Jan 20 AT 2:44 PM Edgar Cervantes 38 Comments

Review: IOGear Mobile Power Station was ultimate CES life-saver

featured

The short battery life that accompanies our Android smartphones can be one of the biggest everyday frustrations. Users have opted to use multiple and extended batteries or plug themselves to a power outlet as often as possible. Another great solution for this issue is to buy a handy portable battery charger. The IOGear GearPower High Capacity Mobile Power Station (Amazon link posted below) happens to be one of the best (and most affordable) options available.

We thought the best test for any portable charger would be CES, since attendees spend most of the time outdoors. Whether it be on the showfloor or at any of the other events, those 4G LTE smartphones are bound to die off in the middle of the day.

After carrying multiple portable charging devices, the IOGEAR Mobile Power Station was definitely the one that stood out from the crowd. Some of the other ones were a bit smaller, but were not even worth carrying around, as they barely tickled our devices’ batteries. Others were simply not as efficient, so I decided to carry this one as my sole alternative charging unit.

Everything went great throughout CES, and I managed to never run out of battery without using a single power outlet at the convention center. This bad boy holds a 6,600 mAh battery and has two ports, which allows you to charge a couple of devices simultaneously. The charging station is also not as large and heavy as some of the competing portable chargers.

It’s definitely not the smallest, but this device does have the advantage of featuring 2 USB charging ports. One of them is a 2.1 amp charging port while the other one charges at 1 amp. The 2.1 A USB port is meant for more power-hungry devices, but you can also use it for the little guys. It simply affects the speed at which the device is being charged.

While its 6,600 mAh battery can charge the average smartphone 3-4 times, it does not perform as well in the real world. This would be the case if the device were turned off while charging, but you usually use a device while plugged to the external battery. I am usually able to charge my HTC Thunderbolt about twice while using it (with 4G LTE).

It is important to note that this charger by no means charges your devices as fast as a power outlet would. It usually takes about 4 hours to fully charge the Thunderbolt when plugged in to the 2.1A port (while using it). I am able to completely charge an iPod Nano within half an hour, though (1A port). It all depends on your device and how much juice it eats up.

This IOGear charger is very straight-forward and simple to use, as are most portable chargers. It has one button, a light indicator, a micro USB port for charging the portable battery, and two USB ports for charging your devices. That’s it. And it’s just as simple to operate.

Simply press the button, and the light indicator will let you know how charged your IOGear power station’s battery is (4 blue lights for full battery and 0 for empty). To charge your devices, plug them in to either of the USB ports and press the button to begin juicing up your device(s). When the portable battery dies, plug your micro USB cable/power charger (two pieces) in to the power outlet, and the light indicator will let you know when the device is fully charged.

There is downside, though. The portable charger cannot charge your devices while it is being charged itself. Adding such a feature would have been great, but this is definitely not a deal breaker. If you’re charging the battery, you’re probably near a power outlet, anyway. But let’s take a look at the good and the bad:

The Good

  • Large battery – 6,600 mAh
  • 2 USB ports – 2.1A and 1A
  • Easy to use
  • Very portable, considering its functionality (3.5×4.4×0.6 inches ; 7.2 ounces)

The Bad

  • Can’t charge portable battery and devices simultaneously
  • Charging speed is much slower than a power outlet (but not horrible, either)

The pros definitely overshadow the cons with this product. It’s definitely one of the best portable chargers we’ve seen. And for its price, it’s quite a no-brainer if you’re looking to extend your battery life. This device goes for a mere $42.24 at Amazon, and it ships for free with Super Saver Shipping.

It is small enough to carry around in your bag or in a larger pocket. I usually wear cargo pants/shorts, so I would just stick this charger on one of the lower pockets with a cable coming up to my regular side pocket (where my phone would be). You can easily stick both in a bag or back pack, though, if you’re not into wearing cables.

We would recommend the IOGear Mobile Power Station to anyone in the market for a portable charger. Be sure to take a look at it before making your decision. There are more images, as well as a video, posted below. Go ahead and take a look at it for more details, and long live our batteries!

Would you guys get one of these for a bit over $42? (Amazon link is right below if you are interested). If you currently use another of these devices, do you think it is better? Which one is it?

Amazon link: IOGear GearPower High Capacity Mobile Power Station

DSC_0557 DSC_0568 DSC_0569 DSC_0584 DSC_0587 featured

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • damambt

    i need something like this; my nexus s just drains the battery. ive tried juicedefender app but its not much of a difference. and i dont really trust third party batteries. this would be a simple solution until i upgrade my device.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      I honestly love it! It works very well, and it only costs $42… I think it is very much worth it. It will be very convenient, even after your upgrade. The link is there, if you want it….

      Seriously, though. After using multiple of these, this one is my favorite. I am going to try and see if IOGear will let me keep it… lol.

