Lightning Review: Brando's Power Station iPhone Charger

The Gadget: Brando's Power Station, a portable battery pack for your iPhone that slides easily into your dock connection for charging away from a socket or a USB connection. The Power Station, in turn, is charged from ITS dock connection, so you can use the same charger for both devices. Comes in white and black.

The Price: US$25

The Verdict: Works as advertised. In our tests, it charged our iPhone 3G from 10% to 60% in about an hour, after which charging stopped altogether because the pack was out of juice. We then used another pack to take our iPhone from 60% to 100% in about another hour. Great for emergency days when you're low on power from a frantic 3G browsing session earlier that morning.

The only complaint we'd have is that unlike other chargers that wrap around the iPhone to secure itself in place, the Power Station only connects via the dock. This results in a flimsy connection that might snap off if you're not careful. So be careful and don't stick the phone in your pocket when this is docked.

At a price of US$25, it's the cheapest iPhone battery pack that we've seen. Despite its drawbacks (only charges about half the phone's battery and is sort of flimsy when connected), we'd still recommend it as a backup battery for emergencies. [Brando]

Side note: The original unit Brando sent us was defective and would alternate between charging state and plugged-in state, eventually going to DRAINING state. If you get one of these, call them up and get a replacement as it's obviously not supposed to drain your phone.

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