Those of us who love gadgets and travel a lot, either for work or pleasure, will know the struggle of trying to pack all the gadgets we’ve become so accustomed to using on a daily basis. We find ourselves trying to double up and find devices that carry out more than one function. That’s why I was so keen to try out the ICY BOX. It’s a multi-functioning devices that is a power bank and an alarm clock. It’s also a thermometer. I was given a sample to try for review from online retailer reichelt. I’m getting to keep that sample but my opinions are objective.
My first impression was that it was incredibly light. I’m so used to power banks being heavy. I have one that is only three inches long and half an inch wide and that’s much heavier than the ICY BOX. So, already it has that going in its favour and should make it an attractive device for travellers. It’s compact too and fits in the palm of my hand. It’s slim and rectangular in shape and just less than an inch wide. There’s a hexagon logo on the back of the device and on the front is the LED display which is bright and clear. It alternates between the time and the temperature every few seconds. This can be switched off by briefly depressing the set button and then it is only a clock with no temperature given. The controls are at the top edge of the device so it’s easy to reach over while in bed and switch it on or off and make adjustments to the settings.
It comes with a USB charging cable and instruction manual. I was very silly and mislaid my manual and found it absolutely impossible to figure out how to set it up without the manual. It’s not a device that’s easy to figure out for yourself, despite having only three small buttons. Thankfully, the manual was easy to locate online. There were simple, step-by-step instructions and it took me literally three minutes to set it up. As an alarm clock, it’s easy to set and reset. What I found slightly cumbersome was that to set the alarm to a new time, you have to go through and approve all other settings first. The way it works is that to change anything, you depress the set button for three seconds. Then you have to approve the year, month and day, time, whether the time is in 24 hour format or 12 hour format and then you finally get to the alarm set time. After that you have to approve whether temperature is shown in centigrade or Farenheit. Despite being a European made device, the temperature defaults to Farenheit.
What can also be a little grating is the bleeping that the device makes whenever any button is depressed. I haven’t found a way to turn this off yet. Trying to set the alarm was problematic at first too. Despite following the instructions in the manual, it didn’t seem to go off at the time I had chosen. You must set it to the time you want in the original setup, which is the one I’ve already mentioned and said is cumbersome, and you also have to set it to on using the button with the +/- next to the set button. This is good in that it can’t be accidentally set if you have already switched it off. You really have to jump through hoops to set this alarm. However, it takes a few tries to get the hang of it so it’s something you have to perfect and be confident with because if you really need that alarm, you don’t want to rely solely on this and then make mistakes. There’s also no snooze function. That could be a good thing if you are guilty of snoozing too often but I’m the type of person who will hit snooze a few times and need that constant nudge to wake up properly. I miss that snooze button.
As a power bank, this is really handy. It has USB and micro USB ports and comes with a charging cable and features a 5000 mAh lithium battery. There are four little blue lights adjacent to the charging ports so you can see how much power you have in the device. You can check the status by gently depressing the power button and this part will illuminate for a few seconds. What impressed me was how long it lasts as a simple alarm clock, without having to be charged. I have been using it as such for around a month and there was no sign of the battery depleting yet. I was down to two lights. When you start using it as a power bank though, this obviously changes everything. I took it on holiday with me and used it on the move to charge phones and tablets. I got two full charges for a phone and one full charge for a tablet before I had to plug it in and get more juice.
Overall, I really like this. It does have some things that could be improved, but they don’t put me off or bother me enough to stop me from using this. Once I got used to the controls and got to know the ICY BOX, I became a fan. I’ll still be setting a second alarm though because I really do miss that snooze function. If you’d like to purchase the ICY BOX or read more about it, you can do so on the reichelt website where it’s being sold for £28.63 at the time this review was published and it will be dispatched within 3-4 business days. It’s also available on Amazon but at a much higher price of £44.96 and is estimated to be dispatched in 4-5 business days.