      • lux

        with the amount of people that will buy this because of your article..its the least they can do. thanks!

        • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

          With such a great review it really has me interested, as I trust the opinions of the staff here at A&M. Maybe if they get enough links thrown their way from this site they would donate a few to you all for giveaways.

          Come on IOGear, make some Android lovers happy! We love the contests, (not to mention great products.)

          • Edgar Cervantes

            I’ll tell you guys what. If we get enough comments asking for a giveaway, I’ll go ahead and send IOGear an e-mail asking them if they are willing to host a giveaway with us! :)

          • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

            @Edgar

            This is why I totally love this site! Come on people…Make it rain with requests!

          • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

            +1 for a giveaway!

            Edgar, could you guys also possibly review this charger: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GVIZC4/ ? I bought it in late June in preparation for conventions like PAX, and it’s served me decently well (not perfect), but I’m curious as to how it stacks up to other portable chargers you’ve used, and if it’s worth maybe trading out for something else.

          • professandobey

            IOGear please let us promote your products with a giveaway!

  • cfvonner

    I have a charge station unit (can’t remember the brand) with a solar panel on it too – but this IoGear unit looks like it performs better.

  • unwiredmedic

    Thanks for the review. CES booths had a lot of these type devices, but I felt skeptical about most of them (cheap, nameless imports, mostly). Isn’t it amazing how we used to go a week before charging with our old Nokia 5100/6100′s, now we can’t go a full day?

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Yeah it is hard to find solid portable chargers. Many of them are very bad… They lack the solid feel, as well as the performance we need. I saw a couple that look good, though. We will have to see. But for the price, I think this option is kind of a no-brainer, right now.

      Phone technology has completely evolved in just a few years… We really need a boost in battery technology right now. Hopefully soon enough we can get at least a couple of days of battery life. I could see that happening by next year if the industry focuses on it…

      • spazby

        Thanks

  • spazby

    Great implementation. What is the life of this device?

    • Edgar Cervantes

      If you mean the life of the battery, it is not specified. It should be about the same as all other Lithium Polymer batteries, though. You should be able to go over a year or two before you start noticing any type of lower performance. It depends on how much you use it…

  • Thomas MacDougall

    Why don’t smartphone manufacturers who realize that their products’ battery life is bad, make these?

  • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

    iPhone in the photo with the Tbolt?!?!

    ಠ_ಠ

    • Edgar Cervantes

      LOL, it is an iPod touch. I kinda have to test everything in this field. I have devices of all kinds, and that is the reason why I can honestly say I am an Android fan. In order to make a good argument, you have to learn about the competition! :)

      • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

        = ) I hear ya, I have all sorts of devices as well. I am totally looking at getting a Nokia phone to test webpages on WP7 phones. Every device/OS/browser renders differently. it’s crazy times like that.

        Side note:

        Do you know what the standby time is for this. If I were to fully charge it would it go at least a day or two with little to no diminishing loss to the stored battery?

        • Edgar Cervantes

          Oh man, WP7 devices are so smooth. They definitely lack much of the functionality that Android has, but when it comes to performance, they are BUTTER!

          As for the standby, I haven’t really stopped using this charger for very extended periods of time. But one time I stopped using it for about 4 days, and didn’t notice any loss of charge. It might have been small, though, and I just didn’t notice it. It did have the 4 LED indicator lights turned on.

          • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

            Thank you for the info. I was contemplating keeping one in my car in case of emergencies. Sounds like that is a possibility.

            Another question. On the amazon product page it says it’s able to charge a Xoom. Does it come with a cable, or did Moto change how other Xooms charge? I have to use a proprietary cable to charge mine.

          • Edgar Cervantes

            The unit can charge any device that is charged with a USB port. So all that the unit has is the two USB ports.

            For devices that need non-USB proprietary connectors in order to charge (like the Xoom), it would not be possible. The person who wrote the product page might have simply listed the most popular tablets thinking they could all be charged via USB.

            Who knows, though? There might be some kind of USB-to-Xoom proprietary cable available… The IOGear Mobile Power Station does not provide any of those cables, though…

          • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

            Thank you for clearing that up for me. +1 to you for a great article and +100 for the reader interaction. I appreciate the responses you provided. It was nice to talk to someone who has used the product.

  • techrater

    awesome device at an awesome price. nice find!

    you say “Charging speed is much slower than a power outlet”… what a/c charger do you have that provides 2.1 or more amps? every charger i’ve ever got a smartphone had less output power than that.

    i can’t agree that this portable charger would charge “much slower” than an a/c charger, if the a/c charger has the same or lower output power.

    • techrater

      just found a site with the specs http://j.mp/zTE2AK the a/c charger that comes with this IOgear device only puts out 1amp… that probably explains why it can’t charge itself and attached devices at same time… its putting out more than its taking in!

