The Projecta Power-Hub and Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 are the two most feature-packed, high-end battery boxes currently available in Australia.
In this article, I’m going to compare the two battery boxes side by side looking at their outputs, design, and other functionality.
Overall, my analysis is that the Engel Smart Battery Box is the better unit of the two, and the best battery box with inverter currently available.
The best features of each battery box are described in the below-detailed reviews and in our other article where we try and narrow down the best battery box in Australia.
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|Product||Engel Smart Battery Box||Projecta Power Hub|
|External Dimensions||H: 327mm|
|Warranty||12 Months||12 Months|
|DC to DC Charger||Yes||No|
|AC Charger Included||Yes||No|
|Car Charger Included||No||No|
|Compatible Battery Types||AGM, Gel Cell, Wet Cell, Lithium||AGM, Gel Cell|
|Check Latest Price||Check Latest Price|
There is little to discuss in terms of the dimensions and shape of the unit. They are both rectangular shapes and have the capacity to accommodate equivalent size batteries, so no unit has an advantage in this respect.
The Engel is 1kg lighter, though, so if you need to be weight conscious with your towing capacity, then this slight difference might be of interest to you.
The Projecta Power-Hub is more limited in terms of the type of batteries it can be powered by. The preferred battery for a Power-Hub is a lead-acid AGM or Gel Cell battery.
It can be used with a wet cell cranking battery, but this is not recommended. However, the Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 can confidently be used with Wet Cell, Gel, AGM, and Lithium batteries.
Both units are similar in the display they provide, but the Projecta comes out slightly on the front, given its color LCD.
They both provide detailed information on power usage and projected time remaining on the battery based on the battery size and current power flow, leaving the color screen as the main difference between the two units in terms of display functionality.
Hands down, the Projecta Power-Hub is a clear winner in terms of outputs it provides, compared to the Engel Smart Battery Box. The Projecta has 10 outputs ranging from Cigarette, to USB, to Merit, to Anderson Plug, to 240v AC, and has multiples of most of these.
In comparison, the Engel has half that number (five in total), and just one of each Cigarette, Engel, USB, DC, and 240v AC.
If you had all 10 outputs on the Projecta hooked up to a current drawing device, I don’t think you would get long out of your battery, but the option is definitely there for you to consider.
And you could always add a double adapter to some of the Engel ports to increase the number of available outputs, but out of the box, the Projecta is clearly superior in the number of outputs provided.
Both units are equipped with a 300w inverter that can comfortably manage many small household appliances but couldn’t power a microwave or power tool, or other high draw appliance.
The Projecta is better here in that it includes a pure sine wave inverter, while the Engel carries a modified sine wave inverter.
While the Projecta Power-Hub was a clear standout in terms of output possibilities, the Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2 is the clear standout.
While both units include positive and negative terminals that a charger or solar panel can be connected to, and both include a 50A Anderson port that can both give and receive electrical current, the Engel unit goes much further than that.
In addition to the terminals and Anderson port, the Engel Smart Battery Box includes an onboard DC to DC charger with 240v and cigarette adapters included plugging into it.
A DC to DC charger is usually an optional extra that some people choose for optimal charging, as it can vary the amount of charge it delivers based on the level of charge in the battery, and these costs hundreds of dollars.
Even a simple multi-stage 12v charger (which you might need to charge the Projecta) will be over $100, soaking up the savings of purchasing the cheaper unit.
This onboard Dc to DC charger and associated 240v and 12v DC leads are a huge selling point of the Engel unit.
Overall, it is really hard to pick a clear winner in terms of the best value for money, between the Projecta Power-Hub and the Engel Smart Battery Box Series 2.
Though the Projecta is cheaper and has double the amount of output sockets, the Engel is better supported in terms of charging ability and connections and is more versatile in terms of the types of batteries it can be powered by.
I personally tend to value the onboard charging abilities of the Engel, and increased battery choice, over the cost savings and generous outputs offered by the Projecta.
A multi-stage charger will likely cost you in excess of $100, soaking up those savings and some more most likely.
Having the charging gear built into the unit is more of a convenience and practical benefit that outweighs the more limited output set.
In reality, you will struggle to get much battery time out of a 120Ah battery if you have 10 things hooked up (as you can with the Projecta), and you can always use double adapters to increase the number of usable outputs on the Engel.
So overall, I personally put my vote with the Engel Smart Battery Box, but the Projecta Power-Hub could be a better fit for you and your circumstances depending on the nature and number of devices you need to have connected, and how much power they draw.