Hands-on review: Excitrus NitroCharge 30 Pro charger
Image credit: Excitrus
Keep all your devices topped up, all day long, however far you stray from a wall socket.
Portable charging is almost an essential for many people now, be it a business laptop user out in the field; a power phone user constantly interrogating social media; a vlogger or mobile photographer capturing new footage, or any other peripatetic rover with a bag full of gadgets.
No matter how much more powerful the batteries in our devices get, there is inevitably a concurrent drain on their resources with the uptick in screen size and app demand. There are few things in the modern consumer technology world more disappointing than being left holding a useless hunk of metal and plastic simply because the battery is dead. Portable chargers rule, OK.
We were recently sent the NitroCharge 30 Pro by Excitrus. It's one of the company's many mobile charging solutions, with its USP being that it was the first 30W power bank with magnetic wireless charging for a MagSafe iPhone. It has since been joined in the Excitrus line-up by its bigger brother, the NitroCharge 120 Pro, which is ridiculously powerful.
However, the 30 Pro strikes the neatest compromise between size, weight, price and sufficient power (with its lithium polymer Li-Po 10,000mAh battery) to get most of us through any busy day, or even a long weekend.
Approximately the size and shape of an iPhone 12 Mini or iPhone SE 2 (or an iPhone 6, 7 and 8, for that matter), it's a nicely compact device. Larger phones such as the iPhone 12, Pro and Max models (or any comparable Google, Sony, Samsung etc handset) will naturally extend beyond the length of the device, but this won't affect its wireless charging capability.
Covered in a stylish grey cloth, this front and back protective fabric makes for a more secure and tactile grip, as well as being water repellent (within reason: don't leave it out in the rain) and even soil resistant (so it stays looking nice for longer). The chosen cloth also makes it look more professional, if that's an issue for you. Some chargers go for the all-out wacky 'lime green and tangerine' colour scheme, presumably appealing to a younger crowd. The 30 Pro is a more sober companion, fitted with a nicely tailored subtle grey suit.
There are three simultaneous charging options available to you: wireless charging on top (either MagSafe or Qi), USB-A and USB-C. The 30W fast charging delivers the juice to a MacBook/Air or any other USB-C equipped laptop, whilst the USB-A port will take care of any smaller gadgets, such as headphones.
Excitrus quotes that fast charge will deliver around 50 per cent battery life in one hour for a laptop, and for a MagSafe iPhone 12 or 13 up to 80 per cent in one hour. Neither - or even both - of these options will drain the Pro 30. You'll still have at least a couple more similar charges left in the unit.
Visual feedback is on the simple side: just an LED screen at the business end that displays a percentage that ticks either up or down, depending on whether it's recharging or charging. It's nice and bright, though, and seems accurate from our tests over the last few weeks.
We've been charging all manner of devices, in all manner of locations, with the 30 Pro and it's proved to be a godsend time and again. Just when you think you're out of luck for the day, you remember that slim, pocket-sized charger you slipped into your bag and you're soon up and running again. It's understandable to still think that powerful portable chargers need to be the size of a house brick, because it wasn't so long ago that this was indeed the case. In 2022, though, not so much.
The fact that you can recharge a laptop, tablet and smartphone all from one slim, lightweight device is pretty cool. This also means you can ditch the bag of cables and chonky wall adapters you used to carry around.
The unit itself can also be fast recharged: up to 80 per cent again in one hour, if using a 30W charger. It does take a bit more time, inevitably, if you're using a USB-C to USB-A cable and plug, but if you have a two-ended USB-C cable and a more powerful charger, it's a lot quicker.
The only issue we should report is that we experienced some errant behaviour from the 30 Pro during the peak heatwave days of late July. Both one of the test phones and the charger itself became extremely hot, to the extent that the iPhone shut itself down to cool off after displaying that infamous thermometer icon, which many of us had never seen on our devices before until recently.
The phone we were testing at the time was an iPhone SE 2, charging wirelessly on top of the 30 Pro. Obviously this phone does not have MagSafe, but the 30 Pro will still charge a Qi-enabled phone so it is designed to work. The high ambient heat of the UK at the time, coupled with the modest increase in warmth generated by wireless charging generally, was too much for both devices. Charging via a cable was completely fine, though.
All charging aspects have also been completely fine since, including MagSafe charging with a test iPhone 12, as the weather has become a little cooler.
If you're looking for a portable battery charger, there are many solid options out there you can choose from. The Excitrus NitroCharge 30 Pro is one of the better ones, packing a hefty recharge wallop (and then some) from its diminutive form. It's definitely punching above its weight. With one of these in your bag or pocket, you need never suffer gadget range anxiety again.
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