For years I used a variety of external batteries and chargers that I had gotten for free from events, or from the drug store in an emergency. They’d work for a while and inevitably fail, leaving me at the airport tethered to an outlet sitting way too close to a trash can. But the problem never seemed annoying or frequent enough to do something about. Recently, though, my commute has gotten longer and I’ve found myself with a dead phone more than enough (once). So with a budget of $50 I set out to find a battery that would keep me charged on the road.
Mophie’s line of Powerstation Power Banks comes in a wide variety of specifications and selecting the right one took a bit of research. Some of the features I wanted were obvious, like a port to charge my iPhone without giving me a “this device may not be supported” error. But I was less certain about my tablet, rechargeable AA battery case, and headphones. Not to mention what devices I might want to charge in the future. I wanted a battery with some flexibility that wouldn't be obsolete next year. I also knew that I didn't want something cumbersome or heavy since I’d be using this for daily commuting, and not long excursions away from power. (mMy work bag is heavy enough). Lastly, it couldn't be ugly. After a long line of branded and neon chargers, I was ready for something a bit more refined.
All requirements considered, I went with the standard Powerstation. It has 2 USB-A and a single USB-C port, which can be used to charge the Powerstation or another device. One USB-A port provides 1 Amp of power for a steady smart phone charge. The other USB-A port provides 2 Amps for tablets or devices with a larger draw. You can use both USB-A ports at once for simultaneous charging, and if the Powerstation is charging at the same time, power will be directed to your devices first, ensuring the fastest charge. I’ve charged both my phone and tablet in my bag without any overheating. The battery capacity is 10,000mAh, which for me means about 3 full phone charges before it dies, and it’s just over half a pound. It’s about the same length and width as my iPhone X so they fit nicely together even in my pocket or small purse. Most importantly, it’s rounded corners and sleek design feel and look great. Now I just have to remember to charge it.