Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Solice provided the product in this review.
Interested in using this power bank with a USB-C device other than the Switch? Check out my general review at USB-Current.
Solice 20000 Type-C – A large capacity, low output budget power bank
- Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2, micro-USB
- USB-C Output:
- 18W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A*, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
- 18W Quick Charge 3.0
- USB-A Output (Orange Port)
- 18W Quick Charge 3.0
- 12W USB
- Apple 2.4A
- USB-A Output (Black Port)
- 15W USB
- USB-C Input:
- 18W USB-C PD (5V/1.5A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
- micro-USB Input:
- 18W Quick Charge 3.0
- Capacity: 20,000mAh | 74Wh
- Size: 6.5 x 3.2 x 1 inches | 165 x 80 x 24 mm
- Weight: 15.6 oz | 442 grams
Switch Chargers Ratings:
Times based on 3 hours per full Switch charge.
Included In Box:
- Solice 20000 Type-C
- micro-USB cable, 12 inches
- Fast charging:
- iPhone 8/X
- USB-C PD Android phones
- Quick Charge Android phones
- iPad Pro (pre-2018)
- Nintendo Switch (handheld)
- Charges Switch while you play
- Fits in most Switch carrying cases
- Built-in flashlight
- Supports pass through charging
- Charge two devices at once, but won’t fast charge
- Within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights
- Can’t be recharged by Nintendo Switch AC Adapter
- Large for its capacity
- Doesn’t included a USB-C to USB-C cable
- Doesn’t included the USB-C to USB-A cable shown in the listing pictures
The Solice 20000 Type-C comes across as the generic version of a power bank. It does what other 18W USB-C PD and Quick Charge power banks do. And at a significantly lower price. But the packaging is blank. The user manual has no useful information (specs, support, warranty). And the power bank itself is plain. Except for the charge indicator. It is four LEDs like more power banks. But they form a circle around the power button. As you use up 25% a quarter of the circle disappears. Solice did tell me they are working on a design for the box. And to be fair most of us toss the box and user manual after a few days. If you don’t like logos on your products then this one will make you happy. The built-in flashlight could be handy in some cases. You turn it on by pressing and holding the power button. The power bank is also oversized for its capacity, similar to RAVPower models.
Power Meter Readings
The Nintendo Switch charges at the expected rate with a 12V charger. Chargers which offer 12V but not 15V will under perform with the Switch. It under draws power, maxing out below the 18W a 9V or 15V charger provides. The issue is with the Switch, not the charger. Please note 12W is still more than enough to charge the Switch in handheld mode while you play. Learn more about charging the Switch.
The PD protocol negotiation with the Switch is typical. It connects at 5V and moved up to 12V after negotiations. Current steps up once the 12V connection is made.
The iPhone 8 fast charges when using a USB-C to Lightning cable. The Quick Charge port (orange USB-A) also supports Apple 2.4A. That is an older fast charging standard that still works with newer iPhones. It charges near the same rate if the iPhone is 30% or more charged. Learn more about fast charging iPhones.
The Moto G6 fast charges using the Quick Charge port (orange USB-A). This will be the same for Samsung and Quick Charge enabled Android phones. If connected to the USB-C port it’ll charge ~50% slower. The Google Pixel and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery will fast charge on the USB-C port. Learn more about fast charging various Android phones.
Compared With Similar Power Banks
|Charger||Solice 20000 Type-C||AUKEY PB-Y14 20000 USB-C|
|AUKEY PB-Y23 20000 Universal||RAVPower Turbo 20100|
|Switch Speed Rating||Good||Fair||Good||Fair|
|Switch Safety Rating||Safe||Safe||Safe||Safe|
Pass through charging
|Pass Through Charging||Pass Through Charging|
Quick Charge 3.0
|Cable||No cable||No cable||No cable||No cable|
|Dimensions||6.5 x 3.2 x 1 in|
|7.9 x 3.8 x 0.6 in|
|7 x 2.7 x 1 in|
|6.8 x 3.2 x 0.9 in|
Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-06-25.
