Mobile Computing, Reviews

Innergie PocketCell Duo

As someone who is a mobile device reviewer, I can almost never turn down an offer to review a mobile battery pack, especially one from a company like Innergie. Innergie, as many of you may not know is actually a subsidiary of Delta Electronics, one of the biggest suppliers of electronics in the world, mostly making things like fans and power supplies. Innergie, however, is their own consumer brand which focuses on chargers and charging cables.

Top to bottom: TYLT Powerplant, Innergie PocketCell, Innergie PocketCell Duo

In the past, we had a chance to review their original PocketCell 3000 mAh battery pack with their first generation magic cable which shocked us and many others with its versatility. However, over time, the old magic cable had problems staying connected in microUSB ports and kept falling out. Today, though, we will be reviewing their latest mobile battery pack, the PocketCell Duo. This charger features two 2.1a USB charging ports, 6800 mAh capacity and the updated Magic cable, which is actually in its third revision.

In our review, we’ll compare the PocketCell Duo against the original PocketCell (3000 mAh) as well as TYLT’s own battery pack (5200 mAh). Admittedly, all three are different capacities, but they’re all still fundamentally mobile battery packs. As we stated before, the PocketCell Duo is the largest capacity battery pack, and by the looks of it, the device is almost twice the size of the original PocketCell. However, the original PocketCell is only 3000 mAh and the PocketCell Duo is more than double the capacity even though only being double the size. Much like the original PocketCell, the Duo also has a button with blue light indicators that notify you about the current status of the battery’s capacity. With the Duo, you get 6 lights compared to the 4 lights on the original PocketCell.

We also have a short video review for you to watch if you would prefer to watch.

Moving onto the actual usage of the device, I found that it was slightly bulkier than the original PocketCell, but still fit into comfortably my pocket, admittedly with a fairly significant bulge. While the smaller PocketCell fits into my pocket without any discomfort, the same could not be said for the brick-like TYLT powerplant.

Speaking about actual charging capability, I was able to easily fill two smartphones completely and still have a slight bit of battery left. The two phones that I had charged (while on) were the HTC Droid DNA and HTC One X. Each of the phones was sub 10% battery and were completely charged when I unplugged them. If both phones were completely off and without any charge, I could get both devices fully charged and still have enough to get a half charge on another device.

In terms of how quickly the battery charges, it really varies on what phone you’re using and whether or not it’s on. With a Droid DNA, we actually got a warning that we should plug in the wall charger to get a faster charge, this could be because the Droid DNA is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 quad core and has a 5″ 1080P screen. Both of those should theoretically draw quite a bit of power, but not much more than, say an HTC One X or HTC 8X. Nevertheless, most phones charged fully between 1 and 2 hours with the faster charges happening while the phone was completely off.

From Left to Right: Innergie PocketCell Duo, PocketCell and TYLT Powerplant

Moving on to the cables, the original PocketCell had a fairly thick cable that supported Apple’s 30-pin for iPhones as well as MicroUSB for Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry devices. It also has a MiniUSB connector for older Blackberry devices or some oddball devices that still use miniUSB. What Innergie has done here is to make the cable thinner, which actually makes it more flexible and less likely to get stuck in one direction or another. After enough use, the old cable would begin to bend in one direction and eventually start to come apart.

In addition to the thickness, they’ve changed the way that the three connectors connect to each other, by making the miniUSB connector stiffer to unplug and the MicroUSB and iPhone connectors slightly easier. With the old cables, it was the opposite, which seemed odd since very few people would use miniUSB compared to microUSB and Apple 30-pin. Because of the way the cable is designed, if you disconnect the miniUSB, you immediately lose power to MicroUSB and Apple 30-pin, and the same thing happens to the Apple 30-pin when you disconnect to use the microUSB. This is just the way the cable is designed, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong it with, unless the miniUSB becomes too lose and disconnects too easily (like it did in the past).

In addition to the changes to the connector’s firmness, Innergie also made the connectors physically separable from each other. In the past, even though you could disconnect the different connectors they were still physically attached to each other via the plastic joints. With this latest iteration, the Apple 30-pin connector is removable completely so you can simply just use the microUSB or replace it with another connector. This was intentionally done so that customers could swap out the 30-pin connector for a lightning bolt connector for their iPhone 5. Back in January, when we were given this device, Innergie hadn’t quite gotten approval for the lightning bolt connector, but it was already in the works.

For this review, Innergie gave us an additional Magic Cable because the Innergie PocketCell Duo only comes with one Magic Cable. Having two of these connectors was absolutely invaluable when both of my phones were on the brink of death. It was also extremely helpful in scenarios when friends or people around me had dying phones and I could happily give them a top-up. I have even managed to get a girl’s number once because she needed to charge her iPhone and didn’t have a charger, while I did. I won’t advocate this thing as a pickup tool, but it definitely gets people talking about it. My only complaint, though, is that I think that the 30-pin connector pops off just a bit too easily. I know it’s a hard balance to strike, but mine keeps coming off in my backpack after I took them off once (while charging over microUSB).

The device itself looks absolutely sleek and like an Apple-made product that fits extremely well into anyone’s mobile product repertoire. THe PocketCell Duo has endured quite a bit of abuse from me over these past few months, and because of the way that the product is designed, it’s virtually impossible to actually tell that there are any scratches on it unless you look really closely. In addition to that, even though this product is white there is not as much as a smudge of dirt on it. I don’t particularly think I’m that much of a neat freak, but even my almost-year-old PocketCell is still looking new and clean. The MSRP is $89.99, which is on the higher end, but extremely competitive when you consider that the TLYT battery has an MSRP of $75 (retails for $50). Simply going around the web, you’ll find it hard to find any devices that are comparable in terms of capacity and features as the PocketCell Duo. Since this device isn’t available yet, we can’t directly compare retail prices since those generally drop compared to the MSRP.

Based on our experiences with the Innergie PocketCell Duo, it deserves our Editor?s Choice Award. I have had a really great time using this device and it has saved my ass as well as other around me countless times. I pretty much use it more than the original PocketCell I got from Innergie before.