Anyone who uses an iPhone knows that under normal usage the battery rarely lasts a full day. When I’m at home relaxing, the battery life issue is not really that big a deal since I can simply plug my phone into the USB charger half-way through the day and top the battery up to full, usually in an hour or so.
But unfortunately when I’m traveling (which is quite often as most people know), plugging my phone into an outlet isn’t always an option . Sometimes when I’m working from coffee shops it simply isn’t possible to find a plug. Occasionally an airplane will have a USB port in the chair ahead and one in a while an actual plug, but mostly it’s not really possible to charge items on airplanes on trains.
Years ago I went looking for an external battery pack for my iPhone and ended up purchasing the Mophie Juice Pack external battery for the iPhone 3G. Basically the Mophie Juice Pack was a case for the iPhone that contained an extra battery. If the battery on the phone got low, you could simply flip a switch at the bottom of the Mophie Juice Pack and it would start charging the battery again.
While it definitely worked as advertised, the Mophie Juice Pack added quite of a bit of weight and bulk to the iPhone. So when I went looking for another battery pack for my iPhone 5, I decided not to get anything that would make the super sleek iPhone 5 noticeably larger.
Eventually I stumbled across the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo, which is an external battery charger by Mophie that doesn’t attach to the phone at all. Basically it’s a portable battery station that can be used to charge any USB device. One of the great things about the power station Duo is that it can be used to charge two devices simultaneously. In my case that means I can charge my iPhone and my girlfriend’s iPhone at the same time, which is definitely great when traveling.
The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo holds 6000mAh of charge, which is enough to charge the iPhone 5 four times. If you’re charging two iPhone 5’s at the same time, then you can charge them both from 0% up to 100% two full times – that’s a lot of power. In addition the Powerstation Duo has high current USB ports capable of outputting 2.1 Amps of power, so it can charge tablets and smartphones rapidly.
Unfortunately the iPad and the iPad Mini hold even more charge than the Powerstation Duo, so while you can definitely top-up an iPad or an iPad Mini, you won’t be able to take one of those devices from 0% to 100%. But since both of those routinely last several days, I rarely find myself in a situation where one of those devices is dead for me while traveling.
It takes around four or five hours to charge the device, so you basically have to charge it for the better part of a day whenever you are at home or somewhere with an outlet. But then you can leave it in a bag or laptop and use it to charge your devices several times whenever they get low on battery. There’s also a button on the side of the Powerstation Duo which will show you, via four green LEDs, just how much battery life is left in the device.
My only real complaint with this device is that you can’t charge it using one of the iPhone connector cables. Basically the device comes with its own Mini USB cable that you have to use to charge it. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but it does mean I always have to travel with both cables in my bag to make good use of the device.
All in all I am extremely happy with the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo. It provides all the advantages of the old Mophie Juice Pack case I used to have, without adding to the weight and usability of my iPhone. The added benefit as well is that the Powerstation Duo can be used to charge any USB device, not just an iPhone.
The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo has been a great addition to the travel gadgets I routinely travel with now. If you often find your iPhone low on power and are not always near an outlet, then I highly recommend this product.
If you’re looking to buy one of these, you can get the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo here.