Small high-capacity battery banks are becoming increasingly common but the Xcentz xWingMan 3, recently sent for review, is one charger that has plenty of features to set itself apart. At$39.99, it's also much more than reasonably-priced.
The xWingMan 3 is more than just affordable too. It delivers a wide variety of charging options, including trickle charging for smaller gadgets. While it's not quite powerful enough to fuel up a laptop or other large device, charging is fast enough for modern flagships or slow enough to safely power small gadgets.
The design of Xcentz xWingMan 3 may not be too outstanding and for those with smaller hands, it's going to feel unwieldy. It also doesn't pack in the LCD found on some power banks or even a more basic screen to showcase an exact percentage. But there's a lot to love about this portable power supply.
Xcentz xWingMan 3 comes in a stylish, comfortable package
Compared to some other 'small' battery banks, Xcentz xWingMan 3 is bigger but that's mostly due to its capacity. So it doesn't have a perfect in-hand feel like some battery banks. That's not helped by its shape, which is a bit boxier than expected. But that doesn't mean this isn't a great battery bank in terms of design and aesthetics.
Xcentz sent me two xWingMan 3 battery banks to review, one in white and one in a matte black. Both colorations have a modern look with slightly beveled edges and ridges on the front and back flat segments. Branding consists of an oversized "X" molded into the ridges on one side. On that same side, there are four blue-white LEDs that take a slanted dash shape rather than dots or straight lines.
The bottom and top edge, where ports, and conversely specifications and certifications, are found, represent the only 'flat' parts of the design. The white design, in particular, looks modern and sleek. In-hand, the design feels slightly bulky but almost rugged.
Now, it's safe to say that this design is not at all rugged. Xcentz didn't design its 4.2-inch by 2.9-inch by 1.1-inch thick brick to better withstand abuse than any other portable charger. The ridges on the front and back don't seem to make the smooth plastic any more grippy. In fact, I almost dropped the gadget on more than one occasion.
Regardless, the design isn't uncomfortable to hold at all either.
There's also a clear break in the mold running down the left and right-hand edges. So it's not aesthetically perfect and that's likely where any break would happen if one occurred. Especially if this were dropped too hard, one too many times.
But the button used to light up the Xcentz xWingMan 3 did feel solid in my review, clicking through satisfactorily each time it was pressed. Better still, while they don't have any click to them, each of the ports fits very snugly with the included cables or aftermarket cables. So the most important aspect of this charger, its ports, seems to be well-made. Xcentz obviously designed the battery bank so that it's going to be long-lasting.
Capacity is way up there despite xWingMan 3's size
The 54.5Wh 3.63V Xcentz xWingMan 3 comes in with a capacity of 15,000mAh and, as shown in this review, that's a great characteristic to have. The capacity accounts for its larger-than-average size. But the capacity is also well above average and hints at this battery bank's key selling point.
Namely, this charger is going to supply a larger number of fill-ups than most others in its size category.
Overall, I was able to charge up a smartphone just a little over three times with the Xcentz WingMan 3. Specifically, that was a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ with a 4,300mAh battery around two-and-a-half times and a Samsung Galaxy S9 with a 3,000mAh battery once. That's fairly impressive since I drained those devices' batteries to well under 15-percent in each instance before charging.
As we'll discuss momentarily, that wasn't slow charging either. For now, the other important aspect is how quickly the xWingMan 3 battery bank itself charges up.
Only one of the three ports included on the xCentz xWingMan 3, the USB Type-C Power Delivery (PD) port, charges the device. Because it's a PD port, that charging happens faster than might be expected for a battery this size.
From completely drained, this 15,000mAh portable charging gadget fuels up in right around ten minutes over four hours with a PD-ready charging brick. That seems to be a steady four-hour and ten-minute charge though. So users aren't going to see the first 50-percent or so charge up more quickly than the latter half. That isn't necessarily a problem since, for its capacity, it charges up so rapidly.
The sole drawback to that capacity is that, even though this battery bank is somewhat smaller, it's still relatively heavy. The Xcentz xWingMan 3 tips the scales at around 292g or 10.2-ounces.
That makes it slightly heavier than Samsung's bulky new Galaxy S20 Ultra — by around 70g. So users should expect the weight to be significantly more than their smartphone, although that doesn't necessarily mean much in terms of comfort, portability, or usability.
This battery bank abandons the display in favor of charging options
Previous iterations of the xWingMan 3 power bank from Xcentz came equipped with a display readout, so it was a bit surprising that the review unit sent by the company didn't. Conversely, those previous versions also didn't ship with quite so many charging options. So there seems to have been some trade-off there and, ultimately, that's going to be worth it.
That's not only because the xWingMan 3 comes with three charging ports. This power bank also has a second charging mode for those ports. For powering up lower-charge-rate small devices such as Bluetooth headphones, Xcentz xWingMan 3 actually features a trickle charge mode.
Pressing the multifunction button for five seconds activates or deactivates that mode. The four blue-white LEDs will light up one after the other in succession to show that it's entered the mode. With trickle charging, the power delivery rate is lowered for devices that aren't designed to be charged up rapidly.
A single press on the button shows users the remaining percentage in 25-percent — or less — increments.
As to the charging ports themselves, there are three options to choose from. Xcentz includes two USB-A ports, one of which is standard while the other is a Quick Charge 3.0 port. The third port on the gadget is a PD-rated USB-C port used for both charging and powering up the xWingMan 3.
Those ports charge at up to 5V/3A or 5V/3A, 9V/2A, and 12V/1.5A respectively. Standard three-port simultaneous charging is rated at up to 5V/3.6A, allowing multiple devices to charge up fairly quickly without issue. In a nutshell, I was able to charge up the Galaxy-branded Samsung devices listed above with Qualcomm's fast-charging enabled with no issues using either the PD or QC ports. And each port is clearly marked.
Xcentz includes two cables in the box as well. Those are USB-A and USB-C cables. Both measure 11.8-inches. That meant that I didn't have to fold up and carry a full-sized charging cable at any time but could rely on the included cables for my charging needs. There's no power brick in the box for refueling the xWingMan 3 but any PD-rated charger should work here.
Is this battery bank really worth its cost?
In terms of the overall design, the Xcentz xWingMan 3 sent for review doesn't really stand out. It's an unassuming gadget with a nice but not outstanding aesthetic, available in either white or black. In-hand, the battery bank is about as slippery as plastic can be. And Xcentz didn't spend a lot of time on looks.
That doesn't mean this comparatively minuscule device is ugly though. It's ridges, branding, and slanted-line blue-white LEDs are different from the usual fare. It's beveled-round edges give it a nicer feel than might be predicted for a somewhat heavier-than-expected brick-shaped battery bank.
With that said, where this gadget really shines is where it really needs to.
The Xcentz xWingMan 3 power bank is a high-capacity battery at 15,000mAh, with charging ports that fit snugly without being obnoxious to use. It's LED indicators are accurate enough to be easily read, if not as convenient as a display showing the exact percentage. And charging options are hugely-diverse compared to other battery banks.
Trickle charging capabilities, for instance, are all but non-existent in the competition while rapid charging capabilities and capacity mean it will charge most devices at least three times as quickly as current technology safely allows. In that sense, the branding used here is perfectly suited to the device.
At just $39.99, Xcentz's xWingMan 3 is a near-perfect wingman for anybody who might need to charge up their smartphone or other small gadget while they're out and about.