Among on-the-go professionals, there’s a sort of holy grail when it comes to power accessories: a single portable charger that can power everything. The transition to USB Type-C has helped approach that ideal, but there are still things it isn’t perfect for, and batteries like the 71Wh Omnicharge Omni 20+ will always have a special place. It can charge devices off of USB Type-A, Type-C, 120/230V AC, Qi wireless charging, and even a barrel DC port, but that flexibility means it also has a special price: $200. And with all the features and output types it crams in, we think this battery may have bitten off a bit more than it can chew.
Design, hardware, what’s in the box
The Omni 20+ is an almost square short rectangular prism with clipped corners, swathed in a soft-touch rubber coating (ew). Inputs and outputs are all along the outer flat edges. The primary face houses the monochrome display, buttons, and USB Type-A outputs. The face to the left of that has the 100W AC outlet, and the face to the right has the USB Type-C and barrel DC inputs/outputs. The top flat surface houses a wireless charging pad, with no indicator of the coil’s precise position.
Those USB Type-A ports are mounted upside down, with the “tongue” on the bottom side, not the top side. If you have accessories that need to be plugged in right side up at the correct orientation, you’ll have to flip the battery over and temporarily give up wireless charging.
The screen and trio of buttons can be a bit difficult to use at times, thanks in no part to an almost total lack of documentation in the included manual, which only describes how to “calibrate” the battery when you get it and points you at the full manual online. A print copy of that absolutely should have been included with the battery, given the complexity.
There are three buttons on the face of the Omni 20+: Power, AC, and USB/Wireless charging. You must turn on the battery by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds for it to provide power. Short-pressing it merely switches the display on and off. By default, the battery turns on with USB and wireless charging enabled, indicated by the illuminated USB-Type-A-cable-looking button, as well as the USB icon and radiating dot icon on the display.
Pressing that USB-looking button again will disable USB and wireless charging, turning off the illumination behind the button, and removing those indicators from the screen. The button which looks like the business end of an AC cord enables and disables the AC outlet, with the same illumination and on-screen icon to indicate its state.
Double-pressing the power button opens a menu (with eight items) to further configure options like AC outlet voltage (120V AC or 150V HVDC), screen timeout, whether to start with USB enabled by default, DC output voltage (for the barrel connector, which serves double duty), auto shutdown, temperature units, button light settings, and an “about” information page.
It’s not too difficult to use once you’ve played with it, but it is more complicated than a battery needs to be. I don’t think the benefits the granularity of controls provides are really worth the headache, but they could fit specific (and likely very niche) workflows.
The barrel DC port can do both input (solar chargers, etc), and output. Omnicharge sells cables including a DC to Surface Pro and DC to Magsafe 2 cable, as well as some adapters for other barrel-style laptop connectors. None were included with our review unit.
Charging otherwise is done over the lone USB Type-C port.
The box comes with an incomplete manual, safety and warning pamphlet, an invitation soliciting customers to submit a review to Amazon in exchange for free accessories, a USB Type-A to C cable, and a USB Type-C to C cable.
In our tests analyzing output over USB Type-C, the first unit that we examined triggered an under-voltage warning on our PassMark tester at 5V 3A (going as low as 4.62V). The manufacturer sent us a replacement, and it did not have the same issue. YMMV. Some (likely most) devices will work fine at that voltage, but it’s below what we like to see and could cause problems in certain use cases. Devices expecting power supply-type output may not be happy.
Graph of voltage vs amperage at 5V (left) and 20V (right). Apart from that early bump, it’s pretty consistent.
Notably, the USB Type-A port’s output did not have this same problem, meeting 3A at 4.94V. We also tested the AC outlet to provide up to 100W of power at 120V AC without issue. If you exceed that wattage by too much for too long, the battery will power off and restart.
I’m not sure how or why this might occur, but the battery actually appeared to “crash” once while I was testing it, with the screen going black before the timeout was set to occur as I attempted to trigger wireless charging on my Galaxy S10+. The display wasn’t simply turned off, and I had to start the battery again for it to work.
The coil is on the top-back-half-center-ish, if the screen is facing you.
On that note, wireless charging seems to work fine on my Galaxy S10+ and Pixel 3 XL — though with only unreliable on-device metrics for measurement, and usual inconsistencies with output depending on position, I can’t be sure of the numbers. Either way, without an indicator on the charger itself for the position of the coil, it’s a pain to trigger. Once I knew where it was, I could usually get it working in the first couple of tries, but even then it was annoying and more difficult than it needed to be, since all it needs to make it easier to use is a bit of paint or an embossed indicator of its location.
It’s hard to get a good test going for temperature on a battery with so many possible methods of output, but I did not notice temperature to be an issue at any time during testing or anecdotal use.
As our readers may now, I tend to place a lot of faith in Google’s Pixelbook as a sort of USB Type-C canary. Anecdotally, it’s an exceptionally picky device that adheres very firmly to the PD spec, and doesn’t seem to allow much if any out-of-spec behavior. Unfortunately, the Omni 20+ fails the Pixelbook test, with the Chromebook refusing to accept power from it over USB Type-C. Other much less picky devices, like my Macbook Pro and recent phones including the Pixel 3 XL, OnePlus 7 Pro, and Galaxy S10+ had no issue, though.
Should you buy one?
Maybe. The Omni 20+ has a great mix of features and decent airline-safe capacity (though I wish it were closer to that 100Wh limit), but the lack of a positioning indicator for wireless charging is a consistent frustration, the design is overly complicated for what it needs to be/do, device compatibility was suspect in our tests, and I think its a bit too expensive at the $200 list price. If an AC outlet is your primary concern, you can get the same or better capacity for a whole lot less. If you still need a Type-C port, but you can settle for lower 5V/15W output, last year’s RAVPower 27,000 might be a better choice, and Jackery’s Supercharge 26800 PD can spit 45W over Type-C (though it lacks an AC outlet) for just $120, plus a charger.
The precise mix of features and specifications found in the Omni 20+ (60W of output over USB Type-C, 100W AC outlet, real-time info display, DC input/output) are unique, and the only direct alternative I can recommend is $100 more expensive — though it also sounds a whole lot better on paper. Even though it is unarguably unique, the Omni 20+’s performance doesn’t earn it my personal recommendation.
Buy it if:
- You need every type of power output in one portable charger.
- Price isn’t a concern.
- You don’t need the largest possible capacity.
Don’t buy it if:
- Device compatibility is a concern — it didn’t work with everything in our tests and we saw some inconsistency between units tested.
- $200 is beyond your budget.
- You can make do with fewer output types.