Review: Scosche’s MagicMount PowerBank adds a 4000mAh battery to iPhone only when you need it

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Battery cases are bulky. The new MagicMount PowerBank from Scosche gives you all of the same benefits— a portable battery pack attached to your iPhone for extra battery life— but does so in a form factor that aims to be more convenient than a battery case. With the MagicMount, the battery magnetically attaches to your device using a very slim MagicPlate, so you can quickly remove it when no longer needed. And you can continue to use your device with a case of your choice or no case at all, so you don’t have to put up with that bulky battery case all day.

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The PowerBank uses Scosche’s MagicMount system. You get two slim metal plates the company calls MagicPlates. Attach one to your iPhone using the pre-applied adhesive and now you have a base to allow the PowerBank to attach to your iPhone magnetically. You can then put any case you want back on your device with the MagicPlate hidden underneath, or use it without a case. You get a large and small (small is pictured on my iPhone), and you can buy more pads color matched to your iPhone if needed.

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Charging |

It’s not exactly a light setup when attached to your iPhone– it weighs a bit less than the iPhone itself– but PowerBank gets you up to two extra charges with the 4000mAh battery. The added approximately 4 oz weight and bulk of the battery is par for the course for any spare battery accessory. Compare it to Apple’s battery case for iPhone 6s with around half the battery life at around 3.6 oz (Apple estimates will get you around an extra 25 hours talk time). Or Mophie’s Juice Pack for 6s Plus at 3.9 oz with a 2600mAh battery and an estimated extra 14.5 hours talk time. And unlike the cases with built-in batteries, it’s only on there when you really need it— that’s the whole point.

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Being able to use the case of your choice with the battery will be especially attractive to those that want to use specialized cases for things like camera mounts and other accessories that can’t be used at the same time as a traditional battery case. And It’s nice to know that I can freely change and upgrade to new cases when I want and continue using the PowerBank. That’s also why I opted to put the MagicPlate right on my iPhone (you can optionally stick it on the back of your case, but then you’d have to move it to your new case or use another MagicPlate if changing it). That also means your spare battery won’t become a paper weight once you upgrade to a new iPhone down the road. 

If you’re performing really heavy-duty tasks with your iOS devices, perhaps in a professional situation, having several PowerBanks and being able to quickly and easily switch them out should be a much smoother experience than using battery cases or external batteries that don’t have the magnetic mounting system. The PowerBank has an LED indicator to show you battery life, and 2.1Amp output gives you the fastest charge possible. 

And if you’re worried about the magnets, the company promises the earth magnets it uses that are “100% safe” for use with smartphones and won’t interfere with anything.

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The MagicMount |

The PowerBank is part of Scosche’s MagicMount product line, which is made up of variations of its original MagicMount magnetic smartphone dock. The latest MagicMount Pro line includes a car vent mount, a window/dash mount, and a dashboard mount. All of the products work using the same system and come with two MagicPlates like the PowerBank to get you started.

I also had the new MagicMount Pro dash mount ($29) on hand when reviewing the PowerBank, and while I don’t drive, the dash mount is also suitable for using on just about any flat surface (like on my desk pictured above). If you’re interested in any of the other MagicMount products, that will certainly make the PowerBank an even more attractive purchase.

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Should you buy it? |

If you dislike the current state of battery cases like I do, then you’re probably currently using portable batteries much like the PowerBank but without the magnetic mounting capability. This is certainly a major upgrade to that setup if charging on-the-go while you continue to use the device is a concern. And where bang for buck is concerned, the $59 price and 4000 mAh battery offers a ton of value over what you get with a battery case. It’s quickly become my preferred option for extra iPhone battery over my large selection of other portable batteries and battery cases. 

You can get the Scosche PowerBank for $59.99 in space gray (the one I reviewed), silver, and gold to match your iPhone. I reviewed the iPhone version with a built-in Lightning connector, but the company also sells a version for other devices with micro-USB ($49).

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.