Review: Duracell Day Trip, Long Haul + Overnighter GoPower Universal Batteries
Adding on to its wireless charging lineup that already includes the PowerSnap Kit and various PowerMats, Duracell has launched a line of GoPower Universal Batteries compatible with the system. From lowest to highest capacity, there's Day Trip ($60) with an 1850mAh cell, Overnighter ($80) with 4400 mAh, and the 8800mAh Long Haul ($130). The first of these is a glossy rounded square, with built-in micro-USB and Lightning cables, while the other two are matte finished rectangles, accented with copper, each requiring you to provide your own output cables. All three batteries can be charged with included micro-USB cables, or via Duracell's charging pads.
Measuring 2.75” wide and deep, and a little less than 0.75” tall, Day Trip is the smallest of the bunch, and is easily pocketable. Although it’s clearly part of the same family as the Overnighter and Long Haul, it has features that help justify the relatively high price, at least partially. Chief among them are the attached cables, which hide along the side of the battery when not in use. The MFi Lightning plug will work with most cases, while the micro-USB tip is useful for accessories and non-iPhone handsets. A copper button toggles power and display the remaining battery life using four LEDs. Somewhat surprisingly for such a small battery, Day Trip puts out power at 2.1 Amps, meaning it’ll charge most iPads at full speed. The only oddity is the three position switch on the back of the battery, toggling between USB, Off, and iPod/iPhone. It’s not totally clear why the charger isn’t able to manage this itself, but then again, it’s not really a problem.
Moving up in size and capacity, Overnighter swaps the shiny finish for a matte look, the square shape for a rectangular one, and diagonal ridges along its long edges. The battery is just a littler shorter than Day Trip, and equally wide, but but about 1.5” deeper. It has a similar copper button, but in addition to power management, this is where the ports are: micro-USB for power in, and full-sized 2.1A out. Since no Apple connectors are built-in, you have to provide your own Lightning or Dock Connector cables. Long Haul is virtually identical, save for a second USB port and its added height, bringing it to about 0.9” tall.
To keep our results consistent, we tested all three batteries with an iPad Air running iOS 7.0.4., and compared against a handful of trials run for our review of that tablet. Starting with the lowest capacity battery, Day Trip was able to provide a 16% charge, Overnighter, 29%, and Long Haul, 69%. These results are all right around where we’d expect, although Overnighter fell a few percentage points lower than the average, while the others were a point or two higher.
All three of these batteries are more expensive than comparable models without wireless charging built-in; compare Incipio’s offGRID batteries as an example. And of course, that’s before you add in the wireless charging mat, which starts at $40. Were these packs to perform significantly better than the average, the cost may be worth it, but we see the prices as being almost prohibitively high, earning all three a limited recommendation. If you’re already using the PowerMat system, it may make sense to incorporate these, but otherwise, there are more affordable options for you that’ll do everything except charge wirelessly.