Having a smartphone abroad can be handy. GPS, texting and translation apps would ruin the premise of many a 90s sitcom's "holiday" episode but currently handset's batteries drain so quickly these features can be of little use. That's where the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro comes in. It's a high-capacity battery brick that'll charge just about any gadget, while withstanding the elements.
Mophie Juice Pack Universal Powerstation Pro Design
For something so functional, the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro is an attractive little thing. It's around the size of an iPod classic, but is twice as thick.
This makes it a little too big to carry around with you 24/7, but it's intended to be sturdy enough to sling in a bag without causing the thing any damage. Most of its outer part is coated is rubber. It's high-friction, it's hardwearing and it feels pretty good in-hand too.
Mophie has chosen to give the Powerstation Pro chunky, industrial lines to accentuate the impression of ruggedness, but there's a practical benefit too. The front part of the device is a sheet of anodised metal, and the extruding rubber edges stop it from getting scratched or damaged when it's put down on a surface. We took it to a festival to try the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro in the field, and it came back completely scratch-free.
Another benefit of the rubber outer is that it lets the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro offer impressive weather-proofing. It's certified to IP65 level, meaning it's completely dust-proof and can handle being pelted with jets of water without letting any in. Rain poses no problem.
The key bits of this weatherproofing are the rubber flaps that cover the two ports on the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro, both of which sit on the bottom edge. There's a full-size USB port, into which you'll plug whatever cable suits the device you're using - an Apple 30-pin charger, iPhone 5 compatible Lightning port, a Samsung Galaxy S3 boosting microUSB cable and so on. The other is a microUSB port, used to charge the 6000mAh internal battery.
There's also a single rubber button that sits on the side of the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro. Press it and the four-dot indicator within the front metal panel will light up, showing you how much charge is left.
This is certainly among the classiest battery units we've ever used. It has been designed with consideration for looks as well as utility, and as our testing proved, the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro can handle some less-than-loving treatment.
Mophie Juice Pack Universal Powerstation Pro Performance
Our main test for the battery was in charging an iPhone 4 - likely to be a common usage for a device like this. The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro outputs up to 2.1A, giving it the same amp rating as an iPad 3 adapter. This means no slow-mo charging from this battery box, and it automatically alters its output depending on the needs to the device plugged in.
The 6000mAh battery charges up an iPhone 4 up fully twice, with some juice left for a final brief top-up. Make conservative use of mobile internet connectivity, and the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro will keep your smartphone running a full week, and a fair bit longer besides.
The results won't be quite so impressive with a tablet, though. Many offer battery capacity around this level, and the iPad 3 in particular exceeds it, massively. The iPad 3 has a 11,666 battery - almost twice the capacity of the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro.
We also found that the Mophie isn't as intelligent as it could be once the gadget you're charging is full. It appears to continue trickling charging after a device has had its fill, so if you leave it plugged-in overnight you may find that the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro's own battery has dropped more than you might have hoped.
Mophie Juice Pack Universal Powerstation Pro Verdict
One of the highest-quality mobile battery chargers on the market, the Mophie Juice Pack Universal Powerstation Pro looks, feels and is the part. It's rugged, it's highly portable and its USB port offers flexible, insert-free charging for a great many devices. Perfect it may not be, especially if you're out to charge a tablet, but this is a class act.