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        No, it’s probably due to the circuitry. The two charging circuits probably aren’t connected and it can operate in one mode or the other, but not both (likely due to heat issues, or other electrical complexities)

  • thekaz

    I’ve had my eye on the Mophie.. granted, it is only 4000 (the one I like), but anyone know how this compares to that? This seems like more bang for the buck..

    ps – I’m in for asking for a give away!

  • dillonb93

    Thanks for posting this, for me its easier than buying an extra battery so I’m definitely gonna be getting this soon.

  • David Gomez

    Nice I use to have a cheap solar charger but this should work much better.

  • lokidokie

    Awesome. I’m getting one

  • Probiewankenobi

    Nice review. I will definitely look into this. I always forget that we have portable chargers now and forget to look at them when I think of poor battery life. And I would definitely be here if you had a giveaway of these things. :)

  • eggwolio

    I’m definitely interested in a giveaway.

    Also, I’m wondering if there is any sort of USB Y cable that you could use to charge one device from both ports. Might speed up the charging process, no?

  • vid500

    Awsome, but I was looking at it here on the german amazon and the price is allmost the doble 65€, so I think I’ll wait for a more pricy solution. But it really looks great, and the performans is amazing.

  • shawn

    Love this idea. I don’t like the idea of “after market” batteries. Always afraid of what it might do to my phone.

    I like many others am very attached to my phone. This sounds like a great way to be able to “juice up. on the go.

  • moschops

    I have found that my G2 simply refuses to recognize USB power as wall power, even when it is a 2.1 amp capable source like a 12V car adapter. As such I think Android may have some software or hardware that limits it’s charging rate. I have no idea how the phone does this but my battery monitoring s/w clearly always shows USB as the power source type.

    PS. With the amount you’ll make on Amazon referral kickback for that product link I’m sure you’ll be able to afford to fund a give away!

  • Will

    these external batteries are lifesavers.
    I use the Belkin power packs – 2000mAh and 4000mAH comes in different sizes

  • tc

    Works great for hi-drain devices, but the auto-off feature is annoying if you want to charge headphones, a mouse, or other low-drain device – It doesn’t think it’s charging something and it shuts off. Why the hell does this thing need to shut off, anyway? My old battery didn’t shut off, and the charge lasted months in a drawer.

  • joshua manning
  1. i need something like this; my nexus s just drains the battery. ive tried juicedefender app but its not much of a difference. and i dont really trust third party batteries. this would be a simple solution until i upgrade my device.

    • I honestly love it! It works very well, and it only costs $42… I think it is very much worth it. It will be very convenient, even after your upgrade. The link is there, if you want it….

      Seriously, though. After using multiple of these, this one is my favorite. I am going to try and see if IOGear will let me keep it… lol.

      • luxGuest 3 years ago

        with the amount of people that will buy this because of your article..its the least they can do. thanks!

        • With such a great review it really has me interested, as I trust the opinions of the staff here at A&M. Maybe if they get enough links thrown their way from this site they would donate a few to you all for giveaways.

          Come on IOGear, make some Android lovers happy! We love the contests, (not to mention great products.)

          • I’ll tell you guys what. If we get enough comments asking for a giveaway, I’ll go ahead and send IOGear an e-mail asking them if they are willing to host a giveaway with us! :)

          • @Edgar

            This is why I totally love this site! Come on people…Make it rain with requests!

          • +1 for a giveaway!

            Edgar, could you guys also possibly review this charger: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GVIZC4/ ? I bought it in late June in preparation for conventions like PAX, and it’s served me decently well (not perfect), but I’m curious as to how it stacks up to other portable chargers you’ve used, and if it’s worth maybe trading out for something else.

          • IOGear please let us promote your products with a giveaway!

  2. I have a charge station unit (can’t remember the brand) with a solar panel on it too – but this IoGear unit looks like it performs better.

  3. Thanks for the review. CES booths had a lot of these type devices, but I felt skeptical about most of them (cheap, nameless imports, mostly). Isn’t it amazing how we used to go a week before charging with our old Nokia 5100/6100′s, now we can’t go a full day?

    • Yeah it is hard to find solid portable chargers. Many of them are very bad… They lack the solid feel, as well as the performance we need. I saw a couple that look good, though. We will have to see. But for the price, I think this option is kind of a no-brainer, right now.

      Phone technology has completely evolved in just a few years… We really need a boost in battery technology right now. Hopefully soon enough we can get at least a couple of days of battery life. I could see that happening by next year if the industry focuses on it…

  4. Great implementation. What is the life of this device?

    • If you mean the life of the battery, it is not specified. It should be about the same as all other Lithium Polymer batteries, though. You should be able to go over a year or two before you start noticing any type of lower performance. It depends on how much you use it…

  5. Why don’t smartphone manufacturers who realize that their products’ battery life is bad, make these?

  6. iPhone in the photo with the Tbolt?!?!

