Maximas XTRON USB-C Power Bank review: Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P power bank

Power banks are incredibly useful, but most support only Micro-USB connections. The Maximas XTRON is a super-fast USB-C power bank that is ideal for charging your new Nexus phone, OnePlus 2 or other USB-C devices on the go. Also see: Best power banks 2015.

Tonight Google will unveil the final version of Android Marshmallow, which builds in support for reversible USB-C, a connection standard that will eventually replace Micro-USB on phones and tablets.

Alongside the announcement will come new USB-C-compatible devices, including the Nexus 5XNexus 6P and, potentially, Google Pixel C tablet. These new devices join a growing pool of USB-C phones, tablets and laptops, including the OnePlus 2, Xiaomi Mi 4CChromebook PixelNokia N1 and 2015 MacBook.

But a new type of connection for data transfer and charging demands new accessories. The OnePlus 2 ships with a standard USB to USB-C cable for charging, but increasingly we'll see cables with USB-C at each end.

The XTRON is the first power bank to support a USB-C connection for charging mobile devices on the go. It has a fast maximum output of 4.2A (21W), and it doesn't just use the same high-class TI chips as the new Apple MacBook but it can charge it too.

We tested the Maximas XTRON with the only USB-C device we had to hand, the OnePlus 2. Using the USB-C connection it received a 25 percent charge in 30 minutes, suggesting you could charge the phone from empty to full in around two hours. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.

As well as USB-C there's a full-size USB-A port, which allows you to connect a second device that uses your cable of choice. Even if you don't have a USB-C device now, buying a power bank such as the XTRON means you are covered today and also futureproofed for when your next purchase comes with USB-C. We don't wish to buy a new power bank every time we change our phone, and that fact alone makes the XTRON one of the most appealing power banks we've seen.

Maximas XTRON USB-C Power Bank review: Fastest power bank for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Apple MacBook, OnePlus 2 and Xiaomi Mi 4C

A Micro-USB input lets you to recharge the power bank using a standard phone- or tablet charger. This is also well-specified at 2A (10W), and even though the XTRON doesn't support passthrough charging it will at least be faster to refill than many of the power banks we review. Also see: Best desktop chargers 2015.

The XTRON feels incredibly well made, a reassuringly solid block with rounded edges and a compact, splashproof design. It measures just 77x21x93mm and weights 247g. Despite its large 13,400mAh capacity (which Maximas says will charge an iPhone 6s six times, an iPad mini twice or offer 8 hours runtime to a MacBook) the Maximas power bank fits comfortably in your hand.

The power bank we tested is a matte black plastic but a gold band at the device's top, gold accents and a shiny gold logo make it feel like a premium product. Even the supplied USB-C to USB-C cable looks the part, with its gold-coloured connectors. A white and silver version of the Maximas XTRON is also available.

At the top end of the device you'll find the aforementioned trio of USB ports, plus four LEDs that are used to show how much power remains and a single gold button. You need to press and hold this button to begin charging a connected device, since the XTRON doesn't support auto-on. It will turn off automatically when you disconnect your mobile device. Also see: How to charge your phone or tablet faster

Maximas says the premium Panasonic battery cells inside the XTRON are the same as those used in Tesla's electronic cars and should be good for 1200 recharge cycles.

Maximas has launched its XTRON USB-C power bank on Indiegogo, where it costs $69 (the retail price will be $99). That's around £45, or £65 at retail. That's a little more expensive than some of the power banks we review, but given the forward-thinking, high-performance tech inside, owners of USB-C devices will find it worth every penny.

You might also like this Tronsmart USB-C car charger.

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Maximas XTRON: Specs

  • USB-C power bank
  • 13,400mAh capacity
  • 1x USB-A output
  • 1x USB-C output
  • maximum total output 4.2A (21W)
  • 1x 2A (10W) Micro-USB input
  • 77x21x93mm
  • 247g
  • USB-C power bank
  • 13,400mAh capacity
  • 1x USB-A output
  • 1x USB-C output
  • maximum total output 4.2A (21W)
  • 1x 2A (10W) Micro-USB input
  • 77x21x93mm
  • 247g

OUR VERDICT

It might not feature an LCD panel, passthrough charging, auto-on or less exciting features such as a torch and carry case, but the Maximas XTRON is easily one of the best power banks we've seen for the simple fact that it will be good for years to come. With standard USB and USB-C outputs, you can use it to charge any device you like - including a new Apple laptop! The fact that it's incredibly fast doesn't hinder this easy-to-recommend power bank either.