Lumsing Pilot 4GS iPhone power bank review

If you're an iPhone or iPad user this Lumsing Pilot 4GS power bank should come in handy for topping up your device away from mains power. Rather than having to find a Micro-USB or USB-C cable, which are used by the majority of power banks on the market, you can fill up this bank using your iPhone's Lightning cable, then turn it around to charge up your device. Also see: Best power banks 2016

Also see: Best Black Friday Gadget Deals

Unfortunately, we're not iPhone and iPad users, so the fact no cable is supplied in the box is disappointing. Worse, upon borrowing a colleague's cable we found it didn't fit very snugly in the socket. On the plus side, should you be lucky enough to have not one but two Lightning cables we found the Pilot 4GS suppports passthrough charging, meaning you can fill its battery and that of a connected device at the same time.

While the omission of a cable in the box is frustrating to say the least, we expect the reasoning behind it is to keep down costs. As it stands, the Lumsing Pilot 4GS costs just £22.99 from Amazon UK (or $25.99 from Amazon US). That's good value for a 12,000mAh power bank - not that Apple users tend to be overly bothered by value. Also see: How to charge your phone's battery faster

We jest, of course. One thing we do like about iPhones is the way they manage to offer similar battery life to Android phones with battery capacities around half that of comparable Androids. Which means, of course, that you'll get more full charges for your iPhone than you would an Android phone out of any given power bank.

With a 12,000mAh rated capacity you can expect to get between 8,000- and 8,500mAh of power for charging your devices (some is lost through energy conversion and heat generated and the industry standard is around 60- to 70 percent). The iPhone 7 has a 1,960mAh battery, so you can expect to get between four and five full charges from the Lumsing, and older iPhones closer to five full charges. See all power bank reviews

The Lightning port is a fast 10W input, which isn't as fast as Apple's own 12W USB charger, but it's plenty fast enough to quickly fill an iPhone or iPad. Lumsing doesn't specify the exact specs of each of its outputs, but combined they offer 3A or 15W. If we were to assume each was capable of 1.5A or 7.5W, this would also be sufficient to quickly fill an iPhone. However, you will likely find your iPad charges faster with only one device plugged in.

Moving on beyond the tech specs, what will really appeal to iPhone and iPad users is the Lumsing Pilot 4GS' style. Our review sample came in rose gold, which is close but not quite an exact match for the rose gold iPhone. You can also buy this power bank in gold and silver. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life

It's on the large side for its capacity, but it's only a little large than an iPhone 7 and, despite our earlier misgivings with the Lightning input, the Pilot 4GS looks well made. It has an attractive metal casing with a matt finish, and smooth, rounded corners. A button on top is used to activate the four LEDs that reveal how much power remains inside the bank, though charging should be automatic when you plug in an iDevice. And when it's full, charging should stop.

No carry case is provided in the box, but this Lumsing should withstand a life being thrown from bag to bag reasonably well.

Read next: Best desktop chargers 2016.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Lumsing Pilot 4GS: Specs

  • 12,000mAh power bank
  • 1x 5V/2A (10W) Lightning port
  • 2x USB outputs (max output 5V/3A)
  • passthrough charging
  • four-LED power status
  • charges in around 8 hours
  • 145x100x25mm
  • 280g
  • 12,000mAh power bank
  • 1x 5V/2A (10W) Lightning port
  • 2x USB outputs (max output 5V/3A)
  • passthrough charging
  • four-LED power status
  • charges in around 8 hours
  • 145x100x25mm
  • 280g

OUR VERDICT

We're a little miffed that a Lightning cable isn't provided in the box, and that when plugged in one doesn't fit as snug as we like, but that aside this is an incredibly useful and affordable power bank for iPhone and iPad users. There's enough power to charge your iPhone four or five times (depending on its model), which should come in useful in an emergency.