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Review: iPhone 3G mobile power station

Iphone_mps

Battery life may not be one of the top complaints about the iPhone 3G, but that doesn't mean it couldn't stand to be better. Considering its multimedia, gaming, and internet features, most people are obviously using it as much more than just a phone. And that, of course, eats up battery life more quickly. For example, my iPhone 3G isn't even a phone anymore (thanks, Xperia X1) and yet I still charge it daily because of how often I use it for other things.

That's why I couldn't refuse WirelessGround's offer to send me their 800mAh mobile power station for review. They even sent me an extra one to give away to one of you! Read my full review below and find out how you can be the one to get it.

Iphone_mps_pkg

Design

The li-ion mobile power station weighs about 1.4 ounces, has a capacity of 800mAh, and is compatible with both the first-gen iPhone and the iPhone 3G.

Iphone_mps_cnt 

It's made of glossy black plastic and features the same rounded corners and width as the iPhone so that it only elongates the device, rather than make it thicker or shaped like an upside-down T that would be more awkward to hold.

Iphone_mps_comp

It is by no means attractive (it's just a battery, after all) or subtle, but it could look a lot worse.

Fit

Iphone_mps_side  

The iPhone connects to the top of the mobile power station with ease and the output arrow instantly lights up blue to let you know that the connection is good and, obviously, that power is being output. The fit is secure but it could be a little tighter, as the two units can be "shaken" apart pretty easily.

Function

Since the power station is only 800mAh, it doesn't have the capacity to fully charge an iPhone or iPhone 3G. It will generally only take the iPhone 3G's battery from 10% to about 75% before being depleted.

Iphone_mps_chrg

What it's better for, then, is to keep the phone's internal battery topped off and/or to be used while the iPhone itself is in use. The power station receives a full charge in about 2.5 hours.

Iphone_mps_use 

Using the iPhone while it's being powered/charged by the mobile power station can be a bit tricky in landscape mode, but it's fine in portrait mode, for watching videos (it covers the speaker but actually has no impact on the volume), or for doing anything that doesn't require two-handed simultaneous thumb interaction. I don't know about you, but I rarely use my thumbs at all on the iPhone, anyway; it's more of a hold-in-one-hand, tap-with-the-other kind of device for me.

By the way, anyone else think of that crazy-long Moorestown concept MID when looking at the photo above?

I haven't run any drain tests because I use my iPhone 3G in spurts throughout the day, but I do know that it can provide enough power for me to not have to plug in the phone every day. Your experience will vary depending on usage.

Conclusion

There are higher-capacity external batteries for the iPhone out there, but the 800mAh mobile power station from WirelessGround does what it's designed to do and does it all for just $29.95. Not bad, if you ask me. Not bad at all.

Want one for free? Just leave a comment. I don't care where you live or what you say (as long as it's not obscene or offensive, of course!). I'll pick someone at random in the next few days and update this review with the winner's name. If your name is chosen, I'll contact you by email first.

UPDATE: Congratulations to ReidRacer for winning the power station.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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Avatar of Jenn K. Lee

42 thoughts on “Review: iPhone 3G mobile power station

  • Avatar of bluemonq

    I suppose this would work just as well with an iPod Touch, right?

    Just out of curiosity. Not expecting to win it or anything, really.

    *cough*

    Reply
  • Hey Jenn,

    Thanks for the review… I kinda like this thing.

    I think they did a respectable job (aesthetically) designing it considering what it is (just batteries).

    I continue to be disappointed that Apple (S Jobs) doesn’t see the merits in allowing a user/owner to change/swap their own batteries. :(

    Reply
  • Oddly enough, no. It doesn’t fit a first-gen touch. Not sure about the second-gen one but considering that only the iPhone is mentioned on the product page, I’m assuming it doesn’t work.

    Reply
  • I mean hey if its a battery all it really needs to do is charge it right?

    Reply
  • Avatar of JDGAFFLIN

    Have no nned for this, but I’ve never won a contest, so why not?

    Reply
  • My one complaint about the iPhone 3G is battery life, it does so much and I use alot of it’s functionality, including games and I struggle to make it last a day.

    Reply
  • I like the aesthetics but it looks like it makes using iphone harder. I think I’d prefer a cord between the phone and battery better.

    Reply
  • Avatar of maxmasa31

    A very nice portable charger! I know my battery is always running low–I’m always using my apps (video frame calculators, games, Safari) and listening to music, so something like this would be a god-send on trips. I’ve also been looking at the Mophie Juice Pack, which also looks very nice–does the same thing, but without affecting the iPhone’s slick profile too much.

    Reply
  • Avatar of William Ko

    I like free stuff! :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of MarcG

    Isn’t the headphone socket at the bottom on the first gen iPhone? That will have an impact.

