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Griffin PowerDuo Reserve Review

Recently I upgraded from my Gen 1 iPhone to an iPhone 3GS. The biggest driver behind the purchase were to not only retire my first iPhone but the added and improved features, such as a better camera, video recording, 3G and GPS. Although Apple lays claim to an improved battery life, I still find myself in need of some emergency juice every once and a while. So what better product to test out then the Griffin PowerDuo.

Included in the package is the PowerJolt charger for the car, the Powerblock charger for the home and one backup battery. What makes this charger combo unique is that the battery magnetically attaches to either charger and recharges while you’ll charge your phone. I love this since one of the inherent challenges with any external battery pack is remembering to charge it.

So let’s get the important stuff out of the way. The Duo Reserve battery is not, I repeat not intended as a full charge back up. That means the PowerDuo battery will at best recharge your iPhone’s battery 25-30% of a full charge. So it’s perfect in a pinch or when you forget to charge your phone the night before or suddenly run low on juice after an extensive call.

What makes the PowerDuo so great is that includes a charger for the car and the home. You’ll just need to bring your own USB cord to the game, but since that comes with the iPhone it really is a moot point. Both units are finished in a polished black and while the car charger is pretty standard the home charger includes a flip out plug making it all the smaller and convenient for traveling.

The battery pack itself should fit all iPhones and iPods and includes 4 LED lights to indicate how much juice is left. Surprisingly and annoyingly, the LEDs only lit up when plugged into my iPhone, which makes them slightly less useful. Fully charging the battery pack takes less time then a complete iPhone charge – about 1 hour – which is nice since too often have I found myself with other battery backups that are only partially charged. Although the battery is only good for a partial recharge it’s one of the smallest available for the iPhone and makes it more ideal to just throw it in your pocket than some larger more fully featured battery packs. Lastly, the battery pack is encased in a rubber casing, which makes it resistant to dings and bumps.

There are little to no flaws when it comes to the PowerDuo. If you don’t need an extra charger for the home or the car then you can purchase them separately, although you do get a slight price break by purchasing both at the same time. The battery is far from a complete charge for any iPhone or iPod, but given is small size, versatility, quick charge time and Magloc docking system it makes it one of the most attractive iPhone/iPod backup battery packs on the market today.

You can grab the Griffin Power Block here for $40 and the PowerJolt Reserve here for $27.  The combo back is available here for $60 but is backordered.

Pros:

  • Tiny battery pack
  • Magloc charging dock
  • Includes car and home charger

Cons:

  • Only partially recharges battery, 25% or so
  • No USB cord included



Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."