ChargeHub HomeBase Review – Mac Sources
Perfect for On-the-go families who may need a little pick-me-up.
The CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE device arrived in a 6 7/8 inches wide by 7 3/4 inches tall by 3 3/8 inches thick retail package. While perusing the packaging, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vibrant 5 inches wide by 5 inches tall image of the four-bay docking station upon the white background. The title, in grey/blue, was clearly labeled across the top of the cover panel, and left no room for confusion about the type of device in the box. I loved that the four grey-icons, along the right side of the cover, promised a charging station for the quad 4000 mAh power banks, a storage drawer and a mini-LED flashlight. Attractively, the grey coloration of the icons was perpetuated on the top and side panels and both of the side panels listed the “CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE.” The reverse panel again provided a clear image of the CHARGEHUB device but further delineated the information from the cover icons.
The 5V/2.1A input charging station had four drop-in charging slots, which were designed to accommodate the four 4000 mAh aluminum batteries. The docking station had an accessory 5V/2.1A output USB-A port and a single charging bay for an additional device. Each battery has a durable aluminum shell with included flashlight. Within the box, I found a clear plastic tray with four individually wrapped 2 5/8 inches wide by 4 5/16 inches tall by 3/8 inches thick batteries (black, grey, pink, gold), a 1 11/16 inches long by 1 3/8 inches wide by 13/16 inches thick inline USB adaptor, a 50 1/2 inches long USB-A to USB-micro cable, a 10 3/4 inches long USB-A to USB-micro cable, a 10 3/4 inches long USB-A to Lightning cable, and the 6 1/4 inches long by 3 inches wide by 3 inches tall CHARGEHUB device. Each of the four batteries had a white top/bottom panel, CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE etched into the front and the model CRG-HB-001, input DC 5V/1A, output DC5V/1A, Capacity 4000mAh, “Made in China,” and several typical product manufacturing labels. The top panel had a USB-A output port, an LED flashlight, micro-USB port, 4 battery level LED and a power button. If you short press the power button, the LED will illuminate and indicate the remaining power (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%). If you long-press the button, the flashlight will illuminate. The bottom panel of each of the batteries had three circular charging buttons, which matched up with the three prongs inside the slots of the main device.
The main CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE device was smaller than the packaging suggested. Evaluating the device from the top, I found four battery shaped ports and a V-shaped phone port. To install the batteries, find the lower panel (three circles) and set the battery into the port. Since the circular charging ports were centered, it did not matter which direction you oriented the battery. Essentially, the company dummy-proofed the process by allowing you to position the etched “CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE” to face the left or right. The weight of the battery maintained the charging process and eliminated the need for a button, lock, or click-mechanism. I appreciated this design choice as it simplified a potentially complicated process. As a perfectionist, I preferred to align the batteries in similar directions. The V-shaped port held my iPhone 11 Pro Max in both horizontal and vertical positions. To add another positive comment for this device, the wedge-shaped port should accommodate phones within most cases. I tested this with my wife’s iPhone & with Otterbox case and with my iPhone 11 Pro Max with X-doria and Catalyst cases.
The front of the device proudly displayed the product name along the top left and had a useful 4 5/8 inches wide by 1 inches tall by 3 inches deep drawer. To open the drawer, pinch the dual openings and pull outward. The drawer worked perfectly to house my wedding ring and the included USB-micro to USB-A and Lightning to USB-A cables. Along the side of the device nearest the phone wedge, you will find a vertically oriented USB-A output port and a horizontally oriented USB-micro input port. The bottom panel had four 5/8 inches diameter rubberized anti-slip feet and the same model/input/output/Made in China/product manufacturing labels as the back sides of the batteries. To power the entire device, plug the USB wall adaptor into an AC outlet, the USB-A cable into the USB-A port and then the USB-micro end into the input port on the device. Slide each of the batteries into the ports and await full charge. As noted above, a single LED suggested <25% power, two LED suggested 25-50% power, three LED suggested 50-75% power, and four solid LED suggested 100% power. If desired, you can plug a USB-A to lightning/micro-USB cable into the USB-A output port and then into your smartphone. To power a device from one of the batteries, use the included cable or another of your choosing. Plug the USB-A end. Of the cable into the port and then the appropriate micro/Lightning end into your smart device. If desired, you can charge the batteries without the HOMEBASE as well. Perfect for a weekend getaway or for a daily use nightstand companion, the CHARGEHUB device exceeded my expectations.
Each of the 4.23 ounce batteries will fit perfectly into a back pocket, jacket pocket or backpack. I wish that the batteries outputted more than 5V/1A, however. Starting at 4:21PM at 76% power, I allowed my iPhone 11 Pro Max to charge until 5:06PM to 87% power, then to 5:28PM to 90% power. I found that the batteries provided 1% power for every 2-3 minutes of charge. When fully depleted, the four batteries took about 4 hours to charge to full. After 6 hours the LED stopped flashing, suggesting that the charging was complete. Even though the batteries charged at less than ideal rates, I did not mind the 5V/2.1 output available to the USB side port. Although modern smartphones can utilize quick-charge technologies, I have rarely required this feature. Rather, it has been more of a convenience. Most of us will likely charge our smartphones overnight and the 5V/2.1A output would ensure the 1600-5000mAh battery. Assuming 80% efficiency, you could assume that one of the included batteries would provide about 3000-3200mAh worth of charge. No matter the size of your smartphone device, you can expect at least 50-60% power from one of the batteries. I have used the device over the past 3 weeks and have drained several batteries. It takes roughly 2 batteries to fully power my iPhone 11 Pro Max and it takes all 4 of them to power my iPad Pro 11″.
The design of the device is ingenious but the batteries need to be larger and to provide more output. With modern USB-C options, I was a little disappointed that this system did not utilize USB-C. I look forward to the CHARGEHUB 2.0 device, which would have 5V/2.1A output batteries minimum and either an included USB-A to USB-C option or to utilize USB-C only batteries. I would have rather had 2 10,000mAh batteries and a larger caddy/tray than the four 4000 mAh batteries. I have looked for a similar device for a long time and thought that the CHARGEHUB HOMEBASE would be the perfect device for my family. This device came close to meeting my need but again, the batteries were too small and did not charge fast enough.
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