Portable charging banks are about a dime a dozen these days and come in shapes and sizes as small as a tube of lipstick up to chonky bricks that require a beefy bag to lug around. Standing out above all the myriad portable battery manufacturers is Mophie, a brand as synonymous with charging as Xerox is to photocopiers or Roomba is to robot vacuums. Mophie has just about reached the Kleenex point of being a proprietary eponym, where whenever someone refers to a battery pack, they typically call it a Mophie.
It's a little ironic that I was sent this portable battery pack to test at a time when I can't really go anywhere; nevertheless, I came away impressed at its overall utility. Here are my thoughts after spending one week in quarantine with the Mophie Powerstation Go.
Giant juice box
Mophie Powerstation Go
Bottom Line The Mophie Powerstation Go is a powerful utility for those who are always on the go. Whether you stow it in the car for work use or emergencies, or you just like having tons of power on reserve for leisure or the library, this power bank has you covered. About the only complaint I have with it is that I wish I could remember to bring it with me when I leave the house!
- Amazing utility with five charging outputs
- Long-lasting with 44400 mAh battery capacity
- Fairly lightweight and compact
- Multiple color options to choose from
- Too large capacity for airline travel
- Shouldn't leave in the car for long periods
- Have to remember to charge and bring with you
|Specs||Mophie Powerstation Go|
|Battery Cells||3x 4000 mAh cells|
|Battery Energy Capacity||44400 mWh|
|Input||14V DC/0.85 A|
|Wireless Output||5V DC / 1A|
|USB Output||2 x USB 5V DC / 2.4A|
|AC Output||115VAC / 60Hz / 65 Watt Max|
|Dimensions||182 mm x 97 mm x 40 mm
7.17 in x 3.82 in x 1.57 in
The Powerstation Go comes equipped with many useful ports, including AC output for recharging, two USB-A ports, a wireless charging pad, a connection for the mini-jumper cables, and an AC port to plug in larger devices like a laptop.
It is also packaged with several useful cords and cables. You get an AC wall plug to recharge the power bank, along with miniature, but workable jumper cables, a car charger, and a Micro-USB to USB-A charging cable. All of this comes in a handy carrying tote with printed instructions on how to use the jumpstart cables and how to charge your laptop with the device.
Finally, the device comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Things I liked
The model I received for testing was a rose gold color, which I actually kind of liked. It took on a coppery tone in certain lights that I thought looked elegant. It is also available in four other colors, including blue, purple, red, black, and camouflage (though I'm not sure what it's hiding from?). The device is pretty compact and weighs in at just over 1 1/2 pounds, so it's no problem at all to lug around in a backpack, but might be a little much for a purse or small handbag.
The PowerStation Go is like a Swiss Army knife for your tech needs.
The best thing about the Powersation Go is just how useful it is. It can charge a multitude of devices (even simultaneously), and with the jumpstarting capability, it can save your hide!
One of my favorite things about the Powerstation Go is the fact that it does what it calls Priority + charging. Essentially, when connected to a power source for recharging (be that your vehicle's charging port or a wall outlet), it will power the device(s) connected to it before replenishing its own supply. That's precisely what you want it to do.
There are no USB-C ports on the Powerstation Go, but I think that's forgivable. Most of our USB-C cables are really USB-A to USB-C, so you can still plug one end into this device, and the other to your Android phone and charge it just fine. Alternatively, there is the wireless charging pad at the top of the device that you can use. However, I found this method not to be a great option when driving, as my phone slid around too much.
At first, I was a little confused by the multiple power buttons on the charging pack. The first time I plugged in my Chromebook to the AC port, the laptop wouldn't charge, even after I pressed the power button (or so I thought). You see, there is a power button by each output type (USB ports, jumpstart port, AC port), and you need to press the correct button that corresponds to the port you plan to use. This makes total sense and probably has to do with the output for each respective port. Still, I was momentarily thrown off because the button that controls the USB ports and the wireless pad is located symmetrically in the middle of the device.
