Photo credit: Jason Siu / AutoGuide.com
These days, it’s likely your car is sitting parked for an extended period of time and not being driven. That means there’s a good chance that when you do go to fire it up, the battery’s dead and the car doesn’t start. Unless you’ve invested into a battery maintainer to keep your car’s battery fully charged, you’re going to need to jump start your car. If it’s stuck inside a garage, using jumper cables might not be the easiest solution. Instead, you’ll want to have a portable jump starter handy, and quite honestly, it’s a device you should keep in your car’s glove box since you’ll never know when you need to jump start your car.
In recent years, manufacturers have been releasing a wide assortment of compact jump starters, many of which comfortably fit inside your glove box and can keep a charge for weeks, if not months. These jump starters can also be used as a portable battery bank for your USB devices, allowing you to charge your phone or tablet while on the go. There are plenty of options out there in the market to choose from, so how do you pick the right one?
We recently got our hands on Audew’s latest 2000A portable jump starter, designed to be a multi-functional device that not only lets you jump start your car in an emergency, but serve as a power bank or flashlight when needed. It’s one of the more premium offerings in today’s market, with a 20000mAh battery capacity and offering 2000A peak current. The company says it’s capable of firing up any gasoline engine or a diesel engine up to 8.5 liters, as well as RVs, tractors, lawnmowers, or speed boats. When fully charged, it offers up to 40 jump starts before you need to plug it back in for a charge.
Does it live up to expectations? Read our hands-on review to find out.
Table of contents
What's in the Box?
Before we dive into how the product functions, let’s take a look at what’s included in the box. The device comes well packaged with a durable, hard carrying case that houses the charger itself, the intelligent jumper cables, a cigarette lighter adapter, a wall adapter, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a USB-C to USB-C cable. Unfortunately there isn’t a USB-A to Micro-USB cable included, but you likely have an extra one lying around if your device isn’t compatible with USB-C.
The cigarette lighter adapter can be plugged into the device’s 15V/10A output port, giving you a portable solution for vehicle devices that require 12V power, such as a portable tire inflator or cooler.
The included carrying case is worth noting, since this is one factor that other manufacturers often overlook. It’s a sturdy, hard case with a foam insert for the charger itself, along with a zippered mesh pocket that accommodates all the accessories. There isn’t too much excess room if you’re planning to pack the jumper cables, wall charger, USB cables, and cigarette lighter adapter in there, but there’s enough space for additional USB cables or minor things, such as towelettes.
A soft flap separates the case, protecting the charger from getting scratched or damaged by the contents in the zippered pocket.
The foam insert at the bottom of the case ensures the charger itself doesn’t slide around while inside the case, and does a good job protecting the corners and edges from being scratched or damaged if you accidentally drop the case. Overall, the case is small enough that it should fit in the glove box of most vehicles.
The Portable Jump Starter
Taking a look at the device itself, we came away impressed by its build quality. Having used other portable jump starters on the market, this particular unit doesn’t feel “cheap” in your hands. Its ABS case seems durable enough to resist scratches and drops, and the overall design is attractive without being overly flashy. The USB ports are all conveniently located with the LED flashlight, while the 15V/10A output and power switch are located on one side of the device. The other side of the device has a port for the intelligent jumper cables.
If you’re looking at what we consider the top of the charger, it’s prominently covered by an acrylic, high transparent lens that protects an LCD screen. If there’s anything strange about the design of this jump starter, it’s how much real estate the lens takes up. The information that is being displayed on the screen takes up just a small portion, leaving a lot empty space and having you wonder if you’re missing some data. It’s mainly there to show you how much battery life is left on the device, along with the connection type you have established if you’re either charging the jump starter, or another portable device.
Unfortunately, that section of the device is a fingerprint and dust magnet that is prone to scratches. It’s odd that so much of the top surface area is covered by the lens, since very little of it is actually being used as a screen. You’ll have to use extra care to not scratch the lens if you care about how the unit looks.
The display itself is a bit dim, which might be problematic if you’re using it in broad daylight. It’s a minor inconvenience that is worth mentioning.
The bottom of the device lists the specifications of the charger along with any certifications and standards. Your typical list of warnings and caution labels can also be found here.
