Advanced features make latest Mophie power bank a total champ [Review]

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Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless review
It’s a good thing that the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless is useful, because it’s sure not very attractive.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Mophie Powerstation Plus XL doesn’t just extend the battery life of your iPhone, it also makes recharging your handset a snap. The 8000mAh power bank has an integrated Lightning cable, plus it offers wireless charging.

Mophie has a long history of producing top-tier external batteries. That’s why this one is available from the Apple Store. I test this accessory to see if it lives up to its maker’s reputation for dependability.

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless review

High-capacity batteries are inevitably somewhat bulky, and the 8000mAh Powerstation Plus XL Wireless can’t escape this. It’s 5.8 inches by 2.75 in. by 0.7 in. It weighs 8.2 ounces (0.51 pounds). Still, the edges and corners are curved.

The entire exterior is plastic, so even though Mophie makes this accessory in blue, grey, pink or black, it looks very industrial. It’s useful, without a hint of style.

You’ll need a backpack, purse or gear bag to tote around this power bank. A pocket isn’t a very practical option.

A very useful features of the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless is its Lighting cable.
Open a door on the back of the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless to access its Lightning cable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Ports and connectors

There are plenty of features packed into this product, beyond just a battery. One of the best is a 5-inch cable with a Lightning connector on the end. This allows you to charge your iPhone without also carrying around a separate cable.

Making that process even simpler is the feature that gives the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless part of its name: inductive charging. Place a recent iPhone on top of this accessory, press the power button on the right side, and wireless charging will begin. This works well with iOS handsets, but isn’t designed for Apple Watch.

Still, Mophie also included a legacy USB-A port to plug in other devices, like your Apple Watch charger or AirPods case. There is no USB-C port however, making the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless less than ideal for giving a MacBook or iPad Pro a boost.

Charging this external battery itself is done through a Lightning port located next to the USB-A one. This means you can recharge it with the cable that came with your iPhone.

Mophie builds Priority+ charging into its batteries, so you can leave your handset to wirelessly recharge overnight with the power bank plugged into the wall. The iPhone will get replenished first, then the battery built into this accessory.

Four white LEDs on the right edge light up to give a very approximate indication of the power remaining in the battery. There’s also a white LED on the top edge that illuminates to indicate that inductive charging is going on.

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless performance

I tested the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless with a 6.1-inch iPhone 11, the best-selling of Apple’s most recent handsets.

First up is the Lightning connector on its integrated cable. This offers up to 18W of power, far more than the 5W charger that comes with the iPhone. In my tests, it was able to bump the battery level of the iPhone up as much as 30% in half an hour.

And over several recharging cycles, Mophie’s power bank increased the handset’s battery level by 169% via cable charging. In real-world terms, with the iPhone 11 starting out fulling charged, using the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless let me go 4 days before I needed a wall socket.

Wireless charging is more convenient, but slower and less efficient. Using this method, the power bank raised the iPhone 11’s battery level 18% in half an hour. And, in total, it was able to increase the handset’s battery by 132%.

The USB-A port built into this accessory puts out 5W, the same as the basic iPhone charger. Expect slow recharges for your gear.

A 5W iPhone charger was able to replenish the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless in under 3 hours. That’s more than quick enough for an overnight charge to get it ready for the next day.

Don‘t trust the LEDs to give an accurate depiction of how much power remains. This battery goes from showing 2 or 3 dots to empty very quickly.

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless has a Lightning port plus USB-A
This mobile power bank also has a Lightning port, and a USB-A port too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL Wireless final thoughts

Anyone who expects to be away from wall plugs for several days can depend on the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless to keep their iPhone going. And Priority+ charging makes this accessory useful as a travel charger in a hotel room.

However, the lack of a USB-C port, and the low voltage of its built-in USB-A port, means this power bank isn’t well suited for either iPad Pro or MacBook.

Pricing

Mophie’s official price for the Powerstation Plus XL Wireless is $99.95. It’s available from Apple for that same price.

Buy from: Apple

Comparable products

There are tons of power banks, but the built-in Lightning cable really helps separate this one from the pack.

The Mophie Powerstation Hub stores just 6,000 mAh, and has a USB-C port, multiple USB-A ones, and wireless charging. While it lacks a built-in Lightning cable, it does have built-in power prongs. It costs $99.95.

Despite a silly name, the Fuse Chicken Universal has USB-C and USB-A ports, plus it comes with plugs for the EU, UK, and AU. It’s $84.95.

The Uniq HydeAir is a wireless power bank with a built-in phone stand and a 10,000 mAh capacity. Lots of ports but none of them are Lightning. This accessory is $49.95.

Courant provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.