Just Mobile is billing its TopGum ($80) as “the sophisticated backup battery” for iOS devices. The partially aluminum 6000 mAh battery features a built-in cable with a Lightning connector attached. TopGum offers dual output charging, as the Lightning cable can recharge devices at 2.4A, while a separate USB port provides 1A charging. The included micro-USB cable can be used to recharge the battery itself or, optionally, to charge devices from the battery. Also included is a small dock for charging the battery — the micro-USB connector can be plugged into the dock so the battery can charge upright while docking via magnets and three small pins. Just Mobile claims TopGum can fully charge an iPhone up to three times, and charge an iPad mini up to 75 percent. The battery comes in two colors — a silver and gold that match Apple’s device colors.
TopGum’s body is about 3.3” tall x 2.2” wide x 1.1” thick. It’s small enough to easily fit in a pocket, though it might be a bit thicker than you like for that specific reason. The body is a mix of aluminum and plastic, and we find it pretty attractive — especially when considering the charging dock, which is thankfully small and reduces the battery’s footprint while it’s recharging. It’s easy enough to slide out the attached Lightning cable using a fingernail. Four LEDs show the remaining battery life, with a narrow power button nearby.
Just Mobile claims TopGum will fully charge an iPhone three times, and charge a depleted iPad mini up to 75 percent — our test found the battery missed that iPad mini mark slightly, refilling an iPad mini 2 up to 70 percent. Based on this, we’re not sure you’ll be able to get three full recharges on an iPhone 6, but two full charges shouldn’t be a problem. We’d expect a full recharge and a bit more for an iPhone 6 Plus. TopGum charges quickly — it pumped out that 70 percent to the iPad mini in slightly more than two hours. Recharging the battery itself wasn’t as impressive, as it took a bit more than four hours to refill.
TopGum is a bit disappointing if you’re only focused on capacity, as its performance doesn’t seem to quite live up to its 6000 mAh size. However, the battery does recharge iOS devices quickly, the built-in Lightning cable is well-designed, and the charging dock is a nice touch, especially if you use the battery frequently. If you don’t value TopGum’s half-aluminum look or its included charging dock, you’re probably better off with a cheaper battery that can give you better results. As it is, TopGum earns our general recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: Just Mobile
Compatible: All Lightning iPads, iPhones + iPod touches