    Would be nice if it came with a cable too, so you didn’t have to have it attached to the phone.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Larry Silverman

    Matches nicely with the Defender case.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark Nylund

    I have been looking for an additional power source for emergencies and this looks like it might work well for that.

    I just wish that some smart person would combine a stereo bluetooth adapter with an external battery. This would give the extra power needed and wireless music.

    Just my 2cents

    Reply
  • Avatar of J. Fung

    Hmmm…I was wondering, as an emergency battery device, how long is the “stand-by” time for the power station? I wouldn’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere (hopefully still with cell coverage), at night, with my iphone with no power, and a power station with no juice because I forgot to recharge…and it depleted itself…

    Reply
  • Avatar of Ricki

    I’ve been looking for some extra juice for my iPhone 3G. Thanks for the review! :)

    Reply
  • Good question. I don’t know the answer, unfortunately, but I would think that an unused power station would hold its charge for quite a while (unless there’s a leak or something). It only “turns on” when you connect it to an iPhone, so I think the drain is very, very, very low if it’s just sitting there by itself. Too bad there isn’t a multi-bar indicator on it to show how much power is left.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Oliver

    Battery life is most definitely the primary complaint I have about the iPhone 3G.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Travis

    I need one of these.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Jimmy Leung

    My iphone (and I) will love you for it!

    Reply
  • Avatar of ReidRacer

    This looks like a great extra charger. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
  • Avatar of b0stonirishguy

    3G is a power hog by nature. We have to pay the premium. =)

    Reply
  • Great review Jenn, this looks like a not too shabby solution. Also, is it compatible with the iPod touch? I have both and this would be GREAT if so.

    Reply
  • Whoa… way more comments after i posted. ha oops. :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of gloria chichi

    hi how do i get the i-phone 3g, thanks.

    Reply
  • good product .anyone want the power station for your iphone ?
    you are lucky, I am the iphone power station manufature from China mainland. if you want just contact me,nice quality and low cost product will be in your hand. it is blow $ 10USD
    call me by the email if you want to start one business with me : [email protected]

    Reply
  • Thanks for the review Mr.Jenn K. Lee ….didnt know about the external battery booster for the iphone…..it is one of the must have accesory..!!

    Reply
  • does the charger come with a power cord? Judging by the color of the pictured cord, I’m guessing no….

    Reply
  • i got mine and all it does is flash on and off and suggest to me its going to blow up my iphone.
    Its like it has a short. Maybe a bad one outa the batch. what ever im taking it back to shop and getting my money back. glad i didnt but it online!!!!

    Reply
  • I’D LOVE TO RECEIVE A FREE POWER STATION, IF IT WORKS I’LL BUY ONE FOR ALL MY FRIENDS. I LOVE THE IPHONE BUT HATE THAT IT HAS TO BE CHARGED SO OFTEN. THE BATTERY TIME IS TERRIBLE, I HAVE TO CARRY TWO PHONES.

    Reply
  • its realy important thing for me…. so nothing is impossible being at any where any place … so cooool isn’t it???

    Reply
  • Avatar of A Singh

    There is solar powered version of this on e-bay.. Go iphone go

    Reply
  • Avatar of nickm2386

    this looks like a sweet deal

    Reply
  • Looks like a good gadget considering its price. Been using iPhone for awhile now, and have been charging the phone daily too!

    Definitely a must have for all iPhone users. You can never have enough battery!

    Reply
  • thats really really coll give me the mobile power sation

    Reply
  • Avatar of Judy Jerome

    I just bought this for my iPhone3GS based on your review. I hope to use it on my next camping trip.

    Reply
  • I have a similar one I’m using on a 3GS. Using the phone while charging I get a boost of around 25% + obviously what I’m using in that time so about 35% overall. It’s very handy when away from power for more than a few hours. I do tend to use the phone heavily.

    Reply
  • This power station is awesome

    Reply
  • hey guys, i have had the iphone 4s now for just over a year, and although it is a great piece of kit, the battery life between charges is shockingly s**t……. 2 days ago i ordered one of these from ebay n recieved it this morning…….. charged it up and ran down my iphone battery and attemped to charge with power station, it is a must have tool, it charged phone from 10% all the way up to 92%. very impressed with this portable emergancy charger. PEOPLE WITH IPHONE 4 AND 4S’s SHOULD REALLY THINK ABOUT INVESTING IN ONE.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Gerry

    My mobile station arrived yesterday and I am still trying to find out if works. What should happen when you plug it into the phone? Should the battery bar come up? Plugged it into my phone when it was at 20% last night. While listening to Serius it went down to 10%. Would like to know if I am doing something wrong before I send it back. Any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply

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