I’ve been on the hunt for a small yet powerful backup battery, one that could fit in my smallest bag, one that had a built-in Lightning cable so that I didn’t have to carry anything extra. I’ve found that and much more in the Just Mobile TopGum Backup Battery.
Measuring 3.3″ tall x 2.1″ wide x 1.1″ thick, the TopGum is composed of plastic that has been clad in aluminum; it has rounded corners, and it fits comfortably in hand. Best of all, it has a built-in 3″ long 5V/2.4A Lightning cable, so that you don’t ever have to carry a spare. Assuming you use an iPhone or iPad, this will be ideal; if you are carrying a piece of gear that doesn’t, there is also a built-in 5V/1A USB port that you can attach a cable into.
The package includes the TopGum, a magnetic charging stand, a microUSB cable, and basic instructions. I should mention that the TopGum is available in gold/white, black/black, and silver/black.
There are four LEDs on the front of the TopGum; they will glow signifying charging percentages when the battery is in its dock or connected to a microUSB cable, and they will glow solidly when charging is complete. The button just above the LEDs will show the remaining charge when pressed, and it does not need to be pressed to begin charging a connected device.
The 3″ long built-in 5V/2A Lightning cable is tucked into the left side of the TopGum. If you slide it up slightly, you can pull it from its resting place.
I keep my TopGum’s dock mounted on top of a Bluelounge CableBin (you don’t want to know what kind of cable snarl is hidden inside that bin, trust me).
There are two strips of mounting tape on the bottom of the charging dock, so it won’t slide or fall from wherever you eventually mount it.
The Just Mobile TopGum is the perfect size to bring along everywhere you go, and if you have a phone with a larger battery (like my iPhone 6 Plus), you’ll get about 1.5 full recharges from it. It takes about an hour to bring an almost empty iPhone back to a 90% charge, and it takes about 4 hours to fully charge the TopGum. My strategy is to top off my phone periodically before its battery gets too low, which may be completely psychological, but it seems like it makes the TopGum last longer.
So what if you carry a second device?
That’s where the brilliant Just Mobile AluCable Duo comes in. At just 7″ total, the AluCable Duo is perfect for tucking in a bag or pocket without having to deal with a lot of excess cable. Best of all, it has both microUSB and Lightning tips, so it will work with practically every phone, tablet, or other mobile accessory available. The AluCable Duo has aluminum-clad tips, and it has a thicker (and likely more durable than the white OEM) black cable.
If you want a small yet powerful battery pack with a built-in Lightning charger, you ought to take a look at the Just Mobile TopGum; it’s pretty, powerful, and practical. The Just Mobile AluCable Duo is the perfect companion for the TopGum, but it is also handy for laptop users who don’t want a long cable hanging off their desk.
The Just Mobile TopGum retails for $79.95, and it is available directly from the manufacturer. The AluCable Duo is $19.95, and it is also available directly from Just Mobile.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review samples
What I Like: TopGum holds 6000mAh and has a built-in Lightning cable; TopGum is small and aesthetically pleasing; TopGum has a charging dock, or it can be charged with microUSB cable; AluCable Duo is small enough that it will easily fit in your bag or pocket; AluCable Duo has both microUSB and Lightning tips.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing