Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Just Mobile Gum Plus Power Pack Review

December 3, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

The Gum Plus Power Pack is one of several solutions out there to keep your mobile devices from dying mid-day. What differentiates it from many of the others is the size of it, both in terms of reserve power and physical bulk.

In the hand, it feels likeĀ  a small pebble, roughly twice as thick as the iPhone 4, and about the size of a box of gum, it packs in (allegedly) 4400mAh. This should, charge your iPhone about 3 times before it needs more juice, or at least that’s what the marketing states.

So, from the top:

The packaging is quite nice. Apparently the Pack received an award for design, although I don’t know if I see that. Its just a rounded battery.. oh well…

The build quality of the device I’d say is just ‘ok’. Although it feels ‘solid’ the problem is that the metallic top and bottom have a sort of play to them. They go a bit sideways like they are poorly fastened to the plastic edge. It feels like they can pop off at a drop or I can make them gap if I pull on it a bit. I first noticed this when I was holding it as the button in the middle seemed to move a bit, and it wasn’t the button rather the sides which made the button look like it was moving. Additionally, I think the button (which is to turn the battery pack ‘on’), is too sensitive as I’ve found that the battery pack had turned itself on in the provided satchel. I don’t know how long it can last with itself ‘on’ but that can’t be good to self-drain like that.

Build quality aside, there is the actual charging and operation of the power pack.

On the operation of it, I find that it is quite annoying frankly. Firstly you have to turn the Power Pack ‘on’. As in, you have to click the button so that your device can then be plugged in to charge. The problem is that you have to turn it on, before you can plug your device in. If you have already plugged it in, then you have to unplug it, turn it on, and then replug it. Just annoying. Then, there is the issue of pass-through charging: It doesn’t have it. I have another battery pack that is no longer in production from APC that allowed pass-through charging and it was awesome because you could literally charge two devices at once, but anyway… the last bit that annoys me is that the blinking lights are supposed to some extent tell me how much is left in the battery pack, but the blinkies are way too inconsistent. Sometimes only one is blinking (which would imply the battery pack is fully discharged) and other times all 5 are blinking when the battery pack is fully charged in both situations. I don’t get it.

Lastly, regarding charging the iPhone, I find that I get about 2 full charges not three. Sometimes there is a little bit left over, but not enough for a full third charge. Then again, I don’t know if that means that the battery pack was discharging on its own because the on button had turned itself on or if it loses charge if not used for a week or so…

So in conclusion, I think the Just Mobile Gum Plus Power Pack over promises and under delivers, but still gets the job done at a reasonable price relative to other products out there. I think if it were slightly better built, didn’t have such an easy to press-on button, and had less bugs on the blinking lights, it would be much better.

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