Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 Review

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000
Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 – A pocket sized USB-C PD and Quick Charge power bank

Summary

The NOVOO PowerCube Mini 5000 is a pocket sized USB-C PD and Quick Charge power bank. Fast charges most phones. But has limited capacity for larger model phones and other devices.

Overall
4.3
  • Performance
    (4)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4)
  • Recharge Time
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, and Motorola phones
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Fits in your pocket
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-A cable for Quick Charge devices
  • Charge two devices at once, but at reduced charge speed
  • Within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights

Cons

  • Limited capacity for larger phones and tablets
  • Can’t use USB-C PD and Quick Charge at the same time
  • Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C is against USB-C specs
  • Can’t be recharged by Nintendo Switch AC Adapter
  • Doesn’t included a USB-C cable

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Omars provided the product in this review.

Model: NVPB05KBGBLW
Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 ports and specs

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 ports and specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • USB-C Output:
    • 18W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A*, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • USB-A Output:
    • 10.5W USB (5V/2.1A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 12W USB-C PD (5V/2.1A, 9V/1.4A, 12V/1A)
  • Capacity: 5,000mAh | 18.5Wh
  • Size: 3 x 1.4 x 1.1 inches | 76 x 35 x 27 mm
  • Weight: 3.5 oz | 101 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 box and contents

Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 box and contents

Included In Box:
  • Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000
  • USB-C to USB-A cable, 12 inches (56k Ohm resistor)
Good For:
  • Commute
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
  • iPad Pro (pre-2018)
Estimated Number of Charges:
  • iPhone 6/7/8: 1.5 charge
  • iPhone Plus/X/XR: 1 charge
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9: 1 charge
  • Samsung Galaxy S10: Less than 1 charge
  • Nintendo Switch: 1.5+ hours of play

First Impression

The Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 is a legit pocket sized USB-C PD power bank. Its form factor is like “lipstick” sized power banks, but square instead of round. It is larger and heavier than other mini power banks. But those don’t support USB-C Power Delivery and are usually less than 5,000mAh. The Novoo approach is a good compromise between old, small design and new tech.

 

Compared With Similar Power Banks

ChargerNovoo PowerCube Mini 5000Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Review
AUKEY PB-Y13 10000 USB-C

Review
Xcentz xWingMan Dual 5000

Review
Price$15.68$45.99$29.99$19.99
PortsUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-A x2, micro-USBUSB-C, USB-A
Output18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
Capacity5,000mAh10,000mAh10,000mAh5,000mAh
FeaturesPocket SizedPass Through ChargingPocket Sized
CableUSB-C to USB-A cableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableUSB-C to USB-A cable
Dimensions3 x 1.4 x 1.1 inches
3.5 oz
4.5 x 2 x 1 inches
6.8 oz
5.8 x 2.9 x 0.4 in
6.9 oz
3 x 1.4 x 1.1 inches
3.5 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-09-18.

 

You can see more USB-C power banks here.

Device Testing

Check with your device’s manufacturer to verify which charging standards it supports.

USB Power Delivery & Quick Charge 4+ Phones

  • Apple iPhone 8/X/XR/XS
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ/V30
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9
  • ZTE Axon Pro 9/10

 

Using an iPhone 8 for testing we find USB PD phones will fast charge over the USB-C port. iPhones will need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable, not included. And Android phones will need a USB-C to USB-C cable, also not included.

For iPhones the USB-A port supports Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge using USB-A. Newer iPhones will charge ~15 minutes faster using USB-C.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

  • HTC
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Sony
  • Xiaomi Mi 5/6
  • ZTE

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we see Quick Charge will fast charge over the USB-A port. Any QC supporting Android phone with USB-C can use the included USB-C to USB-A cable.

Quick Charge is also offered on the USB-C port. But the Moto only does normal charging. This is typical of Motorola phones when QC is offered over USB-C. Samsung Galaxy, LG, and other QC supporting Android phones would be expected to fast charge.

Nintendo Switch

 

The Nintendo Switch charges at the expected rate with a 12V charger. It’ll draw up to 12W, shy of its 18W max draw. This is due to a shortcoming with the Switch itself. But it is more than enough to charge while you play.. Learn more about charging the Switch.

Limited Capacity

A 5,000mAh portable charger is easier to carry, as it holds fewer lithium cells. It could fit in a men’s jeans front pocket (little tight) or a small purse. But limited capacity also has trade offs.

