Battery pack ▪ March 31, 2015

Yesterday, I reviewed PowerSkin’s Spare, a semi-protective battery case designed specifically for the iPhone 6. While Spare didn’t strike me as a great value for its asking price, PowerSkin also sells a more powerful alternative called PoP’n 3 that can work with multiple iPhones, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and earlier iPhone 5 models. And despite having nearly twice as much power as Spare — enough power to fully recharge any iPhone — it sells for only $50-$55, depending on the color you prefer.

PoP’n 3 isn’t a typical USB battery pack, even though it looks like one. Made mostly from metallic plastic that matches the space gray, silver, or gold colors of recent iPhones, it has a Lightning cable built into the bottom for easy connection to bare or encased devices. Suction cups on one side let it attach or detach from your iPhone on an as-desired basis, and unlike iPhone-specific battery cases, enable it to function as a just-in-case power source for iPads, too…

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Battery pack ▪ March 20, 2015

When the first iPhone 6 battery cases hit the market late last year, one 9to5Mac reader commented repeatedly that he was holding out for something with a female Lightning port on the bottom, rather than the currently ubiquitous alternative, micro-USB. Why would anyone care? Well, if an accessory can recharge using Lightning, the same charging cable you get with any iPhone can be used with its accessories, too. That means you’ll have one less cable to carry around, a convenience that inspired Apple late last year to offer accessory developers access to female Lightning connectors.

The rollout has been slow: there’s still no Apple-authorized accessory with a Lightning port, since Apple was still only previewing the feature early this year. But a developer called Aukey decided not to wait for Apple’s seal of approval. As of this week, it’s selling what it claims is “the first and the only portable charger in the world with Apple Lightning input port,” the PB-N30 3600mAh External Battery Charger ($36, sold on Amazon for $15). Given the low price, it’s no surprise that there are a bunch of caveats to consider, but if you’ve been jonesing for a battery with a Lightning port, now you have an option.

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Battery pack ▪ January 20, 2015

RAVPower has done a great job of changing the traditional price-to-performance equation for Apple device chargers. Its two-, four-, and six-port wall chargers (reviewed here) are the best options I’ve seen at their price points, so it’s no shock that its Savior 9000mAh External Battery Pack (MSRP $100, street price $50) delivers great value, as well.

Equipped with wall blades for easy recharging, Savior combines a high-capacity 9000mAh battery with an Apple-certified Lightning cable, competing with similar accessories such as myCharge’s Hub 9000 — but for half the street price. Read on for why Savior is so easy to recommend, as well as details on the compromises it makes to keep its size and price down.

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Battery pack ▪ December 22, 2014

The secret to understanding USB battery pricing is that you tend to get what you pay for: cheap batteries lose their charges faster and can bulge and leak over time. Other companies specialize in selling atypically nice batteries that last longer and work better. Just Mobile is a leader in quality batteries: for the past six years, its Gum series (shown below) has spanned every Apple device type, size, and speed, but it has never built a Lightning cable into a battery before. That changes with the January release of TopGum ($80), which advances the company’s prior state-of-the-art Gum++ model in two ways: an authentic Lightning cable’s integrated into the battery’s left edge, and a matching magnetic battery charging dock is included.

topgum-8

Of course, these features – and a choice of gold or gray metal exteriors – come at a premium over typical all-plastic batteries, so if you don’t need the cable or dock, you’ll be equally well-served with the company’s earlier batteries. Read on for the full story.

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Battery pack ▪ August 16, 2014

Yesterday, we reported on purported photos of the larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 6’s 2915mAh battery pack among other parts, and today, new clear shots of the 4.7-inch models have leaked. Photos of the smaller next-generation iPhone’s 1810mAh battery first hit the web in July, and these new photos add weight to the previous photos being legitimate. For comparison, the iPhone 5s’s battery is 1560mAh, but because of the higher-res screen on the iPhone 6, it’s possible that the bigger battery pack could be offset but the additional pixel pushing. Besides a bigger battery, the new iPhones will likely include sharper displays, faster A8 processors, new sensors, and improved cameras. The new devices will debut at an event on September 9th and begin shipping around a week-and-a-half later. Another shot of the 4.7-inch model’s battery is below:

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Battery pack ▪ August 15, 2014

Asia-based rumor site Apple Daily has acquired photos of what it claims are the next-generation iPhone, including the 5.5-inch model we’ve seen much less of in recent weeks. The two photos above show the larger device (with the purple interior) paired with a 4.7-inch version. The wider 5.5-inch model is to the right and the 4.7 display panel is on the left. While some may note that the part on the right does not appear much larger than the part on the left, it is possible that the image’s perspective does not highlight the size differentiation well.

The larger model, which Apple Daily claims will be called ‘iPhone 6L’ also sports a larger 2915mAh battery (seen below), compared to the 1810mAh in the 4.7-inch device and 1560 mAh in the iPhone 5s. The larger display area and form-factor allows Apple to squeeze a much larger battery pack into the phone, but it is currently unclear if this will mean stronger battery life. It’s uncertain if the larger display and more powerful chip rumored for the bigger phone will counterbalance the effects of the bigger battery pack…

Keep reading for more photos

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