Portable jump starters have been becoming more and more popular mainly because they have the ability to jump start your car while also being capable of charging your mobile devices. The more portable a model is the better it is for you as a consumer since you will be able to carry it around easier at trips and use it as a giant portable battery. The DBpower 500A 12000mAh model of this year has all the bells and whistles of a high-end tool which can do practically anything. Whether all those features are actually useful or just a gimmicky selling point, you will find out in this review.
The unique feature of this model and its biggest advertisement point is that it is super slim compared to other portable jump starters which weigh close to 20 pounds. What’s better is that this model has USB ports and supports quick charging for your smartphone. In fact, we spent so much time tinkering with this cool gadget that, at a point, we forgot it was an actual car jump starter and has the capability of reviving your dead battery when you get stranded on the road.
Our Verdict: We recommend this portable jump starter to anyone who is interested in having a tool that can basically do it all. It is ideal for people who go camping a lot and need both a jump starter in case of emergencies and a portable battery for their mobile devices. The compass, LED flashlight, and the rest of the extra features are just an icing on the cake.
Features That Make It Stand Out
If you live in a part of the country that has harsh winters and you drive in snowy or icy conditions then you need to be prepared at all times. While it can take this device a few minutes to warm up in dangerously cold temperatures, it’s definitely the jump starter you want on hand if you’re in need of a jump fast.
One of this model’s biggest selling points is its compact, lightweight design. Allowing you to bring it along on a hiking or camping trip, or take it on the road whether you’re on a motorcycle or driving a truck, car, or SUV.
This multi-functional jump starter has a wide variety of features you can take advantage of when you’re on the road, but First, let’s start off by discussing the build of this portable battery…
Build Quality And Materials
Everything here is tightly shut and built nicely. There are two buttons:
- Power button
Every other hole in the body is either a port or a place to plug in the jump starter cables. On top of the unit there is a small compass which works surprisingly well and doesn’t get stuck like they do in cheaper models. Next to it lies the LCD screen which indicates various metrics such as the charge left, the input and output electric current, and more.
On one of the sides there is an LED flashlight which is super bright and thanks to the LED technology doesn’t take a huge toll on the battery.
Despite the sturdy construction, we found that this isn’t exactly a shock-proof model and while it can withstand a mild bump, don’t drop it on hard surfaces, trust us. As far as water sealing goes, it’s safe to say that it isn’t waterproof, although there is a wet proofing thing going on which keeps moisture out.
It handles colder climates well, as it can go down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 140 degrees. For mild climates this is safe to keep in your trunk. It also keeps its charge relatively well over time but if temperatures get either too hot or too cold, consider recharging it once per month just in case.
Dimensions-wise it doesn’t get any smaller than this. It is as big as a small bottle of water and weighs a little more than a pound.
When it comes to jump starting your car with it, make sure you give this little thing a break every time you crank the engine and fail but more on that later!
Compared to the STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter this model doesn’t have a lot of potential in it. It starts with a 250 amps current and peaks at around 500. Mind you, there are around 12 advertised charges for jump starting your car but don’t bet on more than 10, especially if you have a bigger engine. Speaking of engines, you won’t be able to crank anything above a 3L petrol or 2.5L diesel engine. Some common rail, 6 cylinder BMW diesel engines won’t be able to suck the needed electricity to turn the engine on from this little guy.
In terms of charging devices there is plenty of juice here. Twelve thousand mAh is more than you think. This is more than 4 full iPhone X charges and 3 full Samsung Note 9 charges. If you use the quick charge option you won’t be able to get more than 10000mAh out of it but you will get full batteries in less than an hour (especially if you are using an Android phone).
Tables and laptops can also be charged with this jump starter but it will most likely gulp every last drop of energy in it.
Learn more about portable jump starters on our Buyer’s Guide.
Ports And Other Features
In terms of ports there are 2 USB ports, one with smart charging feature and one regular. Also, one 15V/1A DC input port, as well as a 12V/250A jumping port.
The cables you get here are super short but are premium in terms of materials. They have high quality copper clamps and intelligent protection device. This device is as far as protection goes on this battery jump starter.
Jumping a battery with this DBPower jump starter can be tricky at times and will ultimately depend on a number of factors including engine size, weather conditions, and whether or not your battery is completely dead. Because of this, you’ll need to pay close attention to the operating instructions found in the user’s manual. The manufacturer discusses what type of performance you can expect in colder weather conditions or based on starter power and how long this model will need to warm up.
Overall, this jump starter can be the perfect choice if you spend plenty of time on the road. If you travel often, larger, heavier jump starters can take up too much trunk space and can be too bulky and heavy to carry. If you’re looking for a small compact jump starter for travel, especially if you ride a motorcycle, then this model may be right up your alley.
The included USB ports and power adapters will definitely come in handy if you’re travelling.
Like other jump starters, it’s designed with convenience in mind.
If you’re tired of being out on the road with a dead phone, or other type of mobile device, then this jump starter can be a total lifesaver.
It’s perfect for emergencies or when you plan on spending a lot of time on the road since it will not only jump start your battery but also works to charge essential electronic devices.
It can also be a great tool to take along if you plan on doing a little hiking in the back country and you want to keep mobile devices and other types of sensitive electronics fully charged. The built-in flashlight will also come in handy when you’re spending time out in the back country or on the road.
- Super light and portable
- Can charge mobile devices and jump start your car multiple times
- Has a hard case that comes with it
- Comes with a lot of extra jacks for universal connectivity
- Comes with a car charger
- Has good peak amps for such a small model.
- Has a compass, display, and an LED flashlight
- Cannot crank big engines
- You have to wait minutes between each cranking