I just received my Ambrane P1000 power bank from the previous Paytm 50% cashback offer, and since I searched a lot for a review/ teardown before I bought it but couldn’t find any, I decided to make one myself. This is my first product teardown, so please excuse any errors and please leave suggestions, if any.
(I am in no way affiliated to any company, I was just curious about the guts of this power bank. The model externally looked exactly identical to the FX 608 PCBA kits off ebay/ Aliexpress/ dealextreme, so I thought I’d have a go at prying the power bank open.)
I haven’t tested any of the performance features yet, I just thought I’d post these pics while the Paytm 40% off offer was still going on. I’ll update the performance figures I get, although other dimers have claimed 8000mAH available, in line with the FX 608 PCBA’s claim of 80-85% efficiency.
I’d recommend this power bank at the offer price it’s currently selling for at paytm.
Ambrane seems to have several versions of this powerbank, some packed in a clear plastic box, others, like this one, are packed in a microfibre lined stiff cardboard box, enclosed in a larger corrugated cardboard box.
2. Box contents
The powerbank is accompanied by a proprietary cable (Male USB to female 3.5mm old Nokia-type female) and four adapter tips [Nokia 2mm (new), Apple lightening connector, Apple 30 pin connector and Micro USB]
The glossy black model I have was covered by a thin plastic adhesive film on both sides to prevent scratches, and the body was entirely scratch-less except for a few minor scratches on the display:
The body is VERY glossy and attracts fingerprints easily, but looks extremely nice when clean:
The back side has standard specifications and certifications along with a sticker with a serial number.
There are two USB A-type female outputs, one rated 1A and one rated 2.1A, with a micro-USB charging port in between. The ports are situated very close to each other and plugging both, the micro USB input as well as the output ports together is either difficult or impossible, depending on the width of your micro USB connector’s sleeve. However, the power bank DOES NOT POWER THE OUTPUT PORTS WHILE CHARGING, so keeping all ports plugged is pointless anyway.
5. The Guts
This power bank is merely a FX 608 PCBA clone DIY kit with Samsung SDI Li-ion cells, and although it’s quite sturdy, it’s easy to pry open. The Li-ion cells are held in place with double-sided tape, removing them without damaging it (I didn’t want to replace it with fresh tape) is slightly tricky. Removing the rear panel shows the cells and the rear side of the PCB:
As expected, it’s a FX 608 PCBA-type board, secured to the front panel with two tiny screws (In the white circles on the PCB)
The front side shows the blue backlit LCD display. Interestingly, the FX 608 PCBA has a display mounted in the opposite direction, and several reviews on Flipkart state that their power bank had ulta-displays too, but this piece, along with the other pieces bought by shoppers recently seem to have the display right-side-up (ulta with respect to the PCB now)
6: The chips
a. Boost converter- This power bank inevitably draws comparisons with the Xiaomi 10400 mAh power bank, which has a Texas Instruments chipset which claims efficiency in excess of 90%. The boost converter on this Power bank is an obscure chip, marked 9926 SI408, which yields no results on an online search. Since this is the component that ultimately decides the efficiency of power conversion from the 3.7V Li-ion cells to the 5V for the USB, finding more about it might give exact efficiency figures.
The cells are all in parallel, and they’re not balance-charged, although this is a moot point, since I don’t think any power bank offers balanced charging, let alone a power bank at the extreme bottom end of the budget spectrum.
7. Performance-As stated, I haven’t got time to check the performance yet, I’ll update this post when I do so, although other dimers have claimed 8000mAH available, in line with the FX 608 PCBA’s claim of 80-85% efficiency.
PERFORMANCE ISSUE UPDATE:
Old Nokia chargers (non-USB 3.5mm pin and 2mm pin types) apparently have weird charging characteristics not met by USB chargers. Users have faced issued with USB charging before: http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/...
I tried two Nokia phones with this charger, one (Asha 210) charged for a few minutes and then said “Charger not supported”, the other (1203) said “Not charging” as soon as I plugged it in. This makes the Nokia pin adapter nearly useless (I’d like to hear if anyone has had any success charging a Nokia-pin phone with USB)
Misc (just nitpicking a few fine points, these shouldn’t affect buying decisions):
1) The power bank has a peony little LED set in a reflector which the company advertises as an ultra-bright torch, it’s more of an indicator and last-ditch torch for emergencies.
The LED appears less bright in the picture than it actually is, but it’s nowhere as bright as any LED torch in the market today.
2) Since the USB ports are soldered to the underside of the PCB, they are ulta with respect to the power bank. This takes a bit of getting used to, I always end up trying to plug in the connector right side up and then getting confused for a second as it gets obstructed, before turning it over. But this isn’t a problem in any other sense, just a design peculiarity.
3) All capacitors are SMD components, I’d have preferred to see a few beefy solid state caps smoothening the output ripple, although none of the users have reported any side-effects of the output ripple.
4) The display has just 2 digits, so full charge is displayed as 99%, not 100%
Preliminary Verdict (compared to the Xiaomi power bank):
1) The Ambrane P1000 has identical cells as the Xiaomi and better build quality than I expected (It’s rock solid even after I took it apart and closed it again, a feature lacking in several Chinese products)
2) Two USB ports, compared to Xiaomi’s single port
3) It’s an absolute steal at the current price with 50% or even 40% discount
1) It’s probably marginally less efficient than the Xiaomi 10400 mAh power bank.
2) Does not charge devices while it’s charging itself
3) Charges (itself) half as fast as the Xiaomi power bank
4) Does not charge non-USB Nokia Phones although the adapter pin is included
If anyone needs more pics, let me know, I’ll upload them.