Mophie has a new Powerstation Plus backup battery, and it aims for compact, all-in-one design that should reduce bulk and complication when you’re searching for supplementary power. The new design builds a cable right into the power pack, which holds a battery powerful enough to charge your iPhone up to eight extra times, depending on the capacity you choose. Our review unit has enough to give the iPhone 6 around another 21 hours of use, but the integrated cable design might not be for everyone.
Mophie’s Powerstations were already industry leaders – the company didn’t really need to alter its design to change its reputation. But the new look is decidedly more fashion-forward. The small, sandwich design with metal surfaces top and bottom could easily be mistaken for a business card folio or ultra-modern cigarette case. At first glance, you probably aren’t quite sure what it does, but you also probably want one in your life.
The reserve indicator is still here with this design, providing you a simple look at how much juice is left in the power bank before it’s depleted with a simple button press. The biggest difference here is that one side of the Mophie now flips open, to reveal an integrated cable (micro USB or Lightning-to-USB, depending on your purchase choice) that will allow you to connect without any external cords.
The tuck-away cable is both the greatest strength and greatest weakness of the new Powerstation Plus: It makes the backup battery nearly unmatched in terms of portability, and ensures you won’t be stuck in a situation where you remembered the backup bank but not the cable needed to charge your phone – but it also means that you basically have to pick a camp and stick to it with all your devices, especially if you’re an iPhone user, as the cables are not interchangeable.
The Mophie works like a Mophie, which is to say it works well. You’ll pay more for these backup batteries than you will for a lot of the ones on Amazon or elsewhere, but there’s a reason for that. While many reserve power banks I’ve used have issues with iOS devices in particular, and batteries that seem to have very quick lifespans and that lose a decent percentage of their maximum capacity after just a few uses, Mophie’s last and last, and work consistently.
This new Powerstation, after just a week of testing, seems to be a worthy inheritor of that reputation. I haven’t had any issues with it being detected by my iPhone or iPad, and it holds its charge, and seems to provide the same amount of additional power every time. It’s in line with Mophie’s claims, meaning you’ll get about twice the active use time out of your device with the backup battery vs. without.
Again, my main issue with function lies with that cable – I’ve got a lot of devices that could potentially be charged, and limiting myself to only those with a lightning port doesn’t really make sense, vs. the device charging freedom of the previous Powerstation design. There’s still the larger capacity Poewrstation Plus, the Powerstation Pro and the Powerstation XL if you want cable agnosticism, however.
This is a great option for anyone who has one or two devices, when those devices use the same connector for charging, which is probably most users. The integrated design, with pass through charging and sync functions, mean these are improved in almost every way from previous Powerstation products, and a la carte battery sizing choices will also suit a wider range of needs, and if you opt for the 4x or 8x Battery models, you’ll get a neutral USB port, too.