Gadgets for humans

For $80, you’ll never worry about a dead phone battery again

Screen Shot 2011-10-07 at 9.12.30 AM

I thought I had found my ideal iPhone accessory when I reviewed the Mophie Juice Pack Plus a few weeks ago. The ability to have my phone go dead, slip it into a case and then fully charge the device once more was amazing to me. Though I’m not a huge fan of the case, I’m a gigantic fan of what it does.

But then I got an email about Mophie’s newest product, called the Juice Pack Powerstation. It’s a behemoth, 4000 mAh battery, tucked away into a small case that’s slightly lesser in size than a portable hard drive. In short, it’s perfect to stick into your laptop bag, providing power when you need it.

Oh, but there’s a twist. The Powerstation doesn’t use proprietary connections like the Juice Pack, it simply has a USB connection.

Now let’s put this into perspective. Under ideal conditions, the Juice Pack Powerstation could charge your iPhone from dead to full nearly 3 times before you’d need to recharge it. Have a dead iPad? You’ll be able to charge it to just over half, which should get you through the rest of your day quite handily. In fact, just about every usb-charged device on the market could get nearly a day’s extra life out of the Juice Pack Powerstation.

The Powerstation itself is a good looking device, too. Certainly not something that you’d be hiding when you pull it out. It takes styling queues from an iPhone, with a black front and back, then a silver, metallic band around the sides. There’s not much to it, other than a full USB port, with a micro-USB beside it. The micro, predictably, is what you use to charge the Powerstation once it finally goes dead. Beyond the ports, there’s a single button for checking your battery life vai the 4 LEDs hidden under the front cover.

In real-world testing, I’ve charged my completely dead iPhone back to full, then still had 3 of the 4 LEDs remaining on the Powerstation. Plugging up the Powerstation itself, a full charge took about 2 hours via a wall adapter, and about 2.5 hours when plugged into my MacBook Pro.

As is common with Mophie products, when you take it out of the box (which is a complete pain, by the way, Mophie) it will be fully charged and ready to throw in your bag. In the 3 weeks that I’ve had the device, I’ve not yet seen it lose even 1 LED of power. I’m careful, of course, to not leave anything plugged into the device, but I’m not certain how much difference it would make even if I did.

In short, it’s the multi-device answer that many of us (hey, my wife uses Android, what can I say?) have been waiting for. At an $80 price tag, it’s not cheap, but it’s still a great value. When you figure that extended batteries can easily cost $50-60 and they don’t have nearly the utility that the Powerstation does, it’s a no-brainer decision. Pick it up as an early Christmas gift for the geek in your life.

Need more last-minute gift ideas? We have 10 things that any self-respecting mobile geek would love right here.

For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on Twitter and Flipboard.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

Published October 7, 2011 — 20:35 UTC