Packed inside the 4.375 cubic inches of the Power Core Micro Ultra Compact Battery Pack ($80) is a 3500mAh battery — plenty of power given the small footprint. PhoneSuit’s design is modern and the materials are nice. There are only a few caveats relative to existing competitors: the price is on the high side, despite the fact that you have to supply your own Lightning or 30-pin cable, and since the pack only puts out 1A, it won’t charge iPads at full speed.
Power Core Micro is a flat rectangle, about as wide and deep as the iPhone 5 but a little less than two inches shorter. The top is glossy black plastic, while the the body is matte plastic with a metal bisecting band. Four blue LEDs indicate the power level when you press the power button, located on the end opposite the full- and Micro-USB ports. The unit fits comfortably in the palm of a hand, with a reassuring weight, and a Micro-USB cable is included for recharging the cell with a computer or self-supplied wall adapter. Top rival batteries we’ve tested offer higher capacities, more frills, and deluxe materials at the same price point, but Power Core Micro’s overall look, size, and feel are very appealing.
We were impressed with Power Core Micro’s battery performance. Tests with other batteries suggested we’d see this cell deliver somewhere around 140% to 160% of an iPhone 5 charge, yet on an iPhone 5 that was fully drained, recharged, and then drained agin, PhoneSuit’s battery provided a 166% charge—a comparatively efficient use of the 3500mAh cell inside. Our testing was conducted when the phone was connected to LTE and Wi-Fi, with the screen off and no media playing.
From the industrial design to its actual functionality, PhoneSuit has delivered with Power Core Micro. There are no fancy bells or whistles here, and it’s sold somewhat threadbare by comparison with Just Mobile’s Gum Plus, but PhoneSuit’s design works well and looks good. If you’re looking for a slender but sturdy way to keep your iPhone or iPod running, this is a good options, and worthy of a general recommendation. Should the price fall, it’ll be a considerably more appealing alternative.
Company and Price
Model: Power Core Micro
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPods