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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