The PowerGen External Battery Pack is not an iOS device specific charger, which can be viewed as a draw-back or an advantage. The battery pack was designed to essentially charge anything that has the ability to charge via USB. It comes with a multitude of adapters for plugging in to such devices as an iOS product, any number of Android devices, GPS Receivers, and just about anything else you can charge via USB. While the documentation is not available digitally, which is the reason it gets 4 stars, it's not really necessary
It would also have been nice to have included a pouch or some sort of storage method for the various adapter ends so that one does not lose them. I have a small baggie for storing them, but something included would have been nice. Here's the breakdown on how the device works and its design.
The device measures 3.66x1.69x0.87 inches, or about a quarter of the width of the iPhone, and about as thick as the iPhone. On the front of the unit, you will find a button, which toggles the battery pack on and off. This is the only thing on the front of the unit. Place the device on a flat surface with the button facing away from you. Located immediately
behind the button, which would make this the top of the battery pack, you'll find 2 things: and LED indicator, on the right top edge, and a standard client USB port along the left top edge. This is the port you will use to plug devices in to get their charge from the battery.
Along the left side of the unit, you will find a Micro USB port. This is where you charge the actual battery pack. You must use a micro USB charger to do this. You can use the included end which is Micro USB, or any other Micro USB cable to charge it.
As mentioned above, the battery pack does come with lots of different ends for charging your various devices. All you need to do is choose the end that fits your device, attach it to the short wire included, and then the other end plugs in to the USB port on the external battery pack. You can also use any other cable which has a client USB cable to plug in for charging. Press the button located on the front of the unit, and assuming the battery pack has any juce left, it will begin charging your device.
When comparing this charger
to the Mophie Jucepack air, which I used previously, this battery has more than twice the amount of power. If memory serves correctly, the Jucepack Air is rated at 2200 MA, while this pack is rated at 5200 MA. However, the PowerGen External Battery Pack is not a case, simply a battery pack. However, it is lower in price than the Jucepack. The Jucepack Air retails for around $70, while the PowerGen External Battery Pack retails on Amazon for $39.99. One advantage to the Jucepack is that there is an on/off switch, which makes it easy to know whether the battery pack is turned on. On the PowerGen External Battery Pack, there is a button, so the only way for someone who is totally blind to know whether it is on or off is to have it plugged in to something that indicates whether it is being charged or not. However, it seems that the PowerGen External Battery Pack does not deplete its charge unless it is plugged in to something, even if it is on. Also, the Jucepack Air takes significantly less time to charge, because it is a much smaller battery pack. The Jucepack Air takes roughly 2 hours to charge, while the PowerGen External Battery Pack takes approximately 6.
Over all, I like the PowerGen External Battery Pack for it's extended battery life and universal charging capabilities. Like most devices on the mainstream market, it is not 100% accessible, but if you leave it charging overnight, you can be assured it is ready to go the next day. It has been reported that you can get 2 full charges on an iPhone, and almost 1 full charge on an iPad. While this is true for the iPhone 4, I do not have an iPad, so did not test this with that device.
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