mophie is very well-known for its battery cases that it develops for the more popular smartphones like the Galaxy S8, and the iPhone 8. But it also makes other products like battery packs. Now the powerstation lineup has had quite a few entries already, but now mophie has launched its largest and most expensive battery pack yet. Which leads many to wonder whether the powerstation USB-C XXL is worth the cash? We've been using it for a few weeks now, so let's talk about it and find out.
First of all, the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL is a 19,500mAh battery pack and it has just two ports. There's a USB-A port for output and then a USB-C port for both input and output. It does support USB-C PD (Power Delivery) for up to 30W, which is fast enough to charge things like the Nintendo Switch or Macbook Pro. And it is priced at $149. Ordinarily that would be a huge disadvantage for the powerstation USB-C XXL - since there are so many battery packs that are this capacity for under $50, some even under $20 already - but since it does have USB-C PD (which very few battery packs have, and those that do have it are priced pretty similarly), it makes this is a more interesting product, and one that can do more for you.
With this battery pack having USB-C PD, we had to test it out on something other than a smartphone. Which we did with the Macbook Pro, since it has a USB-C port, all we needed to do was use a USB-C to USB-C cable to get it charging. It didn't quite charge as fast as the included charger for the Macbook Pro, and that's because Apple includes a 61W charger, while the powerstation USB-C XXL is limited to 30W, but it charged fast enough to where you can still use it while it's charging and not see the battery level stay the same or drop. It was able to recharge in around 2 hours, which, yeah it is slower than the included charger. But in a pinch, it'll work. Since this is a portable battery, the powerstation USB-C XXL is going to be great for traveling, which we did take traveling with us, and it meant we could sit at the airport and get some work done without having to hunt for a outlet (which are always completely taken anyways).
Now when it comes to charging regular smartphones like the Galaxy S8, it charged it with no issues. It does have USB-C PD, but it does not have Qualcomm's Quick Charge functionality, which is okay since the Galaxy S8 only has Quick Charge 2.0 anyways. The powerstation USB-C XXL does charge at up to 2.4A in the USB-A port, which we used to charge the Galaxy S8, and it charged about the same speed as if it were plugged into the wall. Meaning it was able to go from 0 to full in about an hour and a half or so. That's not too bad, and with this having a 19,500mAh capacity, it can recharge the Galaxy S8 around 6 times before it needs to be recharged. Now something like a Macbook Pro, it can only charge about once before needing a recharge, and it should be about the same for the Nintendo Switch or any other laptop that uses USB-C as well.
The mophie powerstation USB-C XXL does also support pass-through charging. This means that you can plug the power bank into the wall at night to charge up, and then plug a smartphone (or something else) into the battery pack and it'll also charge. Using its own Priority Plus Charging, the powerstation USB-C XXL will go ahead and charge the connected device first, and then charge the battery pack. This is similar to how mophie's battery cases for smartphones like the Galaxy S8 works. It's a feature that most battery packs have, but it is still nice to see it available here. Especially if you're somewhere and there's only one outlet but you need to charge your phone and the powerstation USB-C XXL, you can do just that, with ease.
The design of the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL is where it really stands out, though. The powerstation USB-C XXL is actually covered in a "premium fabric". mophie doesn't state what kind of fabric it is, but it feels really nice in the hand and actually adds some grip to the power bank, which is surprisingly, necessary. It's durable fabric, and so far in the few weeks that we have been using it, it has held up well. In addition to making the powerstation USB-C XXL durable and scratch free, it really makes it look nice. The powerstation USB-C XXL is actually a rather thick battery pack, compared to others we've reviewed with similar capacity. But, as we found with Anker's own USB-C PD battery pack, it needs to be thicker to handle the increased output, and still be safe. So while it is a bulky power bank, there is reason for it.
At the top of the powerstation USB-C XXL is where you'll find that USB-C port that can do both input and output, and then the USB-A port as well. On the front, you'll find a mophie logo, which is in dark gray on a black background, so it's actually fairly tough to see, which is a nice touch. There is also a power button along with four LED lights, which indicate how much juice is left in the powerstation USB-C XXL. It's a fairly minimal design on the powerstation USB-C XXL, and this may be weird to say about a battery pack, but it is one of the best looking battery packs we've laid eyes on.
Now the big question, is the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL worth its price. That depends on your use-case. If you have a laptop that uses USB-C, or the Nintendo Switch, and do a lot of travel, then the powerstation USB-C XXL is definitely worth picking up. But it's not the only option out there, which is what could hurt sales for the powerstation USB-C XXL. Since we do a lot of travel, the powerstation USB-C XXL has come in handy plenty of times, especially when we don't have access to an outlet. The one complaint that we do have about the powerstation USB-C XXL is that it is only 19,500mAh capacity. It would be nice to see it bumped up a bit to 25,000mAh or more, that way it could charge something like a Macbook Pro or any other USB-C laptop one full time and still have enough juice to charge your smartphone, should you need to do so.
As mentioned already, the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL is about $149.99. It's a brand new product, so it likely won't drop in price anytime soon, but it could see a nice price drop for Black Friday next month. mophie is selling the powerstation USB-C XXL on its website and at the Apple Store, unfortunately it's exclusive to the Apple Store - as far as physical stores goes.