Jump Starters are generally not considered “high-tech” devices. Still, over the years I’ve bought a few because they come in handy when you’re not driving your secondary car for long periods and you’re left with a dead battery. I have also helped friends, family and neighbors on occasion, which is better than waiting for roadside assistance.
Compared to smartphone portable battery packs, the average Jump Starter is technologically backward and often a single-purpose device dedicated to starter cars only. Usually you can’t even charge your phone or laptop. Most require a proprietary power supply, which is a hassle if it’s misplaced or out of order.
Portable starters are battery packs and must at least being able to charge phones (and more), and that’s what a device like the Shell SH916WC portable jump starter brings to the table. The unit we’re looking at has a capacity of 16,000 mAh ($ 129.99), but there are also the options of 12,000 ($ 89.99) and 24,000 ($ 169.99).
The Shell SH916WC has dual USB-C + micro-USB charging options. The USB-C connector is also used to generate power in up to 18W, so you can charge phones quickly or slowly charge certain laptops. If you have old USB chargers, you can use them to charge this device.
The charging speed does not appear to be very fast, but it is difficult to measure accurately without an accurate charge indicator (in%). I’d say it’s about ~ 2 hours to go from 0% to 50% which is slow.
Two USB-A Ports are present and each can output up to 2.4A / 5V, which is equivalent to a 10W phone charger. You can use all the charging ports simultaneously to charge up to 3 devices at the same time. Finally, there is also a wireless charging option that could be very useful for phones, smartwatches, and more.
Ports: 1x USB C in / out, 2x USB out, 1x micro-USB, wireless charging pad, 12V jump starter
What is in the box: Jump starter, jump start cable, USB car charger, micro USB and USB-C cables, EVA case, user guide.
As a starter, this device works with “up to” 7.0L gasoline engines and 3.0L diesel engines, making it a fairly wide range of cars, bikes, trucks, and small boats to cater for. Specifications show that it maxes out at 1200 amps (12 volts).
Beginners need not worry as there are various safety protections, such as reverse polarity or overcurrent, making it safer than connecting directly to another car’s battery.
You can use its built-in flashlight during a power outage in addition to charging your phones while camping or hiking during your trip. The flashlight has four modes of operation, including flashlight, searchlight, SOS, and Red Alert.
With dimensions of9.17 x 3.46 x 1.42 (3.1 pounds)It’s not a small item, and conceptually you could find a more compact 12,000 mAh battery for your phone. However, most phone battery chargers won’t start your car.
That said, the $ 129.99 price tag for the 16,000mAh version may make it more expensive than dumb starters that aren’t easy to charge with mobile devices or have a USB-C charging option.
If you want to spend even more, something like the Mophie Powerstation Go AC (189.85 MSRP) has a 65W power outlet, which the Shell SH916WC doesn’t. Unfortunately, this Mophie jump starter requires charging with a proprietary power supply (14V / 0.85A).
Still, the Shell SH916WC Lithium Portable Starter is very simple to use and seems sturdy enough to stay safely in the trunk of your car. It’s one of the easiest to charge thanks to the dual USB inputs. Includes charging while driving (USB car adapter included).
In my opinion, all small devices should be rechargeable via USB, and I made that change a long time ago. My electric toothbrushes, hair clippers, lights, and flashlights – they’re all USB compatible.
This Jump Starter (on amazon | (Affiliate Link) is a fancy device that is much better and more practical than older starter designs, which are single function devices that you may never use. For all details, see the user manual.
Filed in. Read more about batteries and cars.