Auto Express StarBooster test

Under Starter’s orders with mini jump packs
Reviewer: Auto Express

Dash cams were 2016’s hot buys, but mini jump starters weren’t far behind. Various models were launched in the UK, and we try two of the latest: the StarBooster from NightSearcher and the Suaoki U2. To find the one to keep in your car, we assessed what you get for your money, looking at useful features such as built-in torches and charging options. Our prices are direct from NightSearcher and the best we could find online for Suaoki. Also rated was how many times each jump started could fire up a 1,300cc petrol engine. We compared both with our Issue 1,386 Best Buy, the Bakth Car Power Mini Multi-Function Jump Starter. The NightSearcher, while pricey, is very effective if car starting is a priority. The U2 is better for reviving electronic kit.

Mini Test – Nightsearcher StarBooster
If you want an all-rounder to slip in the glovebox for roadside emergencies, it has to be the StarBooster. It matched our test-winning Bakth by attempting 13 starts, and spun the engine over fast enough for it to fire up. It’s bulkier than some we’ve tested, but means you get a magnetic handle to help direct the impressive two light sources. The LED torch delivers 300 lumens with a wide but long throw, while multiple LEDs make up the floodlight. This claims 500 lumens and has a huge spread of light – ideal for working on the car after dark. There’s also a red alert mode. A single USB port charger our Apple kit and the unit comes with a short micro USB lead for other devices. The only downside, apart from the price, is that you can only charge the lithium-ion battery from the mains adaptor.

Suaoki U2 Jump Starter
Alongside the NightSearcher of Bakth, the Suaoki is a lightweight package. It lacks grunt for starting a car. It made just under half the attempts of its rival here before giving up, and all were pretty slow. As an emergency starter the U2 is of limited use, plus for roadside repairs its LED torch isn’t ideal; it struggled for brightness and reach. Still, the U2 fares better as a power source for electronic gadgets. The slimline design weight just over 200g, so it can even fit in your pocket for power away from the car. The 2.4 Amp USB was good for our Apple devices. You charge the lithum-ion battery via the supplied USB cable, but need a 12V or mains adaptor. The U2 makes most sense at the current £29.99 discounted price. Back to list »