Mophie Powerstation Hub Review: Swiss Army Charger
Battery packs and charging accessories are available in abundance. Do a simple search for “battery pack” on Amazon and you’ll find a mind-numbing amount of products to choose from. Most of these charging accessories do the same thing, but every once in awhile we find one that is more exciting. Right now, that’s the Mophie Powerstation Hub.
The Mophie Powerstation Hub is more than a simple battery with one charging port. There’s a reason Mophie calls this product a “hub.” With three ports and the ability to wirelessly charge a device, you can keep your phone and a few of your friends’ devices topped off at the same time. The 6,100mAh battery has no problem handling a crowd. Is all this worth $100? Let’s find out.
|Dimensions||84 x 84 x 29.5mm|
|Wireless Charging||5W Qi|
|Port 1||18W USB-C PD|
|Port 2||15W USB-A QuickCharge|
|Port 3||15W USB-A QuickCharge|
That’s a lot of numbers and “W”s that might not mean a whole lot to you if you’re not familiar with charging technology. Most phones with USB Type-C ports support USB-PD (Power Delivery), so that’s the port that will give you the fastest charging speeds. With 18W you’re looking at getting a zero to full charge in a little under 2 hours, and 15-30 minutes will give you a nice quick boost.
The top and bottom USB-A ports are capable of charging at 15W with QuickCharge, which is also pretty good. One thing to keep in mind is that all of these numbers can fluctuate depending on the number of devices you are charging. The USB-C port seems to always take priority as it will maintain higher charging speeds even if the other ports are occupied. The more devices you have plugged in the slower everything will charge.
For the fastest possible speeds, stick to charging one device at a time, USB-C if your phone has it. The USB-A ports will take slightly longer, and wireless charging is by far the slowest. The 6,100mAh battery can handle multiple devices, but don’t expect them all to charge quickly. Also, none of the ports offer enough wattage to power the majority of laptops.
The design of a battery pack is not nearly as important as a phone, but you still want something that looks nice. The Mophie Powerstation Hub passes that test. The AC wall plug folds out when you need it and can be tucked neatly into the body so you have a clean, compact package when packing it away. This also means you don’t have to worry about remembering yet another cable for charging the Hub itself.
Size is one of the big benefits of this charging pack. It’s only about 3.5-inches square and barely over an inch thick. It doesn’t feel too heavy in your bag or even a loose pocket. The whole thing takes up less space than a coiled laptop charging brick and cable.
Speaking of the plug, that’s one of the nice things about a battery pack like this. You can essentially treat it like any outlet in your house. Just plug in the charger and then plug in your devices. The Powerstation Hub will charge your connected devices first and then begin charging itself. When you need some power on the go, simply unplug it and walk away. It’s almost like pulling the outlet out of your wall and taking it with you.
Keeping it plugged in is a great way to make sure it’s fully juiced up whenever you need it, but it does mean you can’t use one of it’s best features: wireless charging. In addition to the three ports for plugging in charging cables, the top of the device is a wireless charging pad. The wireless charging is only 5W, but that’s enough to slowly add a little extra juice while you’re doing something else.
Charging up the battery pack itself doesn’t take super long thanks to the integrated AC plug. You can also keep an eye on how much battery is left by pressing the button on the side, which is displayed with 4 LEDs. Speaking of that little button, you need to press it to start the wireless charging. Plugging a cable directly into the Hub will start charging immediately, though.
Admittedly, I don’t use a lot of portable charging products. I find it hard to remember to keep them charged. Whenever a time comes when I could use one, they’re usually empty. That’s why I really like the design of the Mophie Powerstation Hub and others like it. The integrated AC plug is always there and ready to be plugged in. You never have to choose between charging your devices or charging the Hub.
So should you go out and buy one? That depends. If you’re looking at only the battery capacity, $100 is pretty pricey for 6,100mAh. You can easily find a 6,100mAh power bank on Amazon for $20-30. But those products lack the flexibility of the Mophie Powerstation Hub. They’ll require an extra cable for charging the bank, won’t have as many ports, and certainly won’t offer wireless charging. If you’re someone who relies on power packs on a regular basis, it’s absolutely worth it to pay a little more for the Powerstation Hub.