ThruNite C2 Mini Compact Portable Charger Review
ThruNite was founded in 2009 by David Chen specializing in LED lighting and power solutions. Since operating out of Dongguan, Guangdong, ThruNite now operates on a global scale utilizing Amazon, Fedex, DHL, and more for marketing, sales, and transportation.
They recently reached out to me to test out one of their compact charging solutions - the C2 Mini Compact Charger. As usual, I will aim to take an in-depth look at the design, practicality, and performance.
DC 5V, 2.4A
DC 5V, Max 3A
AL T6061 Aircraft Aluminum
18650 3,400 mAh
The first thing I noticed is the aluminum construction. ThruNite really sets itself apart by foregoing the conventional plastic construction typical power banks use. The aluminum definitely has a great feel in the hand.
As always, I really like the packaging style more and more companies are adopting. The cardboard packaging really keeps it simple, but also environmentally friendly. As always, I recommend keeping the box given that it makes a durable storage unit when this compact charger is not in use.
I'm pretty surprised that everything fit inside quite nicely. The manual and warranty card sit on top. The manual contains the basic operation of this charger, which I don't think is necessary to go through. The operation is pretty simple with only a one button function. I will go more in-depth of the warranty policy in the next section. Resting on top is the charger itself. A USB Type-A to micro-USB Type-B cord is included, which can be used for both the input and output charging. Below it rests the mesh bag, which is essentially a carrying pouch. This includes everything in the package.
Unlike other power banks/chargers, this is very interesting to see. The 18650 battery is actually removable and can be used in other devices. This is pretty cool to see because the C2 contains its own micro-USB input and standard USB output. It can charge the 18650 battery, but also use the battery to output a charge for your smartphone or any other devices.
On one end, you get a screw-off lid that holds the battery in place to use or charge. Another bonus to this design is that it uses a pretty standard standard battery that can be easily acquired. This offers the opportunity to constantly replace the battery when it no longer holds a charge from daily wear and tear.
Noticed how the battery is labelled 3,400 mAh. At first I thought that this was a bit far fetched as it out-measures the capacity of many smartphones we have on the markets. Through my charge test using my Sony Xperia XZ with a 2,900 mAh battery as the testing device, we will be able to see how efficient this charger really is.
Over on the other end, we have the ports. The bigger USB Type-A port is for output. You can use the included micro-USB cord to charge any compatible devices. For newer devices that use the USB Type-C port or Apple Lightning, you will have to use your own cord.
Nevertheless, this doesn't mean you should just ditch the micro-USB cord as it is used for input charging the 18650 battery. There is a single button on the top which serves as the power toggle for the output.
I really would've liked to see some sort of LED flashlight integrated into this charger. I feel like this is should be a pretty standard feature by now, especially considering that ThruNite also specializes in torches. Hopefully ThruNite will implement this on their next generation compact chargers.
The side view shows off the aesthetic of the visual design, look, and feel. The smooth aluminum finish with the crosstrax pattern ends offers added grip. The logo with the specifications underneath is a nice touch. It offers a very minimalistic look and very little text cluttering the design.
The perfect travel companion?
I already listed the dimensions of this charger. For a realistic comparison, the length of this charger is only slightly longer than the width of a typical smartphone. The compact size makes it a very convenient travel companion. I like to put it in the water bottle mesh of my backpack. It slides right in and blends well while making it very easily accessible.
Despite the small size, this charger packs a decent size punch. More on this when I get into the actual charge test to provide a realistic look at how well this charger fared.
In order to provide a realistic performance on this power bank, I used one of my smartphones, the Xperia XZ, to log every battery state change. I took the log and summarized it in a 15 minute window time frame to measure until either my phone is fully charged or if the charger runs out of juice.
Note: The Xperia XZ houses a 2,900 mAh battery. It was turned on, but not running anything intensive.
I fully drained the ThruNite charger in 1 hour and 27 minutes. From my phone's 15% critical charge state, I was able to bring it up to the 67% mark. It was a bit disappointing to see that it only charged my phone half full essentially. The efficiency loss of having a removable battery must be higher than otherwise anticipated.
The plus side is that since the battery is removable from the charger, it is actually possible to swap it out with any spares and keep charging your device provided you purchase additional 18650 batteries.
Verdict: Travel Use
After using this charger for about a week now, my final verdict still stands as being a good travel companion. The size and design gives off a very minimalistic look and rugged feel. It can be easily stowed away to just about anywhere.
The charge test fell short of my expectations and did not deliver anywhere near a full charge. For this reason, I cannot classify this charger as "heavy duty". I only give that classification if it can handle multiple devices or multi recharges, which the C2 cannot due.
Not a big deal, but I really hope the next generation charger will have an LED light integrated in it even if it means bulking up the size a little bit.