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With quirky look and massive battery, this portable power bank keeps all your gear charged up

The unique-looking Shargeek Portable Charger and its huge bank of batteries could be just what you need to keep your devices running through the next power outage.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Shargeek Storm 2 and USB C power cable.

The Shargeek Storm 2 comes with power bank and a cable -- and that's all you need.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I've had the unfortunate experience of living without power for extended periods. The last time was a massive ice storm that knocked out power, citywide, for over a week. During that period, I had to get very creative in keeping various devices charged. It wasn't easy, but thanks to a generator and some clever retail therapy, I managed.

Back then, I didn't have access to power banks that are now on the market. Go to Amazon and you can doom scroll through the listing of available powerbanks

Also: The best power banks for recharging your devices

Within that list, you'll find the Shargeek Portable Charger, which claims to be the first "see-through battery pack with an IPS screen." And it is just that. The case is (for the most part) made of clear plastic, and there is a (very tiny) screen that allows you to view all sorts of stats about the power bank.

View at Amazon

Those interesting features aside, the single most important thing about a power bank is its ability to charge devices. I put the Storm 2 through the paces to see how well it would stand up -- and I came away impressed. 

The Shargeek Storm 2 has already made ZDNET's list of best battery banks for 2023, so you might want to read that before continuing on (as this will be all about my experience with the charger).

The specs

As far as specs are concerned, the most important one you should know about is this: The Shargeek Storm 2 has a massive bank of batteries that total 25600mAh of power. Beyond that, it includes:

  • IPS Screen to help visualize battery life, output distribution, running temperature, and DC voltage adjustment
  • 100W PD Fast Charging via the USB C port
  • Universal compatibility with 2 USB C ports, 1 USB B port, and one adjustable DC port

The Shargeek Storm 2 includes the power bank and a USB C cable. That's it. But that's really all you need. Although the price might seem steep (at $229 on Amazon), the amount of charge you get with the device is worth it (especially if you're concerned about losing power when inclement weather arrives).

My experience with the Storm 2

The first thing you must understand is that you can only charge the Storm 2 either with the DC input or the vertical USB C port on the left side of the port panel.

The port panel of the Storm 2 power bank.

Make sure to use the USB C port on the left side to charge the power bank.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

You'll know it's charging when you see a number displayed by the IN square on the LCD panel. If you plug the USB C cord into the right side port, you'll see nothing registered coming in. 

The good news is that you also can charge devices with either the left or right side port.

But what about charging devices with the Storm 2? How did that work out? My test involved two different devices: A Pixel Pro 7 and an Android tablet

For my test, I let the phone run down to single-digit battery percentage and the tablet to zero. I then fully charged the devices (one at a time) and let them completely run down again. I was able to do this five times with the phone and three times with the tablet. That's not exactly up to the claims the Storm 2 makes, but there is a caveat to my testing. 

Also: The best MagSafe battery packs you can buy (including for iPhone 15)

On two occasions I left the phone and tablet plugged in overnight to see if the Storm 2 could automatically sense the devices were fully charged and shut down. My experience indicates that this is not the case.

To verify that, I reset my test and only charged the devices when I could monitor the charging and unplug the device as soon as it was fully charged. This method bore fruit and the Storm 2 lived up to its claims of up to seven charges for a phone. I was also able to get five full charges for the tablet.

The caveat

The only nit I have to pick with the Storm 2 is that the LCD screen is very small. In fact, the screen is so small that my aging eyes found it impossible to read. To find out how much percentage of charge the device had remaining, I had to use my phone's camera app and zoom in. Otherwise, those tiny numbers were just a blur.

The Storm 2 display planel.

It takes some serious zooming for these aging eyes to see what's on the display.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

If you have younger eyes, you might not have a problem seeing the readouts on the screen. But even with my glasses on, those itty bitty numbers might as well not even be there.

Also: This $10 gadget is my favorite repair tool of all time

ZDNET's buying advice

That's pretty impressive for a device measuring 1.81 x 2.32 x 5.94 inches and weighing 1.25 pounds. Granted, the Storm 2 isn't going to outperform something like the FJDynamics Pony 500, but if you need something smaller (and a lot cheaper), the Storm 2 might be the ideal power bank to have on hand for when the weather threatens to take out your power.

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