Let’s face it, the battery life of any iPhone model is awful. Even the new iPhone 4 won’t last as long in the hands of a power user such as myself. It’s quite rare that by the end of the day I’m left with even 5% of battery on my iPhone 4. In fact, I have to recharge my iPhone at least twice in a 24-hour cycle. That does not include charging on-the-go via car charger or during a periodic iTunes sync. The need is, even more, when I’m traveling between cities especially when not in my own car, which does have the USB device charging kit installed. Thus, I had to look up a battery solution for my iPhone, especially something that could last at least an 8-10 hour trip on the road.
After a couple of days of searching online, I finally came across this New Trent (formerly iMaxPower) IMP880 External Battery pack and was instantly tempted to get it not only due to its competitive price but the consistent rating of 4 1/4 or 5 stars all over the Internet including Amazon. I ordered it in no time and ever since I’ve got it, trust me, I haven’t looked back for another solution!
So, this compact review covers the New Trent IMP880 External Backup Battery’s hands-on unboxing and my initial impressions over the usage of almost one week.
- Weight 250g (8oz)
- Dimensions 4.5 x 4.0 x 0.9 inch
- Capacity 8900mAh@5V (500% of iPhone battery capacity)
- Li-ion Polymer battery
- Chargeable with an AC wall charger
- Compatible with iPad, iPhone 2G/3G(S), iPhone 4, iPod, Blackberry & all USB Handhelds/PDAs with correct adapters (sold separately)
- Compatible with portable game console systems like Nintendo DS lite, Nintendo Gameboy and Sony PSP with the correct adapters (sold separately)
Unboxing and Package Contents:
I ordered my New Trent IMP880 from their official website and got it delivered via Express post within 5 days at my doorstep. This was also a clue of their superior customer service as I had already seen numerous reviews praising their excellent after sales support all over Amazon.
In no time, I was ready to open the package and see what was inside. Honestly, the very first impression as I opened the packaging and held the New Trent IMP880 box in my hand, I felt as if the thing wasn’t heavy enough to perform as it claims to be. So I kept hoping I got what I paid for in the end!
Opening up the box revealed what the label said:
- An IMP880 External Battery Pack
- A Regular USB cable
- An iPad only New Trent Propriety USB charging cable
- A MiniUSB adapter for Blackberry, Tour, Curve and Bold
- A MicroUSB adapter for Blackberry, Storm
- An AC Wall Charger with voltage range 100V-240V (suitable for frequent travelers)
- An English user manual
Now on to the good stuff. First of all, the size of the IMP880 device is actually pretty compact considering the monstrous 8900mAh power it holds. For size comparison with an iPhone 4 and iPad, refer to the image given below. The build quality is excellent and feels solid when held in your hand. The matte grayish body gives it a superior look and feel. As for the weight, let’s say its only slightly heavier than a MacBook MagSafe power adapter. For those who are not familiar with the MacBook adapter, it weighs around 250 grams according to the manufacturer.
The IMP880 device has a nice rounded On/Off button on top which lights up a series of blue LEDs when pressed once, indicating the juice remaining in the battery. 4 Levels of battery power can be observed with the LEDs. Pressing and holding the On/Off button for 4 seconds switches the device On (DC out / charge mode) and any attached device begins to charge.
On one side of the IMP880 device, three jacks can be seen. One for charging a USB device including all iPhones, iPad and iPod touch models, another for charging cell phones including Blackberry (DC-OUT) and a third one for charging the device itself via the provided wall charger (DC-IN).
Performance & Conclusion:
The IMP880 came pre-charged approximately to a level of 60% (3 LEDs). However, the manual said to fully charge the device before first use. Thus I left it to charge for a while, which is indicated by LEDs flashing in a row, and once the charge is complete, the LEDs stop flashing (a full charge may require up to 7 hours) indicating the device is fully charged.
One thing I noticed was that when the IMP880 is charging a device, the IMP880 remains cool. I believe the main reason for this is that New Trent has a current limiter in the IMP880 that keeps charging current lower than what you get from a wall or PC. However, in my experience the charging times on both iPhone and iPad were considerably the same with the IMP880 as would be with the native iPhone/iPad USB wall charger. Another interesting thing that comes with the package is a high quality iPad only New Trent propriety USB charging cable, which looks exactly the same as the native iPhone/iPad sync charge cable, only the cable itself is slightly thicker and is black in color with a label on one side saying “only for iPad”. According to the manufacturer, it is supplied for iPad specifically, allowing it to charge at relatively faster rates. I personally can not confirm that however, I did notice that this cable is the only one compatible with IMP880 and iPad. The native iPhone/iPad cable connected to IMP880 won’t charge the iPad. This probably has something to do with the difference in cable resistance and voltage transmissions (I guess). It is also notable that 3 devices can be charged simultaneously with the IMP880.
Finally, what’s my take on this handy IMP880 External Backup Battery charging device? I say for any power user like myself, who likes to carry multiple handheld devices especially while traveling on long road trips, this little gadget is PERFECT !!