by Krista Nore
Power banks are usually pretty bland-looking, by design. So what happens when a power bank tries to be fashionable?
When I was offered the Tegic 30 for review, the subject line of the email was, "make your power bank a bit more...sexy". With a concept like that, how could I not be intrigued? It sounds like a silly idea initially, until you realize the popularity of "every day carry" or EDC videos on the internet that consist of influencers flaunting cool-looking, flashy tech that immediately grabs viewers' attention and makes them want it purely because it looks awesome.
Things like the Tegic Block 30 are designed to have function, but to also serve as an accessory; and when you pull this out of your purse or backpack, it'll certainly turn heads.
As we all learned well in the '90s and '00s, being able to see through the shell of your device to the electronic innards within is cool, no question. Which is probably why the Tegic Block 01 and Block 30 both look retro and futuristic at the same time. The Block 01 is all sharp angles and silver tones.
From far away, it almost looks like a cassette player, thanks to the glass window at the top of the power bank, which lets you see inside the device, replete with lights, chips, and other techy-looking things that make it run. Seeing that circuitry definitely has a fun factor to it, which is why the Tegic Block chargers pull off that goal of making something that looks far more awesome than a regular, plastic power bank.
It also helps that they're both made of quite nice materials. The Block 01 is made from a mostly matte, rubbery textured material, with a slight bit of shiny metal and glass at the top to contrast against it. The two-tone grey and silver colors look great together, and it's got a nice heft to it--it feels like something premium, without being too weighty to carry around. On the back of the charger is a built-in Lightning or USB-C cable (depending on which version you buy) that slots into the Block 01 and hides away when not in use. The cable is about an inch long, which seems awkward, until you realize it's the perfect length for charging your phone in your pocket, without any excess cable getting in your way. When it comes to charging Apple phones, it offers Quick Charging 3.0, which was able to power my iPhone X from 0% to 50% in about 20 minutes or so. For Android, it supports PD 3.0 as well, which means it'll support the Super Fast Charging standard that certain Samsung phones make use of, however, it does not support the dorkily named Super Fast Charging 2.0 function (this charger maxes out at 30W--SFC2.0 requires 45W). Regardless of model, you also get a USB-C port to charge the bank itself with, or as a second output for when you need to charge two devices at once.
The Block 30 has the same specs, but it comes in a different design--the front is all metal, while the back only has the slightest of matte texture, so that it doesn't slip and slide around on flat surfaces. Sporting rounded edges and a thinner profile, it's also much easier and more comfortable to hold in your hands. Rather than just offer USB-C, the Block 30 also has a traditional USB-A port, though it does lack a built-in cable like the Block 01 does. When charging a device, the lights on the inside of the glass window will light up to tell you how much capacity the battery has left. If there's nothing plugged in, they'll automatically turn off to preserve a charge. As far as the charge capacity goes, both power bricks come at 10,000mAh, which is fairly small by most standards these days. I can't help but be disappointed by the capacity offered--clearly the price of the Tegic is reflected in the materials and eco-friendly packaging they utilize producing them, and if you're certainly paying for appearances rather than function, but there's something unsatisfying about being able to grab a run-of-the-mill power bank that's the same size, triple the capacity, and 1/3rd the cost. Perhaps if they'd opted for 20,000mAh instead, it wouldn't have been as much of a glaring problem.
The best way to determine whether or not Tegic's line of "sexy" power banks is for you is to ask yourself if you enjoy well-made high-end feeling products that give you a sort of cool flair when pulling them out and using them. If you don't really care about the look of your accessories and any plastic power brick that works will suit your needs, then the $69 dollar Tegic Block 30 isn't something for you; but that doesn't mean it's bad. Setting out to do exactly what they wanted, Tegic has created a great, er, "sexy", power bank, perfect for all those high-rollers out there.
The only limit is your wallet...and the power bank's battery capacity.