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Review: PowerSkin PoP'n iPhone 5 battery pack

Earlier in the week I published some news about a new iPhone 5 battery pack from PowerSkin. Now the Pop'n iPhone 5 battery pack (US$79.99) has arrived for testing, so join me while I take a look at this decidedly different way of keeping your phone powered up.

Design

What makes the PowerSkin PoP'n different from other external battery packs? The suction cups. There are 24 small suction cups that are used to stick the PoP'n onto the back of your iPhone 5 or case. The rest of the PoP'n consists of a shiny case (black or white) enclosing the 2000 mAh battery, and a gray U-shaped connector at the bottom of the unit that terminates in a Lightning connector. A button on the back of the unit lights up a set of 4 blue LEDs to indicate the amount of power remaining and turns the pack on for charging.

The connector can be swapped out for one that will charge any iOS device with a 30-pin Dock Connector or Android devices with micro-USB A or B connectors. That's a nice feature for those who may have more than one smartphone in the family that needs charging.

Functionality

My first test was to see if those suction cups would stick onto the leather surface of my Twelve South SurfacePad for iPhone 5, and unfortunately they didn't. However, that luxurious thin case is easy to take off and reinstall, so within seconds I had the PoP'n securely glommed onto the back of my phone. I pushed the button on the back, and the phone responded by letting me know it was receiving a charge.

To recharge the unit after you've used it, there's a traditional USB to micro-USB cable. You'll need to plug that cable into a USB port on your Mac or PC, or into another AC to USB adapter.

Those 24 little suction cups do a great job of holding onto your iPhone, but the PoP'n can be easily removed when you're done charging the phone.

So, how does this compare to the recently-released mophie juice pack helium (also $79.95)? I don't know, since I haven't had a chance to test one. But the PoP'n delivers 500 mAh more capacity than the juice pack helium and doesn't have to be installed on your iPhone all the time. I also received word from an early owner of the juice pack that it requires a pass-through audio jack cable (included) to connect to a headset; with the PoP'n, the speakers and audio jack are easily accessible.

Conclusion

For iPhone 5 owners who find themselves running out of power towards the end of the day, the PowerSkin PoP'n offers a great way to recharge your phone. Once you're done charging, you can slide the PoP'n off of the phone and be back to your sleek and sexy iPhone 5.

Pros

  • Provides 500 mAh more capacity than mophie's juice pack helium
  • Can also charge other devices with optional connectors
  • Unique suction cup design grabs onto bare iPhones and hard cases
  • Made For iPhone certified by Apple

Cons

  • Won't stick onto fabric or leather materials
  • Glossy finish picks up fingerprints

Who is it for?

  • iPhone 5 owners looking for an external battery pack that doesn't require the phone to be placed into a case

Giveaway

We're sure that somebody out there would just love to have this PowerSkin PoP'n battery pack. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before February 19, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a PowerSkin PoP'n battery pack for iPhone 5 worth US$79.95.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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