Disclaimer: I was provided a Powerocks Magicstick in consideration of providing a thorough and honest review of the product.
If you’ve done any travelling at all, you know just how much fun (or the lack thereof) it can be when you forget a charger, or when your battery dies half way through your day. It’s painful and unpleasant.
Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of my fellow travelers carrying portable power packs. As they’ve come down in price, they’ve become a popular way to help keep your devices running by providing reserve power on the fly. In fact, at the last conference that I attended, they were handing them out in the swag bags. (I might have acquired one or more extra ones after asking the vendor representative.)
So, when Powerocks asked me if I wanted to take a shot at their Magicstick and give it a review, I took them up on it.
When it arrived, I opened the box to find exactly what you see to the right here. A Magicstick, charging cable, and a handy carrying bag for all of it. There was also a little sheet of instruction. There really isn’t much to these things, so you really don’t need much for instructions.
The Magicstick is a 2800 mAH power supply. According to the Powerocks documentation, that’s enough to give a iPhone 5 about 1.5 full charges. With a standard USB charger, it’ll take about 5 hours to fully recharge once you’ve used it all the way down. I’m currently using a Motorola Defy XT from Republic Wireless, and was able to use the device pretty easily.
With the Defy XT nearly fully dead, I think the Magicstick would give me about 2 full charges. I say “I think” because I have this habit of not letting the device just sit and charge my phone. My actual usage is a little less than ideal. I tend to run the phone almost all the way down, then plug the Magicstick in and then continue to use the phone. Depending on how much I continue to use the phone, my results range from getting about a 3/4 charge to a full charge. That’s not a knock on the Magicstick though. Remember, I’m using the phone while the Magicstick is trying to charge it. That’s actually pretty good in my opinion.
One of the things that I really liked about the Magicstick is the design of it. The ones I mentioned above that came in the swag bag have similar features, and even similar performance, but are square/rectangular in shape. They have buttons on the top of one of the sides that turn them on/off and give you an indication of how much of a charge they currently hold. That’s all well and good, but what ends up happening is that I throw them into my backpack when I’m traveling, only to find that somewhere along the way, they got jostled, the button got hit, and the thing discharged itself prematurely. The Magicstick, in comparison, is much better designed. On the end opposite the ports, there’s a button. The button is inset just a bit into the end. That’s the power and charge indicator. Again, all well and good. Simple and functional. But, unlike the other ones, the button on the Magicstick isn’t as prone to getting hit while it’s floating around in a pocket or backpack, which increases it’s rank in my mind.
Overall, the Magicstick isn’t that much different from any other similar device. Capacity is about the same, and the function is exactly the same. The thing that set it apart from the other devices I have is the design of it. It’s had a permanent place in my jacket pocket since I got it, and is likely to remain there for a while.