In my capacity testing the PowerCube Mini 5000 recharged a sleeping Nintendo Switch up to 62%. That is less than 2 hours of playtime with Zelda or Mario. It was enough to recharge an iPhone 8 once. But larger phones, including most new Samsung models, won’t get a full, 100% charge out of it.

It won’t support two phones well, so each person would need to carry their own. If you share a similar spec 10,000mAh power bank it’ll cost less than two 5,000mAh models. And the total weight is less, too.

If battery life comes up shy during your commute or daily routine this power bank can get you over the hump. You’ll hardly notice it in your bag. And you can recharge it with any USB-A power source (or most USB-C chargers) at home or work. But don’t rely on it for more than day. Or for keeping several devices up and running.

Quick Charge 3.0 Over USB-C

The presence of Quick Charge and other fast charging standards over USB-C is against USB-C specifications. Such chargers have been around for years without issue. But we don’t know what the future holds.

Under section 4.8.2 of USB-C specifications a proprietary charging method cannot change the voltage of USB-C output (between 4.40V and 5.25V) in a manner not defined by USB methods. Quick Charge operates at higher than default voltages. And so goes against the specifications. USB Power Delivery is an open source charging method. Created alongside USB-C, it is with specs even though it also increases voltage. The big difference is USB PD uses communication lines to negotiate power transfer. While proprietary methods take over the data lines for their negotiation. They do so because legacy USB connections, such as USB-A, don’t have comm lines.

There is no known risk with running proprietary charging standards over USB-C. Manipulating the data lines does disrupt data transfers. But when plugging into a wall charger or power bank there is no data transfer anyway. A few USB-C engineers warn against using any USB-C chargers with third party standards. Their concern is unforeseen consequences. Future technology may prove to be incompatible with such configurations. And pulling out a charger several years from now with a new device could have a bad result.

I have not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But as it is a spec violation I want you to be informed. If you’re a stickler for meeting USB-C specifications this isn’t a good charger for you. If you’re more pragmatic it works fine and has no known issues.

Summary

The Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 offers fast charging in a pocket sized portable charger. Aimed at those who want to travel light, but also want to charge in a hurry.

For most iPhone and Android phones it’ll provide a fast charge. Including Huawei models. Smaller phones can get a full recharge out of it. But larger phones will have to settle for up to 80% of their battery’s capacity.

With the 12V power profile it is slower charging the Nintendo Switch than other USB-C PD chargers. But still enough to charge the Switch with the most demanding games. It is smaller than I would usual recommend for a Switch charger. I only got ~60% charge (1.5-2 hours play time) out it. Treat it as a phone charger that can sometimes top off your Switch.

The PowerCube Mini’s own input specs are disappointing. It recharges via USB-C, but only up to 12W. So it takes longer to charge it than it does to use it. On the bright side 5,000mAh doesn’t take long to recharge. And you can use an older USB-A wall charger without much performance loss.

*I did find a discrepancy between the published specs and my testing. The USB-C output is listed as 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A. My USB Power Delivery PD sniffer reported 5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A. During testing I didn’t see more than 2A @ 5V, backing the PD sniffer’s report. Under Power Delivery (what my sniffer reads) it is limited to 5V/2A. But under regular USB-C the output is 5V/3A. Given how USB-C PD devices behave I wouldn’t expect a performance hit.

About Novoo

Novoo is a subsidiary brand under Omars. They have U.S. based support (web, email) and a 12 month warranty on both Omars and Novoo branded products.

Bottom Line

The Novoo PowerCube Mini 5000 is a rare pocket sized, portable fast charger. Best suited for topping off a phone during a busy day. But it can work with a small tablet or Nintendo Switch. Be mindful of its limited capacity. And expect it take a bit longer to recharge than it was to use it up.

If you like the design but want more playtime check out the Novoo PowerCube Mini 10000.

Buy if you:
  • Want a smaller power bank that still offers fast charging
  • Only need to get your phone through the day and evening
  • Don’t want to carry a bag just to carry a power bank
Don’t buy if you:
  • Need to keep two phones running while traveling
  • Are shopping mainly for your Nintendo Switch or tablet
  • Are uncomfortable with the USB-C spec violation
Buy on Amazon

 

You’ll want a USB-C wall charger to quickly recharge this USB-C power bank. I recommend the AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD. It’ll more than provide max input for the power bank. And with a small power bank you will likely want a small wall charger.

Be sure to check the Deals page to see if this or a similar charger is on sale.


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