PowerSkin introduced its Pop’n 2 battery pack last October, and the company has already released a new edition, Pop’n 3 ($50). While Pop’n 2 relied on a separate Lightning connector to attach the pack to an iPhone, Pop’n 3 includes a built-in Lightning cable — the pack can also come with a micro-USB connector instead. As expected from Pop’n, the pack’s suction cups remain, enabling the battery to stick to the back of an iPhone. The phone can then be used while charging. Pop’n 3 also has a circular sticky pad in the middle. Like Pop’n 2, Pop’n 3 uses a 4000 mAh battery.
Pop’n 3’s design allows it to be more versatile than Pop’n 2, as the built-in Lightning cable lets the pack be used while attached to an iPhone, or off to the side, like a normal battery pack. Pop’n 3 has about the same footprint as the previous Pop’n — 4.41” x 2.36” x 0.49” — though it’s a bit lighter at 3.81 ounces. Using Pop’n 3 isn’t the most natural thing at first, but it’s not a major hassle, either. The suction cups keep the pack securely attached to an uncased iPhone. Four lights on the side of Pop’n 3 show how much battery life remains, with a micro-USB charging port nearby (a micro-USB cable is included).
Pop’n 3’s battery performance was impressive, too. Oddly, while Pop’n 2 had a 2.1A output and 1A input it’s vice versa on Pop’n 3, which fully charged an iPhone 6 in a bit more than two hours, though it was slightly slower than Pop’n 2. Recharging the pack should be faster. Pop’n 3 beat its claims of a 150 percent charge. After a partial depletion, the battery added another 65 percent charge, for a strong total of 165 percent. That’s a tad lower than the 169 percent total we got from Pop’n 2, but it’s close enough that another test might yield the same results as PowerSkin’s previous model.
Pop’n 3 is slightly slower than Pop’n 2 when it comes to charging an iPhone, but its design is an upgrade. It’s also $20 cheaper, and its battery can be used while unattached to the phone. Some users may look at Pop’n 3 and still think it’s a bit awkward, but it’s really not that bad to use while attached, as long as you don’t mind taking the case off your iPhone. Others can just see the attachment option as a bonus — Pop’n 3 is a good battery pack with a very competitive price tag, and it earns our strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: Pop’n 3
Compatible: iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 5/5s