    ಠ_ಠ

    • LOL, it is an iPod touch. I kinda have to test everything in this field. I have devices of all kinds, and that is the reason why I can honestly say I am an Android fan. In order to make a good argument, you have to learn about the competition! :)

      • = ) I hear ya, I have all sorts of devices as well. I am totally looking at getting a Nokia phone to test webpages on WP7 phones. Every device/OS/browser renders differently. it’s crazy times like that.

        Side note:

        Do you know what the standby time is for this. If I were to fully charge it would it go at least a day or two with little to no diminishing loss to the stored battery?

        • Oh man, WP7 devices are so smooth. They definitely lack much of the functionality that Android has, but when it comes to performance, they are BUTTER!

          As for the standby, I haven’t really stopped using this charger for very extended periods of time. But one time I stopped using it for about 4 days, and didn’t notice any loss of charge. It might have been small, though, and I just didn’t notice it. It did have the 4 LED indicator lights turned on.

          • Thank you for the info. I was contemplating keeping one in my car in case of emergencies. Sounds like that is a possibility.

            Another question. On the amazon product page it says it’s able to charge a Xoom. Does it come with a cable, or did Moto change how other Xooms charge? I have to use a proprietary cable to charge mine.

          • The unit can charge any device that is charged with a USB port. So all that the unit has is the two USB ports.

            For devices that need non-USB proprietary connectors in order to charge (like the Xoom), it would not be possible. The person who wrote the product page might have simply listed the most popular tablets thinking they could all be charged via USB.

            Who knows, though? There might be some kind of USB-to-Xoom proprietary cable available… The IOGear Mobile Power Station does not provide any of those cables, though…

          • Thank you for clearing that up for me. +1 to you for a great article and +100 for the reader interaction. I appreciate the responses you provided. It was nice to talk to someone who has used the product.

  7. techraterGuest 3 years ago

    awesome device at an awesome price. nice find!

    you say “Charging speed is much slower than a power outlet”… what a/c charger do you have that provides 2.1 or more amps? every charger i’ve ever got a smartphone had less output power than that.

    i can’t agree that this portable charger would charge “much slower” than an a/c charger, if the a/c charger has the same or lower output power.

    • techraterGuest 3 years ago

      just found a site with the specs http://j.mp/zTE2AK the a/c charger that comes with this IOgear device only puts out 1amp… that probably explains why it can’t charge itself and attached devices at same time… its putting out more than its taking in!

      • No, it’s probably due to the circuitry. The two charging circuits probably aren’t connected and it can operate in one mode or the other, but not both (likely due to heat issues, or other electrical complexities)

  8. I’ve had my eye on the Mophie.. granted, it is only 4000 (the one I like), but anyone know how this compares to that? This seems like more bang for the buck..

    ps – I’m in for asking for a give away!

  9. Thanks for posting this, for me its easier than buying an extra battery so I’m definitely gonna be getting this soon.

  10. Nice I use to have a cheap solar charger but this should work much better.

  11. Awesome. I’m getting one

  12. Nice review. I will definitely look into this. I always forget that we have portable chargers now and forget to look at them when I think of poor battery life. And I would definitely be here if you had a giveaway of these things. :)

  13. I’m definitely interested in a giveaway.

    Also, I’m wondering if there is any sort of USB Y cable that you could use to charge one device from both ports. Might speed up the charging process, no?

  14. Awsome, but I was looking at it here on the german amazon and the price is allmost the doble 65€, so I think I’ll wait for a more pricy solution. But it really looks great, and the performans is amazing.

  15. shawnGuest 3 years ago

    Love this idea. I don’t like the idea of “after market” batteries. Always afraid of what it might do to my phone.

    I like many others am very attached to my phone. This sounds like a great way to be able to “juice up. on the go.

  16. moschopsGuest 3 years ago

    I have found that my G2 simply refuses to recognize USB power as wall power, even when it is a 2.1 amp capable source like a 12V car adapter. As such I think Android may have some software or hardware that limits it’s charging rate. I have no idea how the phone does this but my battery monitoring s/w clearly always shows USB as the power source type.

    PS. With the amount you’ll make on Amazon referral kickback for that product link I’m sure you’ll be able to afford to fund a give away!

  17. WillGuest 3 years ago

    these external batteries are lifesavers.
    I use the Belkin power packs – 2000mAh and 4000mAH comes in different sizes

  18. tcGuest 3 years ago

    Works great for hi-drain devices, but the auto-off feature is annoying if you want to charge headphones, a mouse, or other low-drain device – It doesn’t think it’s charging something and it shuts off. Why the hell does this thing need to shut off, anyway? My old battery didn’t shut off, and the charge lasted months in a drawer.