It’s always a good idea to have a portable, backup battery supply for your mobile devices. Most iPhones and iPads get decent battery life (with some it’s excellent), but when you rush out the door your device isn’t always fully charged and hours of heavy use can quickly add up. Electrical outlets aren’t always available, even if you do bring your charger. Unless you’re able to count on wireless charging, you also need to remember the charge cables, or that battery pack is more frustrating than useful. The latest Mophie Powerstation Plus aims to be the perfect mobile power solution for Apple iPhone and iPad owners. Small and light, it pairs 10,000mAh of battery capacity with a 20W USB-C port, plus built-in Lightning and USB-C cables.
My daughter is the poster child for someone who needs this solution. Currently going to college on the other side of the city, she flies out of here to catch a bus in the morning — more often than not with her iPhone battery already half drained from watching videos while she has breakfast and gets ready. Sometimes she’s on campus into the evening and that iPhone is critical for safety, staying in touch socially, killing time between classes, entertainment while on the bus, and everything else kids do with a mobile phone.
If her iPhone battery dies, it’s pretty much a disaster.
I gave her a compact battery pack to keep in her backpack to ensure she always has an emergency source of power if needed. I also included an official Apple Lightning cable — an item which is like gold currency around here. Despite pleas to leave that cable in her backpack, it frequently finds its way out, and then she’s stuck with a battery pack but no way to charge her iPhone.
That’s where the Mophie Powerstation Plus comes in.
Few people are going to lug around a backup battery for their iPhone if it’s built like a boat anchor. Fortunately the Powerstation Plus is very compact. It measures about 5.75 x 2.75 inches, and is only half an inch thick. It is also surprisingly light. According to my kitchen scale, it’s just over 8 ounces. That size makes it easy to tuck this thing into a backpack, purse, or even a coat pocket and forget about it until needed.
The Charge Options iPhone and iPad Owners Need
Tucked securely into grooves running along the sides of the Powerstation Plus are a pair of integrated cables. Made of a flexible material, each is about 5-inches long when pulled out. One terminates in a USB-C connector, the other is Lightning. Both put out 20W. The USB-C option is needed for recent iPads and also means you can help top up most Android smartphones (and many wireless headphones). In addition to the integrated cables, there is a USB-C PD port that is used to charge the battery, but can also be used for 20W power output. This is where you could output Micro USB if needed. You’ll need to bring your own cable if you want to use this port.
You can charge up to three devices simultaneously, but the total combined output is limited to 27W.
Capacity to Charge an iPhone Multiple Times
The total capacity of the Powerstation Plus battery is 10,000mAh. That makes it ideal for travel, including use on an airplane. The 10,0000mAh battery pack can fully charge my daughter’s iPhone XS Max about three times, and it does so considerably faster than the charger Apple included in the box.
I used it to top up my iPad Air from 50% to 100% using the integrated USB-C cable. It took just over an hour to do so. Afterward, the Powerstation Plus LED indicators showed three of four, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% of capacity remaining. Those LEDs aren’t exact — in reality, 50% of that iPad’s 7600mAh battery should leave the Powerstation Plus at about two thirds capacity — but you need to do some rounding with only four LEDs. However, it’s close enough to give you a pretty good idea of when you should be recharging the battery pack.
At $79.95 the Mophie Powerstation Plus is an easy recommendation for iPhone and iPad owners. It’s cheap insurance against running out of power and eliminates the hassle of remembering to bring along charge cables.
Just don’t forget to keep the Powerstation Plus itself charged — so far as I know, no-one has figured out a solution for that yet.
Disclosure: Mophie provided a Powerstation Plus for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review.