New mophie battery pack is truly built for iPhone [Review]


mophie Powerstation Plus XL
Recharge your iPad and iPhone simultaneously with the mophie Powerstation Plus XL. It even has a built-in Lightning connector and port.
Photo: mophie

External batteries are widely available but surprisingly few of them are really designed with Apple users in mind. That’s because all too many require a microUSB cable to get power. The mophie Powerstation Plus XL is a rare exception.

It’s recharged through a built-in Lightning port. The new accessory has a Lighting connector on a built-in cable too. If that wasn’t enough, it can be wirelessly recharged.

mophie Powerstation Plus XL review

This stylish battery pack holds 10,000 mAh — enough for a couple of full charges — and sells for $99.95. Don’t miss our in-depth review.

mophie Powerstation Plus XL hardware

This accessory is 5.5 by 3.0 by 0.7 inches (14.0 by 7.6 by 1.8 cm). It weighs in at 9.2 oz (260g). This makes it something you could carry in a pocket, but it rides much better in a backpack or purse.

mophie dressed the front and back of the Powerstation Plus XL with fabric. Color options are  black, grey, and light blue. It looks like the solid, high-quality item it is.

mophie Powerstation Plus XL
The mophie Powerstation Plus XL comes in black (shown here), grey (shown above), and blue.
Photo: mophie

Wrapping around two sides is a 7-inch cable with a Lightning connector on the end. mophie licensed the tech from Apple, so it’ll have no problems with your iPhone or iPad.

On one end of the battery is a USB-A port so you can plug in another cable to recharge a second device. This puts out 10W for speedy charging.

On that same end is the Lightning port that sets this battery apart from virtually all the competition. To recharge the Powerstation Plus XL, use the charger and cable that came with your IOS device. You don’t have to carry around a micro-USB cable just for your battery. Just keep in mind, mophie doesn’t include a Lightning cable or “wall brick” with this product.

The Lighting port isn’t the only way to charge it. Just put it on any Qi wireless charging pad to top it off. We occasionally put our test unit on a charging pad to keep it topped off.

On the fourth edge of the Powerstation Plus XL is a set of four LED status lights. These give an approximate indication of how much power remains in the battery, and also blink to show when this accessory is charging or being charged itself.

Next to the these LEDs is a power button. It’s necessary to push this to “wake up” mophie’s accessory to start charging an iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, just plugging in the iOS device isn’t enough.

mophie Powerstation Plus XL performance

This mobile recharger holds 10,000 mAh. An iPhone X has a 2,716mAh battery, so this charger should be able to power up the phone 3 times, right? It’s not that simple because no battery is 100 percent efficient.

We tested the real-world performance of the Powerstation Plus XL with our iPhone X. Over multiple charge cycles, it was able to increase the phone’s battery 221 percent. More than two full phone recharges isn’t bad, especially as it indicates this battery is about 60 percent efficient, which is actually quite good.

You can use this accessory on an iPad, but consider that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2017) has a battery capacity larger than this external one. If you try it, expect about a 60 percent charge.

As mentioned earlier, charging doesn’t start when the iOS device is plugged in. It’s necessary to manually start the process by pushing the side button.

We also did a rough test to see how quickly the mophie Powerstation Plus XL itself recharges on a Qi charging pad. From completely empty, it took 4.5 hours to get to two blinking LEDs indicating a 50 percent charge. All four lights lit up after about 7 to 8 hours. We performed this test with the mophie Charge Stream Pad Mini, which we also recently reviewed.

Please note that the wireless power receiver is on the bottom of this item. Placing it upside down on a charger accomplishes nothing, though some chargers will blink to indicate they’re trying.

Priority+ Charging means that this accessory can be used to recharge your iPhone while mophie’s charger is itself recharging. This won’t damage the battery, and the iPhone will get its power first. Or you can daisy-chain them together when you go to bed, and they’ll both be charged when you wake up.

mophie Powerstation Plus XL conclusion

This external battery provides a couple of solid recharges for an iPhone. It does that while managing to look good and reasonably portable.

The $99.95 pricetag might make some blink, as 10,000 mAh batteries can be found for considerably cheaper. The extra cost is for the “bells and whistles,” especially the Lightning port and connector. mophie had to pay licensing fees for these, pushing up the cost.

These add-ons found at least one fan: Apple itself. The iPhone maker likes this product so much it’s exclusively  available in the Apple Store. Somewhat confusingly, there it’s called the mophie powerstation plus 10000 Universal Battery with Lightning Connector.

It’s also for sale from mophie’s webstore, but nowhere else.

mophie provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.