Hefty power bank keeps your iPhone going for days and days [Review]


mophie powerstation XL review★★★
This power bank from mophie packs in the power your iPhone needs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The mophie powerstation XL offers 20,000mAh that goes with you anywhere, always ready to charge up your iPhone, iPad or MacBook. It stores enough juice to keep devices going for days.

It comes at a relatively low price for such a high-capacity battery, especially one made by a very reputable company.

I put the consumer-grade power bank through testing to make sure real-world performance lives up to the specifications.

mophie powerstation XL review

Maybe you own a small battery pack that you keep around to make sure your iPhone won’t go dead when you need it. You should have the same sort of accessory if you regularly use your MacBook where you can’t easily plug it in.

If you have an urgent assignment — for work or school — and your Mac’s battery is flat, you’re in trouble unless you can find a power socket pronto.

Or you can plug your MacBook into the mophie powerstation XL. It packs enough juice to keep your MacBook going and going. Plus, you can take the power bank with you when you’re going off the grid to keep your iPhone ready to use all through a long weekend.

Big power doesn’t come in small packages

The rules of physics are harsh: They limit how much power our current technology can squeeze into any given space. Put simply, we can’t get 20,000mAh into a pocket-size package.

As a result, the mophie powerstation XL measures 5.9 inches by 2.75 inches by 1.2 inches, and weighs 1 pound. That’s not a burdensome amount of bulk — it’s about 20% of the weight of a 16-inch MacBook Pro. But it’s something to keep in mind.

Also, mophie didn’t make a fashion accessory. The power bank comes in basic black with an all-plastic exterior. It’s a 100% functional look. The powerstation XL’s corners are curved, possibly for aesthetics, but also so the device is less likely to scratch other items in your gear bag.

Not enough USB-C ports, OK charging speeds

mophie powerstation XL has two USB-A ports and a single USB-C port.
mophie powerstation XL offers only two USB-A ports and a single USB-C port.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

On the top edge of the mophie powerstation XL you will see two USB-A ports and a USB-C port. That’s a surprising mix in 2023. You’ll want a USB-C port to charge your MacBook, and probably want another one for your iPad or iPhone. These Apple devices come with USB-C cables, but mophie doubled down on USB-A.

Of course, the USB-A ports can charge Apple devices. You just need the right cables. And patience.

The single USB-C port puts out a maximum of 20W. That’s full power for an iPhone, and very good for a iPad. It’s a bit low for a MacBook, but enough to be useful. Barely.

mophie says each of the two USB-A ports offers 18W. But in my testing, they never got beyond about 7.25W when recharging my iPhone 14 Plus. That output translates into a tolerable charging speed, but it’s nothing to brag about. And for some reason, charging my iPad Pro with USB-A topped out at a mere 4.5W.

When juicing up multiple devices, the total output is 15W, according to mophie itself. That’s split among the three ports. In my testing, the USB-C port always got the lion’s share.

Stores plenty of power

The specs say the mophie powerstation XL offers 20,000mAh of power, and I tested to see what that means in real-world usage.

Over multiple charging cycles, it was able to raise the battery level on my iPhone 14 Plus by 300%. That’s three full recharges, obviously. And if you plug your iPhone in when it gets to 20%, as many people do, it’s nearly four recharges. So this power bank is capable of keeping an iPhone going on a long weekend without ever going near a power socket.

And when it’s juicing up the iPhone through the USB-C port, it provides 20W, as advertised.

You replenish the powerstation XL itself through its USB-C port. It charges at about 18W, so it takes many hours to get to 100%. I recommend doing so overnight. Four white LEDs on one edge will show you the battery pack’s approximate power level.

mophie powerstation XL final thoughts

mophie powerstation XL big, yeah yeah yeah. It's not small, no no no.
If you had any lingering doubts, the mophie powerstation XL is not slim.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The feature set and price for this power bank makes it well-suited for consumers who need to keep an iPhone going for days. It can juice up other Apple gear, too, but it proves weak when charging multiple devices.

I can’t recommend it for professionals hoping to keep a MacBook running — the charging speed is too slow. mophie and others make external batteries that charge much faster. Just be aware that these cost more.



I’ve mentioned the affordable price a couple of times. The Powerstation XL costs $59.95.

Buy it from: Mophie

Alternative options

For comparison, the mophie Powerstation Pro also holds 20,000mAh of power. It comes with dual USB-C ports, and these can put out a combined 45W. But it costs $149.95. Don’t miss the Cult of Mac review of this professional-grade power bank.

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


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