Go the Distance with the Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL External Battery

We’ve reviewed dozens of external batteries here on Gear Diary but few have offered the combination of simplicity, power and understated elegance of the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL. This external battery was made with the most recent MacBooks in mind but is also quite friendly with devices that employ a USB-C connector. Of course, USB-A is still present as well.

When you first get the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL, you might wonder why it costs $149.95. After all, it isn’t that large. It isn’t that heavy. It doesn’t have lots of bells, whistles, lights or buttons. It doesn’t look like there’s much going on with the battery. And that’s the point! The mophie powerstation USB-C XXL is a simple but powerful external battery that gets the job done.

For years, external batteries were bricks of shiny plastic with a rechargeable battery stuck inside. The powerstation USB-C XXL maintains this boxy design but has a slight borrowing on one of its long sides. This not only adds a bit of visual interest but it lets you immediately know which side of the battery has the ports.

With the exception of the two ends and the long, slightly narrower side, the battery is covered in a soft, durable fabric wrap. The fabric adds both aesthetic and tactile “class” to the battery. It also serves a functional role by helping to keep both the powerstation battery and other devices free from scratches when you toss it in your gear bag.

One of the battery’s ends houses the USB-C and USB-A ports. The USB-C port serves double duty as both the port used to charge the battery and the means to charge devices that have adopted the USB-C standards. The legacy USB-A port only serves as a charging port. More on these in a bit.

The slightly narrowed long end of the battery does not have the fabric wrap that covers the majority of the batter’s surface. It houses the small, unobtrusive power button and the even smaller, even less obtrusive LED power indicator. A quick press of the button lets you see how much of a charge the battery has remaining. When you press and hold the button, however, it switches the USB-C port to “power input” mode so you can recharge the powerstation battery from a computer.

On the outside, the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL is understated and subdued. On the inside, however, it is bold and serious. As mophie puts it:

mophie universal batteries just got more powerful. The powerstation USB-C XXL is a high-capacity universal battery with enough power to charge a USB-C laptop as well as charge all your other USB devices.

The powerstation USB-C XXL has a high-capacity 19,500mAh rechargeable battery that delivers enough power to keep all your devices running for hours and hours of additional time when you are out and about. For example, if you are using an iPhone 7 Plus, the battery will give you an extra 66 hours. If you have a Samsung GALAXY Tab S3 tablet, you will see an additional 27 hours of time thanks to this battery. And if you have the new MacBook, you will get an additional 14 hours of use from the computer thanks to the size of the battery and the USB-C port. That’s right, this battery may be small and relatively light, but it can more than double the time you get from your MacBook.

That, however, is just the beginning. The mophie powerstation USB-C XXL has mophie’s Priority+ Charging. That means you can

connect the powerstation battery to a wall adapter in the evening and pass-through charging will send power to a connected device first, then recharges the powerstation battery so both are fully charged when you wake up.

It also contains “mophie digital power management” that employs smart charging circuitry to deliver the charge best suited for the device connected to it. The USB-C PD input/output port can send up to 30W of fast-charging speed to a USB-C laptop or other devices but does duo in a manner that is safe for the laptop’s circuitry. As previously noted, this same port is used to recharge the powerstation and uses the same smart charging circuitry for recharging so you can be ready to go faster than ever.

The USB-A port is also quite zippy delivering a 2.4A Quick Charge to devices that can accept such speeds and power. And, better still, you can use both the USB-C and the USB-A ports simultaneously. In other words, you can use the USB-C port to charge your laptop and, at the very same time, the USB-A port to charge your phone.

You do, however, have to supply your own Lighting cable since the powerstation only ships with USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables.

Features:

  • BATTERY CAPACITY: 19,500mAh
  • COMPATIBILITY: Newest MacBooks and devices with USB-C or USB-A connectors
  • DIMENSIONS: 5.9” x 3.3” x 0.91”
  • WEIGHT: 13.76 oz
  • WARRANTY: 2 Year Warranty
  • IN THE BOX: powerstation USB-C XXL, USB-A to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-C cable

At $149.95, the mophie powerstation XXL initially looks a bit too pricey, but looks can be deceiving. This is a prime example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The 19,500mAh battery is powerful and the smart circuitry will not only quickly charge your laptop, tablet or phone but will do so in a manner that is as safe as it is efficient. It has taken its place in my gear bag and, on a recent trip to Boston to see my sister, it came in quite handy. Check it out here.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the mophie powerstation XXL

What I Like: Unassuming looks but serious charging power; huge capacity battery; Cloth wrap looks and feels good while keeping both the battery and other devices in your bag safe; Fast charging ports are efficient while also protecting the attached devices

What Needs Improvement: May cause some initial sticker shock


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.