Different Power Profiles for Different Connections
*Solice lists the USB-C output as being 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A. But my Power Delivery sniffer identified it as 5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A. I’ve run into this before. The 5V/3A is supported for regular USB-C connections. But under Power Delivery connections it is only 5V/2A.
For most use cases of this power bank it isn’t a problem. USB PD phones will charge at 9V. Other Android phones will use Quick Charge. Or limit themselves to 5V/2A already over USB-C. The Nintendo Switch and larger devices will default to 12V. And regular USB-C devices still have access to 5V/3A. I’m not aware of any USB PD device which only charges at 5V.
Fast Charging Standards Over USB-C & USB-IF Specifications
The Solice’s USB-C port supports both USB Power Delivery and Quick Charge 3.0. The presence of Quick Charge 3.0 on the USB-C connection is against USB-IF specifications.
USB-C includes communication lines, along with power and data lines. The comm lines allow power negotiation without disrupting data transfers. USB Power Delivery uses these comm lines. As does Quick Charge 4+. But fast charging standards which pre-date USB-C do not. Instead they manipulate the data lines to negotiate power. That go against USB-C specifications, as it disrupts data transfers. But one doesn’t use data transfers with a dedicated charger.
In 2016, some USB-C chargers started offering Quick Charge 3.0. A few USB-C focused engineers warned against this practice and cited USB-IF specifications. But the predicted consequences were vague. As it turned out, nothing bad happened. Since then many chargers have operated this way, against specs. But there have been no reports of real world issues.
I have also not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But you should be aware of all the information before buying.
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 well and has no known issues.
Pass Through Charging
Pass through charging allows a power bank to both recharge and charge a connected device. Some of the energy flows from the wall output, through the power bank, to the device. The remaining energy recharges the power bank itself.
The Solice power bank supports pass through charging a couple of ways:
- Input: USB-C, Output: USB-A
- Input: micro-USB, Output: USB-C or USB-A
Under all conditions both input and output drops to 5V when using pass through charging. This means no fast charging standards will be available. To reset the power bank for fast charging you’ll need to disconnect both the power source and connected devices.
With USB-C as the input the Quick Charge port (orange USB-A) offered almost 2A to the Mogo G6. The regular USB port offered about half that.
With micro-USB as the input the USB-C port offered up to 1.6A to the Moto G6. Both USB-A ports had far less output, though the QC port offered more than the regular port.
Pass through charging is useful for overnight stays with limited wall chargers. It is not recommended to do so on a regular basis. It puts more heat and stress on the power bank, which can affect its lifespan. Doing it when traveling is fine. But don’t set this up next to your bed at home every night.
The Solice 20000 Type-C is a low cost power bank with a lot of capacity. Great for fast charging various model phones several times. Luckily the Nintendo Switch uses the same power profile range in handheld mode. But with the low cost come some compromises. It is large and heavy for its capacity, more so than its peers. Its output limits it to smaller devices. And Solice doesn’t have the same support structure of larger brands.
For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode while you play. But not as fast as some other USB-C PD chargers. And not enough to power a docked Switch.
Its 18W USB-C PD will fast charge Power Delivery supporting phones and small tablets. The 2018 iPad Pro will charge as well as with its own charger, but it can charge faster with a 45W power bank.
Quick Charge 3.0 is available on both the USB-C port and one of the USB-A ports. Quick Charge over USB-C is against USB-C standards, but isn’t know to actually be a problem. Read the detailed section above for more. Over USB-C Samsung and QC supporting Android phones should fast charge. Over USB-A those same phones, plus Motorola models, will fast charge. Either way you’ll need to provide the cable.
You can use all three USB ports at once. But you can only fast charge with a single device connected. Connecting a second device resets the circuit. All connections drop to 5V with at most 2A current. The Nintendo Switch went from 13W to 7.5W. If your Switch is at 100% that’s enough to keep it topped off while you play and charge your phone. But if you need to fast charge keep it to one device at a time.
The Solice 20000 Type-C is a low cost, high capacity power bank. It’ll charge the Switch while you play, and provide more playtime than smaller 18W models. But it is still bigger and heavier than necessary. And doesn’t have the refinements found on more expensive brands.Buy on Amazon
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