Review: Moshi IonBank 3K vs. 10K for iOS
For typical iPhone use, I’ve rarely needed a portable battery pack. Aside from overseas flights and constant use when filming, checking the calendar, answering texts and fighting for WiFi at expos, the iPhone’s internal battery has traditionally served me well before an overnight charge.
That’s changing now, however, as iOS games are becoming more involved and are taking up more power. I’ve most recently been digging into Phantom of the Kill, for example (preview to follow soon), and was surprised at how much battery I used up in one session (although perhaps I should’ve been surprised at how much battery my kids had killed before I managed to get my phone back).
Either way, portable batteries are a great way to keep the gaming session going whether you’re on a bus, in the back seat of the family truckster, or just at home away from an outlet. Whether your needs lean more towards portability of power, Moshi has some attractive options for you.
We’ll start with the IonBank 3K, as it’s the more portable of the two. Measuring only 3.34″ wide by 2.01″ deep and 1.13.” high, it’s compact enough to fit in a pocket, let alone your backpack or bag. And because it’s wrapped in vegan leather (burgundy red only), it fits in nicely with your wallet or pocketbook.
Not that that matters to gamers, of course. We just want power, right? Well, hold on…there’s more to consider here. That leather shell flips open to reveal two cables tucked inside: Lightning and USB. The USB cable is used to charge the IonBank 3K, while the Lightning cable is then used to charge your phone. Both cables are pretty short—a little over 4 inches each—so you either have to charge your phone when you’re not playing or just let it dangle (which I’ve done).
One other minor drawback is that the battery indicator is a single green LED light that doesn’t do much to tell you just how far the battery has charged. On the other hand, SmartSense circuitry allows you to charge your phone while the battery is charging, and you do get 120% extra power from the 3,200 mAh battery when running from a peak charge. That’s likely enough to get you through even the most extreme gaming sessions, but wouldn’t you be happier with 400%?
That’s what you get with the 10,300 mAh lithium-polymer battery of the Moshi IonBank 10K. Of course, you also get more bulk, as the 10K comes in at 5.39″ wide by 3.23″ deep and 0.71″ high. Obviously, this isn’t a battery you’d want to just let dangle from your iPhone or iPad, which makes the approximately 4″ length of the tucked away Lightning and USB cables a bit more problematic for anything other than desktop charging.
But Moshi is resourceful, and they’ve also included a USB port on the side of the IonBank 10K. Now, all you need is a standard USB to Lightning cable (not included, but surely you already have a few) and you can play games on your iDevice while the battery is safely tucked away in your backpack or resting next to you on the seat. In fact, you can charge two devices at once via the built-in Lightning cable and the external USB port.
I also like that there are four LED power indicators here to provide a better sense of how much power remains in the battery.
Other features include fast-charging at 2.4 amps (24 watts total) and availability in two colors: gunmetal gray (as seen with our review unit provided by Moshi) and sunset bronze. It’s also worth noting (with both IonBanks, in fact) that the built-in Lightning cable has a very low profile, allowing for case compatibility. Seems like a no-brainer, I know, but you’d be surprised how many Lightning cables I’ve tried that get that wrong.
So, which one to go with? If your power needs are light and your travel bag lighter, the IonBank 3K could suffice. However, I’ve reviewed portable batteries in the past that can charge 120% or more but come with the added convenience of attaching to the phone. If I have to rest it on a desk for comfortable charging, I’d want much more power than what the 3K provides. In fact, for just about that much power you should just go with Moshi’s iGlaze Ion iPhone battery case.
For seriously extended gaming (and whatever else you use your iPhone for), the combination of the 4x power and the ability to power your iPhone or iPad with an external Lightning cable, charge two devices at once, and spend only $35 more makes the IonBank 10K Portable Battery the obvious choice.
Still stuck somewhere in between? Well, there’s always the IonBank 5K.
Provides: External battery power for iOS devices
Compatibility: Any Lightning compatible iPod, iPad or iPHone
Price: IonBank 3K – $64.95; IonBank 10K – $99.95
Availability: Now at Moshi.com