The main reason you’re purchasing a portable jump starter is to, well, jump start your car. Like many similar devices, the included jumper cables are fairly short, which means you’ll need to find a safe spot for the device nearby your battery when jump starting your car. The cables use 8-gauge wiring and the clamps themselves are sturdy and well-built, protected by plastic coverings.
These are intelligent jumper cables, which means they’re packed with safety features to ensure you’re properly connecting the jump starter to your car’s battery. Those safety features include short circuit protection, over current protection, over charge protection, reverse charge protection, over discharge protection, over temperature protection, reverse connection protection, and reverse polarity protection.
The included LED flashlight is fairly bright, and is good enough for emergency use. It has three modes: normal, strobe, and SOS. To toggle between the different modes, you simply push the device’s power button. The flashlight doesn’t appear to cause too much drain on the device’s battery; we left it on the normal setting for 30 minutes and noticed only a one-percent drop in the device’s reported battery life.
There is a total of three USB ports on this device, one USB-C that is both input and output (used to charge the device itself), and a pair of USB-A output ports. Fast charging is available for both USB-C and USB-A, if your device is compatible.
Located next to the power button is an output for the cigarette lighter adapter, so that you can power or charge 12V devices that typically use your car’s cigarette lighter receptacle.
How Does it Work?
For this review, we used a 2015 Honda Fit as our test vehicle, which had been sitting in a garage unused for a couple months. Not surprisingly, the battery wasn’t capable of starting the car on its own, which gave us the perfect opportunity to see how the Audew portable jump starter would perform. After plugging the jumper cables into the device, we turned our attention to getting the clamps onto the car’s battery.
As we mentioned before, the jumper cables are pretty short, so you’ll have to find a safe spot for the jump starter itself. Depending on your vehicle and its battery, you may find some difficulty getting the clamps on. We do wish the cables were a bit longer so you have more flexibility when trying to jump start your car. (Editor’s note: Audew reached out to explain that the cables are purposely designed to be short to ensure jump starting capabilities).
Once you manage to get the cables connected to the battery, there will either be a green light or red light illuminated on the connector. This lets you know whether or not the cables have been properly connected and it’s safe to start your car. If you notice a red light on with buzzing, that means the connection is incorrect and you’ll have to swap the clamps. If there’s no light on and no buzzing, you’ll want to confirm the clamps are properly connected and then push the “boost” button on the connector before trying to turn on the engine. Another situation that requires the boost button is if the green light is blinking and the connector is buzzing. That means the jump starter requires the boost button to be pushed before trying to start the car.
In our scenario, the light turned a solid green and we were able to start the engine right away without any issues. Now, given the specs of the jump starter and the fact that our Honda Fit has a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, we weren’t too surprised that it worked on its first try. Unfortunately, we didn’t have access to any vehicles with a larger engine and a dead battery to test the jump starter with, but based on user reviews, it appears the device shouldn’t have any issues starting larger engines with dead batteries. Again, this portable jump starter is rated to fire up a gasoline engine of any size, and diesel engines up to 8.5 liters.
Since you likely won’t be using this device to jump start your car on a daily basis, we decided to test its charging capabilities. Using the supplied Type-C to Type-C cable, we hooked up our Pixel 4XL to confirm fast charging did work. The amount of times this jump starter can charge your devices will depend on their battery capacity. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to keep the jump starter charged if you’re planning to use it as a portable charger for your devices.
Audew says this product will still be able to jump start a car six to 12 months after being fully charged, although the company recommends recharging it every three months if it isn’t being used. It takes approximately four to five hours to charge the device fully when using the USB-C input port.
If you’re looking for a premium portable jump starter, the Audew 2000A device comes highly recommended. With its 20000mAh battery capacity, the portable jump starter can also serve as a competent battery bank to keep your devices fully charged at all times. Although we were unable to test it on vehicles with larger engines, we’re confident based on user reviews that it’s up to the task.
With the intelligent jumper cables, you’ll always know whether or not you hooked them up correctly to your car’s battery. We do wish that the cables on the clamps were a bit longer, allowing you more flexibility when you do have to jump start your car. But overall, it’s a high quality device that works as advertised with both USB-A and USB-C charging capabilities.
The company provides a 12-month manufacturer warranty and a 45-day replacement on this unit, assuming you didn’t physically cause damage to the jump starter. Based on user reviews, Audew has impressive customer support, with replacements being sent out without any hassle.
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