Limefuel Blast 18,000 mAh Power Bank $99.99

Limefuel Blast 18,000 mAh Power Bank

Summary:
This is a review one of one my favorite brand of power banks. The Limefuel brand got its start on Kickstarter and has continue to grow as a maker of premium power bank portable batteries. In this review i will be covering the one of the first launch units they shipped under the first Kickstarter project. The Limefuel L180X unit is a great battery overall, and while its missing a advanced features found in the newer models this is still a very nice and powerful power bank. Limefuel delivers some of the most effective battery packs and this one is no exception, as the review will show it scores up with the highest of the batteries i have tested.

 

Product Details
Battery Model: L180X (Kickstater Edition)
Rated Capacity: 18,000 mAh
Output ports: 2 (1A/2.1A)
Input Port: 1 (2A)

Battery Features:

Ports: The battery has 2 USB output ports rated at 1A and 2A (2.1A). Many other batteries including newer Limefuel batteries are now being released with 2 USB ports that are both rated at 2.4A and the battery auto-senses what is needed and adjusts the output as needed. The setup on this battery is good, and while the separate ports is common with the older designs, it still performs very nicely. As one of the higher capacity units it will power multiple devices for long periods of time. On the input side it is rated at 2A which is expected on these sized batteries. Just to note while i do have a retail L180X that was bought on Amazon after the Kickstarter campaign that also has the split 1A/2.1A ports, the Limefuel website is now showing that their current L180X unit now features the newer design of the 2x 2.4A ouput ports. So if you buy brand new now, you may end up with this newer setup
Indicator Lights: The battery does come with 4 nice indicator lights showing the % of battery charge, 1 LED per 25%. I did not test the accuracy of these so i will just assume the product descriptions valid. The indicator lights stay on while the pack is charging a device which is a debatable design as its expending extra juice and heat to run them, however this is likely negligible.
Auto-on: As with most batteries of this caliber, it does contain an ‘auto’ on function, so when a device is plugged it, it will start charging right away. As I have noted in other articles, this can be a personal preference, but I find it nice on large capacity batteries. It allows you to have it buried in brief case, backpack, or purse allowing you charge your device without having to hunt for a button on the battery.
Pass-thru Charging: This is a nice feature that allows the battery itself to be charged while also delivering a charge out to another device that is connected, unfortunately this batter pack does not have this feature. That said as with the dual ports note above I would suspect that the newer models will have this feature since i have already seen it in other Limefuel batteries such as the L156X which will be featured in a future review.
LED Flashlight: The entire Blast product line of Limefuel batteries all  come with a bright LED that is turned on with a long hold of the button and can be used as a flashlight. This is a nice to have feature, but this pack is a bit large for it to be carried in a way that would make it a convenient flashlight. Nonetheless, on more than one occasion I have grabbed one of my batteries and used its flashlight when getting under my desk looking for something or when I need to see the back of my computer. In short, it’s a nice bonus.

Device Finish:

Limefuel Blast L180X

Limefuel Blast L180X

The device comes in with 2 options, a matte black and a glossy white. I have tested both units and while overall performance is pretty much the same the finishes are notably different and may appeal to people separately. In general, I prefer the matte finish, as it give better grip, but at the same time on the black matte it can absorb skin oil and leave visible prints. The gloss finish avoids this issue but is more slick. The gloss finish seems to be more resistant to scratches where the matte finish can be fairly easily scratched and marked up. If you intent to keep it stored in a case or protective pocket or pouch you should not have any issues but if its bouncing around loosely in a bag or backpack with pocket change or keys it is likely you will pull out a scratch up device. At the end of the day both have their pro’s and con’s and i would simply recommend that you choose the finish you like the best.

Testing details and efficiency.
i have 3 L180X batteries, one from the Kickstarter campaign and 2 that i got through holiday sales during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Overall they all rate pretty good. The L156X rates a bit better but this is still a pretty good unit.  In a series of 8 controlled tests the battery has an average output rating of 66%. With the highest test being 70% and the lowest being 62%. When you look at the data you can see that if you are using the battery to charge a common cell phone device which has a draw of roughly 1A it would align best with the top row of tests (1A= 1000mA). These first 4 tests used a controlled current of 900mA. As you jump up to 1800mA, something more likely to be seen with higher end phablets and tablets you see the effect efficiently drops from the upper 60’s to the lower 60’s.  I don’t see many batteries that have this much of a

Blast L180X 18,000 mAh Test Data

variation, but it may lead me to conduct further tests to see if this is unique to this device or more common on really high current draws. At the end of the day this batter still carries a large fuel tank and will work well to power both your cell phones and smaller devices as well as your tablets and larger devices. It will just not run as efficiently on the higher amp draws.

Using the overall average of 66%, this means that you can, on average, expect to get about 11,895 mAh of actual juice from this 18,000 mAh battery. In its best test, 70%, You would get 12,660 mAh, and it’s lowest about 62% you can expect about 11,100 mAh.

using the 66% (11,895 mAh) average lets put this into terms that many end users can relate to. This means that you can expect the following number of charge cycles per device as listed here:

Galaxy S3 5.66
Galaxy S4 4.58
Galaxy S5 4.25
iPhone 5 8.26
iPhone 5S/5C 7.63
iPad 3/4 1.03
iPad Mini 1.35

 

Optional Case

Limefuel Case

Limefuel Case

Limefuel sells an rather nice optional case for the L180x and smaller batteries. The L240X may fit in there but i have not received my L240X yet so i cant confirm this as it is notably larger. The L180X and L156X are the exact same size with the L130X and L60X decreasing in size. The case can be found here: Limefuel case

The case has a mesh net int he top to carry your small and/or long cables and i have found that with since there is some room on the end of the battery you can actually have the USB cable plugged into the battery while its in the case. From there you can extend the cable out of the case to your phone, or if using a short cable and normal or small phone you can actually put the phone in this mesh pocket. The case then can then be zipped closed with your phone charging safely stowed away in the case. I am not sure if Limefuel did this by design or not but either found that as a result when i travel and only take a single battery its is almost always this case with a Limefuel L180X or the L156X

 

Other Limefuel Batteries i will be reviewing or have already review:
Limefuel Blast L156X – Review complete, to be posted
Limefuel Blast L240X – Review pending receipt of product
Limefuel Burst L50X2L – Review complete, to be posted
Limefuel Rugged L150XR – Review pending Kickstater projection delivery