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Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

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  • Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review



    Here is a summary or excerpt from an article that has just been published on DPNow:

    It's shock and dust proof, and also splash proof. It's a big rechargeable batter with USB ports so you can power and or recharge your USB-powered digital camera, smartphone, etc, It's the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro and we've reviewed it.

    Click here to read the whole article...

  • #2
    Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

    This is an intriguing device. As someone who constantly worries about battery drain on his iPad and phone, I'm always looking out for external batteries/chargers.

    I'd like to know, though, how this one compares with others. The Morphie is listed at over 100, but there are rival products like the 7000mAh TeckNet iEP387 that sell for 25 or less. 100+ is a considered purchase but 25 is almost a no-brainer.

    What makes the Morphie worth four times the price? Is it just that it's IP65?

    TeckNet also do a 12000mAh version for under 45.

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    • #3
      Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

      OK, it's Mophie (no 'r' ) - the Tecknet battery looks very nice; two charging ports and it comes with a variety of cable tips, although I still maintain that you should use the cable that your device came with. The operational aspect of the Tecknet looks similar. The Tecknet does look a bit wider than the Mophie and it's not ruggedised or IP65 rated, but the price difference is considerable. My main reservation in the Mophie review was the price.

      Ian
      Founder/editor
      Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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      • #4
        Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

        Originally posted by Ian View Post
        OK, it's Mophie (no 'r' )
        Sorry. I guess that's what you get when you grew up with Tony Hart on the TV...

        Originally posted by Ian View Post
        - the Tecknet battery looks very nice; two charging ports and it comes with a variety of cable tips, although I still maintain that you should use the cable that your device came with. The operational aspect of the Tecknet looks similar. The Tecknet does look a bit wider than the Mophie and it's not ruggedised or IP65 rated, but the price difference is considerable. My main reservation in the Mophie review was the price.

        Ian
        If that is the only difference, then I think I'll look into the Tecknet options a little further.

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        • #5
          Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

          It's a few months later now, and I've finally got myself an external battery device.

          I recently bought a new Android phone and I knew before I got it that I would probably struggle with battery life (it's not too bad for a low-use user like me, but it really could do with a better battery than 1500mAh).

          With this in mind, I've been looking at external battery devices in case I get caught out anywhere or if there's a power failure at home (it has been known!).

          I decided on the iAnker Astro 3:


          For around 30, you get a 10,000mAh battery with two USB ports (5V,2A) plus an output port switchable between 9V and 12V for charging larger devices such as cameras, netbooks, tablets, etc. One of the USB ports is "designed for Apple" products and the other "designed for Samsung". I'm not sure of the difference.

          I've had it for a few days and have successfully used it to charge up my new phone and iPad simultaneously. I don't yet have the correct tip for my Android tablet, but I should have one soon. Many charging tips are provided, but not the one I need.

          This isn't rugged like the Mophie of the original review but, at a third of the cost, that's understandable.

          The weight of the Astro3 means it's not something you'd be comfortable lugging around in your pocket every day but they do smaller versions (2600mAh, 3200mAh, 5600mAh, and 8400mAh). I'm pleased enough with the Astro3 to consider investing in one of the smaller more-pocketable devices too (starting from under 15 for the 3200mAh version). I know others who are often short of battery power when away from a mains socket, so I'll probably be getting some of the smaller ones in for Christmas presents.

          There are so many of these devices around that it would be nice if there was a good comparison review of them. Looking for sensible reviews on the web is an exercise in difficulty.

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          • #6
            Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

            Following up a little bit, I see that my iAnker Astro 3 has been replaced by the iAnker Astro 3E. It has the advantage of being able to output a total of 3A now (up from 2A), but it's lost the 9V and 12V output. The new version only has 5V USB outlets.

            I don't know the reason for dropping the higher voltage outputs. One reviewer of the original Astro 3 had it charging their netbook. That won't be possible with the new "upgraded" version.

            The reviewer in question remarked that the Astro 3 did get a little hot while charging the netbook (presumably because the netbook tried to draw 12V 3A, when only 12V 2A was available). Now the new Astro is capable of outputting 3A that could charge the netbook, but they drop the 12V port so that it can't. Sounds strange.

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            • #7
              Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

              Originally posted by JSR View Post
              Following up a little bit, I see that my iAnker Astro 3 has been replaced by the iAnker Astro 3E. It has the advantage of being able to output a total of 3A now (up from 2A), but it's lost the 9V and 12V output. The new version only has 5V USB outlets.

              I don't know the reason for dropping the higher voltage outputs. One reviewer of the original Astro 3 had it charging their netbook. That won't be possible with the new "upgraded" version.

              The reviewer in question remarked that the Astro 3 did get a little hot while charging the netbook (presumably because the netbook tried to draw 12V 3A, when only 12V 2A was available). Now the new Astro is capable of outputting 3A that could charge the netbook, but they drop the 12V port so that it can't. Sounds strange.
              Maybe it was a safety issue? 2A and 12V is 24 watts, while 3A at 5V is only 15 watts - maybe the size of battery simply can't handle a 24W load safely?

              Presumably this is not through a USB port but a separate port? I thought USB was limited to 5V 2.1W?

              Ian
              Founder/editor
              Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
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              • #8
                Re: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro USB power pack review

                Originally posted by Ian View Post
                Maybe it was a safety issue? 2A and 12V is 24 watts, while 3A at 5V is only 15 watts - maybe the size of battery simply can't handle a 24W load safely?

                Presumably this is not through a USB port but a separate port? I thought USB was limited to 5V 2.1W?

                Ian
                It wasn't recommended to charge something higher rated than the Astro3, and the reviewer certainly knew that he was pushing the limits of what it was meant to do - which is why he stopped when he thought it was getting too hot. It did charge his netbook to about 2/3rds, IIRC, before he turned it in.

                It does use a separate port for the 9V/12V output (with a switch to select between the voltages). The photo I originally posted has vanished from the iAnker website, so I'll have to find another one to show a comparison.


                This is the original with the extra "output" port and the switch along the side.


                This is the new one with only the two USB ports.

                For most people, it's not going to be an issue. However, given that there are several models in the Astro range that cater for USB devices, the extra 9V/12V output on the top-end model was an added bonus. If you had a device that required 9V or 12V at 2A or less, it was a handy feature.

                For example, I have a rechargeable 9" portable DVD player. The power adapter on that says it outputs 12V/1A which would be right up the Astro3's street - but it's not an option for the Astro3E replacement. The original could probably power my ageing HP Jornada 720, too.

                Most modern devices seem geared towards USB charging (5V), but it's those older devices that we can't get batteries for that would be ideal for something like an external battery pack with a switchable voltage output. Sadly, that's not to be for the Astro any more. The new one still does what's needed for most people, but the original demonstrated that it could have been capable of much more. That said, the new one does allow up to 3A output over USB.

                Not that it puts me off too much. I did buy one of the smaller models (single USB) for a friend for Christmas so that she'll have a portable battery source for her phone.

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