When it comes to portable power stations, the bigger battery capacity is often seen as the better option. Of course, that comes at the cost of diminishing the “portable” part of the equation, and not all sizes will fit all. There are times when being able to move around and pack things up easily are top priorities while still putting heavy importance on power output. That’s the promise that EcoFlow’s new DELTA mini Portable Power Station is making, and we took it for a test run to see if it really checks all the necessary boxes for a worry-free trip outdoors.
The EcoFlow DELTA mini is almost like a miniature replica of the EcoFlow DELTA Pro that we reviewed a few weeks ago, just without the wheels that would have been unnecessary in this case. At 23.6 lbs, it isn’t exactly lightweight, but it’s light enough to allow carrying it with one hand for a short period. It still has that ice cooler design, with handles sticking out on both ends if you need a more comfortable grip.
Despite its size, it still has plenty of ports available, enough to power 12 or so devices at the same time. Unlike its larger sibling, however, the EcoFlow DELTA mini splits the ports between USBs in front and everything else on the rear, which means that there will be cables sticking out from both ends. It might be a personal preference, but it saves more space if all the ports, including for charging, are in the front for quick access.
Like the larger Pro power station, DELTA mini has a flat top surface that makes it easier to stack other things on top. There are still those fixed handles, though, so you’ll have to keep them in mind when packing the portable battery in a tight space. Sadly, that top surface is pretty much wasted space most of the time and would have benefited from having a wireless charging area.
The EcoFlow DELTA mini has a battery capacity of 882Wh, which is decent but admittedly disappointing compared to the same priced Jackery Explorer 1000 with a 1002Wh capacity. It makes up for that with a couple of other features, though, like more ports, faster charging, and higher output. The power station boasts a 1400W “normal” output, which can be pushed to 1800W with EcoFlow’s X-Boost technology.
What this means in practice is that the DELTA mini can handle most of the things you throw at it, of course, within certain limits. It can keep a small car refrigerator powered for 12 hours on a full charge, and it can even run a hairdryer. That means that almost any device or appliance is fair game, including your typical smartphones and laptops. Unfortunately, the DELTA mini misses the mark on the “quiet” aspect of portable power stations like these, and we found the battery’s fans to be fairly loud while in use.
Of course, you need to have the right ports for those, and the EcoFlow DELTA mini has plenty. On the front, you get two USB-A ports, one USB-A Fast Charge port, and one 100W USB-C port for power-hungry laptops. On the back, you have five AC ports, one car charger, and two DC5521 barrel ports. The back is also home to the solar charging ports and the X-Stream AC input, which will get to next.
Any battery, no matter the size, will eventually run out of power and itself need to be recharged. The EcoFlow DELTA mini’s smaller battery already makes it faster to charge, but its X-Stream technology makes it even faster. When plugged into a typical wall outlet, it can draw 900W of power to fully charge the battery in a little over one and a half hours.
Of course, these companies are trying to sell the idea of an equally green charging solution for a green power source, which involves selling solar panels to fill the need. For our review, EcoFlow provided two of its 160W solar panels, a combination that it says should fully charge the DELTA mini between 4-8 hours. While not exactly mind-blowing, our experience wasn’t terrible either.
We were able to get 112W of power from a single array and a total of 220W when using both. When under a shadow, that 112W dropped to 105W as expected. Its efficiency isn’t exactly topnotch, but it’s good enough to get you by in the wild.
Portable Power Stations are getting smarter these days, and not just in terms of built-in power management. For the latter, the EcoFlow DELTA mini has a built-in color display that gives you an idea of how much power you’re consuming or getting, the current battery level, as well as estimated time to fully charge or fully drain. For everything else, however, you’ll want to use EcoFLow’s smartphone app.
The app does more than just show the same data, of course. It also provides remote control functionality to activate features like X-Boost. More importantly, it also lets you control the charging speed and set charging/discharging limits, something you can’t tweak directly on the power station.
Even if you have something like the gigantic EcoFlow DELTA Pro, you might find yourself often wishing there was a more portable version with nearly the same special features, like X-Boost and X-Stream. Whether for quick trips off the grid or powering a small apartment in an emergency, the EcoFlow DELTA mini, fortunately, meets those expectations, give or take a few nitpicks like fan noise and port locations.
At a price tag of $999, the DELTA Mini’s closest rival is the Jackery Explorer 1000 that we reviewed last year. The Explorer 1000 came with a larger battery capacity and a more “stowable” design thanks to its foldable handle but also had a smaller selection of outlets available. On the other hand, the DELTA mini’s unibody design means it is easier to carry around and is also more resistant to vibration shock because the handle is integrated with the top lid. If you do need a truly portable power solution that doesn’t skimp on those ports, the EcoFlow DELTA mini is definitely worthy of being your travel companion.