CATrends

Published on February 27th, 2019

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CATrends: The mAh Ratings of Portable Chargers (aka Power Banks)

This article highlights a trend in class-action litigation as identified by our Class-Action Tracker. Thus the name of this feature, CATrends.

The idea, at least initially, was to have a relaxing vacation. Yet here you are hours into a hike and miles from the beach. But just as you’re about to throw yourself on the rainforest floor, you spot a group of spider monkeys high above in the canopy. It’s a picture-perfect moment, if only your phone battery hadn’t died two hours ago.

But if you had a portable charger, you might still be able to capture the moment before it passes — provided the charger itself has enough juice.

When it comes to portable chargers (aka power banks), the mAh rating is what you need to know. It tells you how long the charger can recharge a device (a phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) before the charger itself needs to be recharged. More mAh, more juice, generally.

But a recent trend in class-action litigation alleges that the mAh ratings of several portable chargers are greatly exaggerated.

“The most important factor for consumers in choosing a Power Bank is its capacity, which is measured in milliampere-hours, or ‘mAh,'” states a lawsuit against Inland Products, which plaintiffs allege advertises a mAh of 10,400 for its ProHT chargers when testing showed the actual mAh to be only 5,840.

“Consumers thus have a strong preference for, and pay more for, Power Banks with a higher mAh,” the suit continues. “Accordingly, for most Power Banks, the mAh rating is featured prominently in the product’s advertising.”

Other portable chargers currently facing class actions include:

Brand Advertised mAh

Actual mAh

(according to testing cited lawsuit)

Onn

2,200 1,916
Anker 5,200 3,285
myCharge 3,000 1,902
GETIHU 10,000 5,498

TINA.org reached out to all five brands for comment. Walmart, maker of Onn portable chargers, was the only one to respond, telling TINA.org that it takes the matter seriously and is “responding as appropriate with the court.”

Find more of our coverage on phones here.

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