one of the newer iPhone 15 USB-C devices, you’re locked into charging one device at a time and potentially only on one platform – Android or Apple.
If you’re unsure that the Charmast Mini is your pocket-power of choice, don’t worry, check out these alternatives.
Iniu Portable Charger
The INIU Portable Charger is an excellent lightweight and thin power bank with fast charging. Equipped with two USB-C ports and one USB-A port, it covers one of the Charmast Mini’s main drawbacks by powering more than one device at a time. Additionally, it sports a 10,000 mAh capacity and has a cute paw print LED battery indicator.
Anker Nano Power Bank
If you fancy something slightly less compact with brilliant quality-of-life features, the Anker Nano Power Bank is for you. Adding an unusual flare, this power bank features a built-in USB-C cable for convenience. It supports 30w fast charging, has a 10,000 mAh capacity, and includes an additional USB-C and USB-A port, allowing it to charge multiple devices. I wouldn’t use the built-in USB-C cable as a handle too often, but perhaps we’ll test that for a ‘least throwable power bank’ list in the future.
The Charmast Mini is a convenient and compact power bank at the cost of a lower charge capacity and a lack of key quality-of-life features. It’s a niche product that may not suit everyone’s needs but excels as a portable charger designed to support one device during a single outing. It’s also a fast-charging beast with one of the easiest direct connection methods available on the market.