The inclusion of a bright LED floodlight is a welcome addition that, at first, may be seen as an afterthought, but it's not. It's a beneficial component that you will be grateful for when you need it. Imagine being stuck at the side of the road in low light conditions and having to change your tire. With this LED floodlight, you'll get up to 2 hours of light, which is plenty enough time to change your flat (even for me!). But don't be like me — don't stare directly at the light, wondering how bright it will get (spoiler - very).
Things I didn't like
There is a lot to like about the Powerstation Go, and for that, Mophie deserves its props. However, there are some tradeoffs that I think are worth pointing out here. Note that they're not necessarily the fault of the manufacturer, but just usability issues that I wanted to bring to your attention.
The device is great, but there are some real-world use case problems to consider.
The ability to jumpstart your car from a portably battery pack is fantastic, but unfortunately (or, fortunately?), I wasn't able to test out this feature during my time with the device. Even before this whole social isolation thing started, I worked from home and didn't drive very often or very far. I suppose I could have devised some sort of test to drain my car battery and try out the Powerstation Go, but let's face it: I would've more likely blown up my car.
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in thinking this, but the jumpstart feature, while a significant selling point of this device, is something that most people will never, ever use, until they have to. That's a rough time to be relying on a feature that you've never tried out before. I just hope that if I'm ever in a situation where I'll need to jumpstart my car, I a) will remember to bring the Mophie with me, b) remember to have it charged, and c) hope that the device works as advertised!
Speaking of remembering to charge, I think that's another thing about the Powerstation Go that isn't really a fault of the device, but potentially a failure of the user. It is a rechargeable battery, so that means you'll have to remember to recharge it now and then. True, you can charge it on the go with the included car charger accessory (if you remember to leave that in your glove box), but more likely, you'll need to bring it in and recharge it in the house every few days.
That brings me to the third user issue — forgetfulness. I know that if I need to bring the Powerstation Go into my home to charge it semi-regularly, I'm very likely just to leave it there. And it doesn't do me much good on the go if it's left at home.
However, you will have to bring it in from the car frequently. The Powerstation Go has several large Lithium-ion batteries, and as such, you shouldn't leave the device outside where it's susceptible to temperature shifts. Here in Austin, it was 94 degrees on Friday, and it's 45 right now. That's a lot of variation for a battery to take.
The final con here might be a deal-breaker for many. If you are a frequent air traveler, you'll likely need to leave the Powerstation Go behind. As lovely as it would be to plug in your laptop with this power bank on your tray table, it's not allowed by FAA regulations. Anything over 100 Wh is prohibited unless you receive permission from your airline, and the Powerstation Go is well above that at around 163 Wh.
When my 94-year-old grandmother bought a very similar device off of QVC for my college-bound daughter this past Christmas, I was a bit dubious of its utility. I didn't even break it out of the box and get it set up for her until, well, about the time I received the review unit from Mophie. It turns out that it's a pretty great idea to have something like this with you on the go!
The Powerstation Go isn't just a handy device for auto emergencies. I can see it as the perfect product for people who are in their cars a lot for work and need to power iPads, laptops, and phones (think Realtors, estimators, delivery drivers). It could be a sanity-saving tool for parents on a road trip (the two USB ports and wireless pad mean that multiple kids can charge their tablets or Nintendo Switches at once). Heck, I even see this as a great device for the student at the coffee shop that doesn't have enough outlets, or the soccer dad wanting to get some work done during junior's practice.
If you are more responsible than me and/or if you have a better memory than me and can remember to not only keep the device topped up, but actually remember to bring it with you, then the Powerstation Go is a handy tech and safety device. It's also priced pretty reasonably, and compared to similar products, it doesn't seem to carry much of a Mophie tax for its premium, brand name status.
Giant juice box
Mophie Powerstation Go
The Mophie Powerstation Go is a powerful utility for those who are always on the go. Whether you stow it in the car for work use or emergencies, or you just like having tons of power on reserve for leisure or the library, this power bank has you covered. About the only complaint I have with it is that I wish I could remember to bring it with me when I leave the house!
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