Model: BELKIN Power Pack 1000
Requirements: Compatible with all iPhones, iPod touch, iPod classic and anything else that uses a USB cable to charge its battery.
TiP Rating: 3/5 stars
The Power Pack 1000 provides much needed refuelling in emergency situations, and has a lot going for it. It’s light, ultra-pocketable, and durable but it does take an awful long time to charge up.
Battery life: the common curse of the modern day smartphone. Extra power, bigger displays, 3G/4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, constant downloading, games and all the other benefits have their effect on your phone’s fuel level. Gone are the days where your phone would last an entire week on one charge. Since we can’t remove the battery from our beloved iPhones, buying larger ones isn’t an option.
There are tons of charging solutions out there. From the Mophie Juicepack style case/battery packs, to inductive charging mats like Powermat. Both are great, but not so practical if you have multiple devices (Mophie) or are away from home (Powermat). Belkin’s Power Pack will work anywhere, and with any device you have that charges through a USB cable. iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, Nokia, digital camera – the list goes on.
In design, Belkin has done a great job. It’s really small (similar size to a Zippo lighter), and has rounded corners and edges, which make it comfortable to hold. Added to the textured/rubberized surface and light weight, these features make it incredibly portable. You could have it in your pocket at all times and not even notice. That means you’re not going to mind carrying it around with you when you go on long, charger-less journeys on the road or in the wild.
On top of the Power Pack you have the single button which – when plugged in to your phone – switches the device to discharge. The small grey button blends seamlessly with the grey plastic surrounding the unit, and fits neatly next to the Micro USB port. On the bottom is a full USB port used for connecting your smartphone. Underneath the device: two clear Input/Output labels as well as the usual regulatory and cautionary information. The device’s input and output are both 500mA.
To make use of the Power Pack you need to charge it up using a USB-MicroUSB cable. You can use the itzy bitzy one provided, or use one that will actually reach your computer. This element I found increasingly frustrating. It took an unreasonable 2-3 hours to charge up the Power Pack. The useful LED light switched from red to blue when charging’s done.
Once fully charged, you plug in your iPhone using your iOS device’s USB cable, and let it do its thing. Now, I wasn’t expecting Belkin’s portable charger to fully recharge my phone. It says so much on the box. It provide’s a boost, not a full smartphone charge. So, I wasn’t surprised to see that it only took my phone from 3% to 43% charge. In an emergency, that’s absolutely fine. However, it took an hour to get there. It’s the time element that I can’t get my head around. It takes between 2-3 hours to charge the accessory, which then discharges in less than an hour. That charge to discharge ratio is disappointing.
Overall, the product is good. It does its job, and for people in emergency situations, it’s great. My wife constantly comes home from work with a dead phone and that extra 40% would make the world of difference. That being said, I wouldn’t consider it as a daily charging solution if all I had was an iPhone. For your iPhone there are much better suited products. Thankfully, Belkin do have more powerful versions of the Power Pack. The 2000 offers a full charge and not just a boost, and is going to be worth the extra $20 to get it. With a quicker charge time, this product could easily achieve 4/5 stars.
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