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Crave Plus portable charger review: Craving faster speeds

The Crave Plus is well built, but a few head-scratching decisions keep it from greatness.
By
November 9, 2021
crave plus top down on chair charging moto pure
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Crave Plus

The Crave Plus portable charger feels built to last with its metal construction, and offers a reasonable array of proprietary charging standards. However, the reliance on a micro-USB port and lack of USB Power Delivery support hold it back.

Retail price: $49.99

$49.99 at Amazon

What we like

Solid metal construction
Wide array of proprietary charging support
Thin and good for travel

What we don't like

Slow to charge via USB-A
Heavy
No official Power Delivery support

Sometimes it feels like power bank manufacturers are in a race to craft the lightest and slimmest option out there. Crave seems to have found a possible solution with its Crave Plus portable charger, which comes in at just 10.16mm thick — but at what cost? The 10,000mAh capacity still has to fit somewhere, so let’s see how Crave handled the challenge. This is our Crave Plus portable charger review.

Related: The best 10,000mAh power banks you can buy

Crave Plus 10,000mAh portable charger
$49.99 at Amazon

What you need to know about the Crave Plus portable charger

The Crave Plus external battery on a white shelf
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Crave Plus (10,000mAh): $49.99
  • Crave Plus Pro (20,000mAh): $99.99

As noted above, the Crave Plus family of power banks covers just two models, and today we have the smaller, 10,000mAh option in our hands. This metal-bodied power bank packs a trio of ports along the bottom edge — a micro-USB for in/out, a USB-C for in/out, and a USB-A for output only. It claims peak output speeds of 18W from the USB-A port and 15W from the USB-C port, though our testing delivered slightly different results (as we’ll soon see).

The slim, metal body feels built to last, even if the micro-USB port is dated.

The Crave Plus sports a gray metal body for the bulk of its construction, with silver plastic ends. It features a small silver button and four white LEDs along one side to check the remaining charge. As we mentioned, the power bank is impressively thin at 10.16mm. It measures 157.48mm on the longest side and is 78.74mm wide. The Crave Plus also weighs in at 246.6g. Overall, it’s thin enough to shove in a backpack, but you’ll likely notice the weight in a pocket.

The packaging is on the simple side, with a tiny user manual and a USB-A to micro-USB cable in the box. One key point that the user manual clarifies is the 2.4A input limit, which means you’ll spend around seven hours recharging the power bank.

See also: The best USB-C cables

What’s good?

The Crave Plus leaning on its box
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Crave set out to build a slim, sturdy power bank, and overall it succeeded. At just 10mm thick, you should have no problem making space for the Crave Plus any time you’re on the go. It should also be able to take a few tumbles and scrapes with the metal construction. Even the plastic ends feel solid enough, though you should still do your best to protect the ports.

Despite the 15W USB-C rating, I achieved 18W speeds in line with USB Power Delivery.

I also found that the Crave Plus portable charger delivered beyond its advertised speeds — at least for the USB-C cable. It’s listed at up to 15W, yet I achieved 17W speeds on a Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 and 17.5W speeds on an iPhone 12 Pro. A Samsung Galaxy S21 topped out at 14.7W speeds with the USB-A port, thanks to Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge support.

All told, the Crave Plus supports a solid set of charging standards. It doesn’t mention USB Power Delivery, yet I achieved matching speeds on multiple devices. You can tap into Quick Charge 2 and 3 for older devices, and the Crave Plus packs Apple 2.4A and Huawei Fast Charge on top of Samsung’s AFC.

See also: Understanding different types of USB cables

What’s not so good?

The Crave Plus from the side showing charging ports
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Although the Crave Plus is nice and thin, it’s not the lightest power bank I’ve ever used. It feels heavier than the advertised 246g weight due to the metal design. Crave may have also made its external battery taller and wider to make up for the thickness — it’s about the same as a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Micro-USB and 2.4A input speeds make the Crave Plus feel somewhat dated in 2021.

Perhaps my biggest issue with the Crave Plus comes in the inclusion of micro-USB charging. Crave included a USB-A to micro-USB cable, clearly intending it as the way to recharge. However, the input speeds top out at 2.4A, and the Crave Plus advertises a recharging time of seven hours — far longer than many competitors. It would have been great to see a second USB-C port or even another USB-A option in place of the micro-USB.

Crave Plus External Battery TestSamsung Galaxy S21Apple iPhone 12 ProMicrosoft Surface Laptop 3
Crave Plus External Battery Test
USB-C port
Samsung Galaxy S21
4.96V
1.62A
8.0W
Standard: QC 3.0
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
8.94V
1.96A
17.5W
Standard: PD 2.0
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
12.00V
1.43A
17.16W
Standard: PD 2.0
Crave Plus External Battery Test
USB-A port
Samsung Galaxy S21
9.10V
1.43A
14.7W
Standard: Samsung AFC
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
5.11V
2.36A
12.1W
Standard: APPLE
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
N/A

Although the Crave Plus surpassed its USB-C rating, it doesn’t offer the best speeds. A Samsung Galaxy S21 achieved just 8W charging through the USB-C port. It would have been good to see official Power Delivery support, as newer Samsung flagship phones and the Google Pixel 6 series require USB PD PPS for top speeds.

Crave Plus portable charger review: Should I buy it?

The Crave Plus charging the Motorola Moto G Pure
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Those of you in the market for a thin power bank will be well served by the Crave Plus portable charger. It’s not easy to get much thinner than 10mm, even if it does come with a broader and taller body. The Crave Plus delivers reasonable charging speeds for non-Samsung devices with its decent array of charging standards, even if it doesn’t pack the latest Power Delivery options. Unfortunately, the use of micro-USB and incredibly slow charging hold back an otherwise well-built power bank.

See also: The best 10,000mAh power banks

If you’re not fussed about the metal construction, you may want to take a look at Anker’s PowerCore III Wireless ($49) as well. It’s no more expensive, but it packs Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ charging as well as a Qi charging pad on the top panel. Those of you with an impressive budget may want to think about Samsung’s 25W Wireless Portable Battery ($79). It’s expensive for a power bank, but it packs USB PD PPS and a rubberized charging pad that will keep your devices from sliding away.

crave plus power bank
Crave Plus 10,000mAh portable charger
Crave's all-metal power bank offers a thin, premium feel with a 10,000mAh capacity. Quick Charge 3 should get you back on your feet quickly.