iPhone Portable Power Station
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Rutledge Feman
Date: 02-10-2008
Provided by: USB Fever
Discuss: View Comments
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Testing / Conclusion

I conducted a handful of tests on the iPhone Portable Power Station. The first thing I wanted to find out was how long it takes to charge the unit without the iPhone attached. Charging the Power Station fully from the wall charger took just over two hours.


Next, I let my iPhone battery run down to under 10% battery remaining (just before it would have shut itself off) then timed how long it took for the Power Station to give my phone a full charge. This process took 2 hours, 7 minutes.

I then left the iPhone off the charger overnight and again drained the battery. My goal here was to see how many charges I could get out of the Power Station with a single charge of it. Turns out, the Power Station was only able to supply my iPhone with one full charge before it needed to be recharged itself.

Conclusion

The iPhone Portable Power Station is a really neat and innovative product, but it is not without fault and certainly not for everyone. First up, however, what I do like about the Power Station.

Obviously, the ability to extend the battery life on your iPhone is huge. During testing, I found that the Power Station supplied my nearly depleted iPhone battery (less than 10% power remaining) with one full charge before it needed to be recharged itself, effectively doubling the battery life on my iPhone. It took the Power Station just over two hours to fully recharge my iPhone. This is pretty impressive, as I have used other external battery chargers (powered by AA batteries) that required an overnight stint to fully recharge my iPhone.

The Power Station is also pretty flexible, as you can use it as a docking station, thanks to the hinged bottom piece. Included with the Power Station is a silicone jacket, which helps to protect the unit when using it as a full-time case. This silicone jacket mostly protects the Power Station and does little to protect the actual iPhone. You do have full access to most of the iPhone's buttons and features when using the silicone jacket, except for the camera. Also, some type of screen protection would have been nice.

Now, for the cons. First, the Power Station is very bulky and adds a lot of extra weight to your iPhone. It makes your iPhone not look like an iPhone, which is certainly a problem for those who are concerned about aesthetics. The included silicone jacket provides little protection to the iPhone, although it does protect the Power Station from scratches and fingerprints. The iPhone camera is not usable when mounted in the Power Station.

The power button on the Power Station can be a bit tricky to master, and the included instruction manual certainly didn't help here. The manual says to press and hold the button for two seconds, which isn't true. You simply need to give it a firm press to activate it. Also, the instruction manual is poorly translated into English.

Perhaps most disappointing is not being able to sync your iPhone to iTunes through the Power Station. I tried this with the Power Station at full charge and well, nothing happened.

Bottom line - I really like the idea of the Power Station but feel it needs a few refinements before it could be a serious consideration for most users. If battery life is at the very top of your list of requirements and you don't mind the extra bulk and no access to the camera, you might want to give the Power Station a look.

The iPhone Portable Power Station retails for $41.99. Thanks to USB Fever for supplying us with this review sample.


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