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Mobility Digest Review: PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack

Back in my WinMo days I was a battery bloodhound, constantly checking for apps and tweaks that stole more juice than they were supposed to. With my Tilt2 Extended Battery, along with logging tools and my snooping efforts, I squeezed as many hours as you possibly could out of my phone, without compromising the user experience.

Shortly after picking up my Surround though, with it’s miniscule 1230mAh battery, locked down access to pretty much everything, and no possibility of ever seeing an OEM extended battery (for the 30 or 40 of us who really wanted one), I needed to find an alternative. Compromising the way I use my phone, like; dimming the screen to unusable levels, setting the sleep time out to 30 seconds (3 minutes for me), turning off email sync, avoiding live tiles, turning data and/or wifi on/off all day, and all those other things that people do to save power are not options for me. Like putting plastic slip covers on your living room furniture. I bought my phone to enjoy and I damn well will, while I can.

My solution was  a USB Portable Power Supply. Been using a DigiPower Power Plus 1700mAh, with a convenient AC plug built in, but after probably 500 charges, it is starting to lose some juice. A search on Amazon found the PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack. This little guy sports a 2900mAh capacity and a couple other bells and whistles.

The Juice Pack measures about 4.125” x 2.25” x 0.375” and weighs in at 3.5oz, so it’s easy to slip in a pocket, or just about anywhere else. Included in the box is a 27” USB to PIN cable along with three adapters for; iPhone/iPod, Micro USB and Nokia Small DC. All white, btw, for the iApple fans out there. Output is DC5V / 0.6A, which is 0.1A more than my DigiPower charger. You charge the unit via a Micro USB port (cable not included) connected to either a standard AC or car phone charger, or through any standard USB port on a computer.

While charging, or by pressing the button on the Juice Pack, a display will appear showing current charge level of; 25, 50, 75 or 100%. Press and hold the button for about 1.5 seconds and a convenient LED light will help you find your way. The included cable plugs into a standard USB port on the front of the unit, but tucked on the side is a Mini USB plug with a 3-4” long spiral cord. The built-in cord may not be ideal for everyday use, but good to have if all you want to carry is the Juice Pack, and you have a phone that uses Mini USB.

I found a USB to Mini USB cable online a while back that measures 12” plug to plug, and is my preferred method for charging my phone during the day. I can walk around the house with the phone and charger cupped in my medium size mitt, without being tethered to a 4’ long cord. Not perfect, but it works for me. I will also often carry the pair out to the car with me rather than digging my car charger out of the glove box, plugging in, then unplugging and stowing away later. Gives me as much power as possible to play once I reach my destination.

USB Portable Chargers are not suited for being pocketable while in use, but for most any other situation they do come in handy.

You can find the PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack at Amazon for $22.99. Just discovered that you can also find this in white for a couple extra dollars.

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