At this year’s CES, BuQu Tech introduced Magnetyze Mobile Battery ($60), the latest in a family of accessories made to complement its wireless charging case for iPhone. The 1800mAh battery is housed inside a small, rather nondescript black plastic box. It can be recharged using any of the Magnetyze power accessories, and magnetically attaches to the back of the iPhone case to provide a charge.
Mobile Battery is about twice the size of a Zippo lighter. Although it can rely solely on the wireless ecosystem for power, it can also use standard methods; there’s a micro-USB port for power input, a full-sized port for 1-Amp output, and a short charging cable is included. Along the top edge, there’s a silver power button and four battery indicator lights. The only other distinctive features, from the outside, are the round contact points on either side. One has five small contacts — the face that attaches to the iPhone case — and the other a bullseye pattern that is magnetically attracted to the charging bases.
When attached to the back of the case, Mobile Battery seamlessly starts charging the iPhone as long as the power pack is turned on. The magnetic hold is strong enough that you can pick up the handset without fear of the battery falling off, but it’s not well suited for travel. Try to slip it in a pocket — even if it fits, there’s a good chance the pack will stay behind when you pull it out. In a purse or bag, it could easily fall off. This is more of a stationary solution, which isn’t for the best.
In terms of power performance, the 1800mAh cell was just above where we’d expect it to be. Connected via the case to a fully drained iPhone 5, it delivered a 92% charge in just shy of an hour and a half. This means that it was putting out power at the proper 1A speed; because it’s input is 0.8A, you should expect refilling the battery to take about two hours.
Mobile Battery doesn’t quite live up to our expectations. For the same $60, many companies offer larger capacities; even Mophie, which isn’t known for very competitive pricing, offers a 2500mAh battery for that price. Of course the wireless charging capabilities make up some of the difference, but it’s just not enough, especially considering that strapping the battery to the back of an iPhone isn’t very practical. Because it can still be used as a standalone battery, it earns a limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: BuQu Tech
Models: Mobile Battery
Compatible: All iPhones, iPods, Magnetyze Protective Cases