Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
Removing the plastic shrink wrap, the cheero Ingress Power Cube shows off its octagonal shape. The top part of the power pack is completely glossy, but unlike what we have seen in the past, it actually takes some effort to see fingerprints. While you will see deep smears, most prints are quite hard to spot under regular lighting. You will have to really inspect the device to see your oily digit marks. This is also because the glossy part is also translucent, as it hides some internal lighting as you will see later on. The top is clutter free without much branding, as only the word "INGRESS" is printed in tiny font in the corner. The rest of the device is plastic in build. The back has the Ingress logo and words engraved, as well as some more printed on words for specifications and power rating. As for looks overall, the Ingress keeps a sleek design, despite being a relatively large portable charger. Without the cheero Ingress Power Cube turned on, it is quite plain and minimalist. In terms of build quality, the Ingress Power Cube feels quite sturdy, but this is probably due to its weight. Tipping the scales at around 270 grams, this power bank is hefty. Measuring in at 156.5 x 72 x 19 mm (L x W x H), it is also quite large. For comparison's sake, it is between an iPhone 6S Plus and a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in terms of length. However, its relative slimmer width makes the Ingress easy to carry in one hand. The ability to throw it into your pocket will vary based on the size and fitting of your pants.
As for buttons, there are two on the left side of the device, but it might be hard to see in the photo above. At the top there is a circular button, and this controls the backlighting options while the device is in operation, but again I will address this in just a short moment. A rectangular button is located underneath, and this turns the cheero Ingress Power Cube on and off.
Near the bottom of the cheero Ingress Power Cube are three input and output ports. From left to right, there are two full sized USB 2.0 ports. One is listed as 1A output, while the next is listed as 2.1A output. As you might have already guessed, this specifies the maximum current output from each port. Both of the ports follow the standard USB output of 5V. Seeing two ports is great for several reasons. For one, this means the cheero Ingress Power Cube is capable of charging multiple devices at the same time. Secondly, it also means it can handle higher current draws from larger devices such as tablets. Unfortunately, there is no support for Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology. The battery inside is a massive 12000mAh lithium ion battery. This means the cheero Ingress should have no issues charging your phone, or even your tablet, multiple times. Finally, there is a micro USB 2.0 port to charge the Ingress itself. According to cheero, the Ingress Power Cube should also be capable of being cycled 500 times, which is standard for most cells. In addition, they state the Ingress Power Cube will charge from zero to full in around ten hours, assuming you use a 2A USB charger. There are also several protection features with the Ingress Power Cube, including protection from overcharging, over-discharging, short circuiting, and overheating.
While other power banks may be designed with purely functional motives, the cheero Ingress Power Cube brings some nice aesthetics to the table too. As mentioned before, this product is produced as an officially licensed product of Ingress, thus some design choices are borrowed from the video game. Powering on the device will let you see the true colors of the Ingress Power Cube. Six LEDs are located in the middle, lighting up the Ingress logo. Pressing the circular button, as mentioned prior, changes the lighting modes. It cycles through different colors for the logo, to make it either all green, all blue, or a mix of green, blue, and white. Holding the circular button down turns on six more LEDs, which are around the rest of the block. These twelve lights operate in a semi-random breathing mode, with different lights pulsing on and off, to make for some pretty neat effects. In addition, there are four white LEDs located right by the Ingress marking on the front to indicate the power level of the device. It is nice to see this as it is helpful for giving users feedback about the internal battery of the Ingress, whether it is charging up, or used for charging other devices.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Test Results