We’ve said it over and over and over again — battery life is the Achilles Heel of today’s mobile devices. Speeds have improved, screen resolution and size have too; battery technology has, unfortunately, not kept pace. The result is that many of use have to either carry our wall adapter and charger cable or an external battery. And there are some people, me for example, who carry both. These days I’m carrying the PowerSkin PoP’n battery in my jacket and another battery in my gear bag. Here’s why the PowerSkin PoP’n battery is so useful.
The PowerSkin PoP’n battery has an unusual design that is new in the world of external batteries for the iPhone 5 or iPod touch 5G. In fact, the company advertises the PowerSkin PoP’n as “one of the world’s first Apple-Certified iPhone 5 external charging solutions”. The PowerSkin PoP’n battery is just 10mm thick and weighs just 86g, but it packs a 2000mAh battery inside. That means the PowerSkin PoP’n battery can add up to 70% extra run time to your iPhone 5.
The PowerSkin PoP’n battery is simple to use. The lower portion of the charger has a lightning adapter connected to a flexible curved connector that ends in the battery itself. The flexibility of the adapter makes it possible for the PowerSkin PoP’n battery to work with both iPhones and iPod touches. And while the PowerSkin PoP’n battery works well with naked devices, it also works with many cases. You might note I wrote “many cases”. Many… but not all.
If the case has a small opening for the lightning adapter, then the PowerSkin Pop’n battery might not work. And while the multiple suction cups work well on flat, solid cases — where it easily grabs hold and becomes “one” with the device — that isn’t the case on rough surfaces like the real wood back I have on my iPhone or the Bodyguardz skin I have on my 5th generation iPod touch.
The PowerSkin PoP’n Battery comes with the battery, one adapter (more on that in a moment), a USB to microUSB cable for charging the battery, and an instruction booklet. It isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t come with a carrying bag. That’s too bad and, as a result, my review sample already has a few scratches from time spent in my jacket pocket or gear bag.
Using the PowerSkin PoP’n battery is simple. Once it is plugged into your iPhone or iPod touch, you simply press and hold the button on the back. Two enough to turn it on or off, and a short press activates the hidden blue lights that indicate how much charge remains. These lights also illuminate when the PowerSkin PoP’n battery is charging.
Here’s what it looks like when used with my 5th generation iPod touch.
But wait…there’s more! The lightning adapter at the bottom comes off the battery. Why is that important? Simple, the company notes that interchangeable connectors that will transform the battery pack into a hybrid charger will soon be available. That means one PowerSkin PoP’n battery will soon work with a wide range of different devices.
As I noted in my post during MWC, when I first received word of the PowerSkin PoP’n battery, I thought it was a joke. I mean… who puts suction cups on an external battery. After using the PowerSkin PoP’n battery on a day trip to Florida last week and a three-day trip to Washington DC this week I’m no longer laughing. The PowerSkin PoP’n battery is convenient, easy to carry and easy to use. And once I get a few more tip adapters it will be an essential travel tool. I’m sold on it, and I think you will be too.
What I Like: Slim and light but packs a 2000mAh battery; Different adapters are/will be available; Available in white or black with more colors on the way; Simple to use; Unobtrusive power indicators
What Needs Improvement: Only grips devices with a smooth, solid back
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample