I rarely leave the house without a bag filled with technology. At a minimum, it's a laptop and a phone. Typically, you can add on another phone to that. Plus Bluetooth headphones, often a camera, and supporting accessories for everything. That all requires power; lots of it. And that means I'm always on the lookout for new and innovative mobile batteries to keep everything charged up.
Since I started using a MacBook Pro with USB-C charging, I've kept a USB-C Power Delivery (PD) battery in my backpack to charge up the laptop when reserves are low — and in turn be able to charge up a USB-C PD phone quickly (and several times over). Right now, the Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL is the best tool for the job. It's my go-anywhere, charge-everything battery that has a permanent placement at the bottom of my backpack.
- 45W USB-C PD output
- 45W USB-C PD input for quick recharges
- Fantastic build quality
- 2-year warranty
- Incredibly expensive
- Fabric covering will fade over time
- Only two power outputs
I recognize that a battery of this size is complete overkill if all you need to charge is phones, or even tablets, while you're away from wall outlets. But if you have a laptop, 26000mAh is right in the sweet spot. It's enough capacity to fully recharge my 13-inch MacBook Pro while in use, meaning it can easily top up a laptop while also giving a full charge to a phone over its USB-A port at 5V/2.4A. It even has just enough output to maintain a 15-inch MacBook Pro with dedicated GPU during heavy video editing.
Moreover, the capacity simply provides peace of mind to know you always have an ample amount of capacity left even when you've been using it off and on throughout the day. I regularly go on overnight trips and bring just this battery and a standard phone-size wall charger with me, and have no concerns about being able to use my laptop for hours and hours over the course of the two days. Knowing I can plug into this huge battery with fast output has alleviated much of my battery anxiety with my MacBook Pro.
The only real downside to this battery is that it can only power two devices at once, while some of the competition offers three outputs. Mophie chooses to use one USB-C port purely for input — and charges up the battery at a rapid pace with 45W — and then a single USB-C and USB-A for output. It's a niche situation when I need three outputs at once, and I'm willing to take the trade-off in order to have this high of output for my laptop (which itself has USB-C for output if needed, remember).
At 1.13 pounds, the Mophie is hefty to carry around. I can easily tell the difference between picking up my backpack with and without the battery in it. But I counteract some of that added weight by not having to carry my MacBook Pro's wall charger for short trips where the battery alone will do. And Mophie hasn't been wasteful with the design here — there's no added bulk, and the hardened plastic case feels solid while being lighter than competing metal-cased batteries (Anker's weighs in at 1.27 pounds) of similar capacity.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Mophie's fabric covering on such a utilitarian device, but I've actually come to like it. I've seen some Mophie batteries with this same fabric that have been used for several months, and they definitely start to show some wear, but at the same time the fabric makes it a bit easier to grip and removes the chances you'll scratch or dent a table (or floor) by dropping it.
Look, the Powerstation USB-C 3XL is absurdly expensive for what it is. Mophie has never been a value-focused brand, but one that makes high-quality products at correspondingly high prices. The 3XL costs a whopping $200, which is just way too much for most people to justify spending on a battery — particularly when you can get an Anker 26800mAh battery with 30W output for $130 or a RavPower battery with the same specs for just $80. Both are even cheaper than Mophie's 19000mAh version of the battery.
4.5 out of 5
But right now, that extra money for the Mophie battery is getting you something unique: that 45W USB-C output, on top of all of the battery's other redeeming qualities. If you wait several more months, the competition will probably catch up and offer 45W USB-C at a lower price. But for now, Mophie is at the top of the heap and has locked down a spot in my bag everywhere I go.
Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.
What a strange decision to have one USB-C port only for charging. If they'd make this port both input and output, it'd be so much better.
I agree it would be much better, but I also understand why Mophie did it. I've had USB-C batteries that don't properly handle the choice of input/output over a single USB-C port, and they eventually get confused and stop doing either one. They just brick themselves and can no longer charge up. Soooo unless Mophie was 100% confident it could solve that problem, I'm not too upset about 1 USB-C for input only.
There are now a couple of "value" brands with 45W USB-C battery packs. I have one from Jackery, and despite its (comparatively) low price, the build quality is outstanding. But there is no avoiding how big & heavy these things are. A company called OmniCharge debuted some really interesting USB-C battery packs at CES. Several of them support wireless charging (just lay your phone on top of the power bank), which I think is brilliant.
Battery packs with wireless charging have been around for years, but i wouldn't recommend them. They're a little bulkier, much slower and less efficient... Using more battery to charge slower just for the convenience of not having to plug a cable in doesn't seem like a very good tradeoff.
The trade-off to have wireless charging in the portable battery really isn't worth it.
This is an absurd price. There are equivalents from Jackery, NextGadget, Charmast, ZMI and others for 50% or less of the price.
Is this certified to work with the Pixel 3XL? Or does it charge at regular speeds?
It's fully USB-C PD compliant. It'll charge any PD device, like the Pixels, at their max rate.
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