All iPads Mophie Powerstation XL big problem

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Mike Boreham, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Mike Boreham, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

    Mike Boreham macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    I recently bought a Mophie Powerstation XL from a well known national chain of Apple resellers in the UK.

    The spec for the device is 12,000 mah, and this was clearly on the box in big letters as its main marketing point.

    I charged it fully for 24hrs, and also flattened my iPad Mini Retina (battery c 6000 mah) ready to test the Mophie.

    Plugged the Mini into the Mophie and and it fully charged it, but the Mophie was then flat. WTF??

    Then I looked closely at the tiny writing on the back of the Mophie and saw "EU 5900 mah". It was labelled as a Powerstation XL, not a Powerstation Duo or a Powerstation Duo XL which are similar Mophie products rated at 6000 mah.

    I took it back the the Apple Reseller who checked the other ones in the store which also say "EU 5900 mah".

    I have now left it with them to investigate.

    Googling I found one other person has reported the same thing with no follow up.

    Has anyone here got a Mophie Powerstation XL? if so what does the tiny writing on the back say?
  2. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040


    Aug 24, 2012
    New York, USA

    Can you post pictures?
  3. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    At this point I can't as I left it with the Apple Reseller to investigate.

    The writing label on the back which says EU 5900 mah is so small and grey on black, that it might be very difficult to get it on a photo without specialist equipment.
  4. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    I have been in touch with Mophie support who assure me that it has two 5900 mah batteries. I have asked for more info about this, but on the strength of this I have taken it back for now for further testing.

    Further testing so far shows that the capacity is definitely more than 5900 mah. Estimating is a bit rough and ready but I think the first charge has delivered about 8000 mah. This is calculated as 100% of iPad Mini retina (6470 mah) plus 50% of iPhone 5s (780 mah) plus 10% of iPad Mini retina (650 mah).

    My previous experience of similar devices is that the transfer efficiency means you never get quite what you are expecting. So if subsequent cycles get up around 10000 mah estimated as above I will probably be satisfied.
  5. LightOnAHill macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    When you charge your device, do you plug it into the charger and THEN power off your device? If not, your device is still eating some of the power from the mophie
    And it's not gonna get to your device's battery.

    I also have an XL and it can fuly power my mini retina twice and have maybe 15% left for my iPhone IF and only IF I fuly power down the ipad during charging...

    I also have a red power station. Both are excellent devices. The XL for all, and the red power station at 4k mah fits perfect in my suit pocket to charge my phone
  6. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    Interesting, that would certainly change the numbers. I no longer have the XL (got refund) but I have a cheaper equivalent which performs the same as the XL by the method I was testing (not switching completely off). I will try your method, which will yield results closer to the manufacturers claims. If you can charge a retina mini from flat twice, it is matching their claim.

    My first thought about your method is that while it is obviously correct that the iPad is using power while being charged, I wouldn't have thought it would be very much. It would not discharge very much in the length of time a charge takes if it is not actually being used. Are you saying it is more complicated than that, so that it uses disproportionately more power if left on while being charged?

    You seem to emphasise that your way is to connect the Mophie to the iPad then turn the iPad completely off. Is that different from turning the iPad completely off then connecting it? Is the issue that if the iPad is completely flat it will turn itself on when connected, so you have to turn it off?

    I will try it out and report back.

  7. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    I was quite excited by your suggestion to completely turn it off during charging, as it seemed like it might explain the huge gap between manufacturers claims and my (and others) experience on this issue.

    Alas not! I fully charged up my 12000mAh power pack, and flattened my iPad retina mini so that it powered off. Connected the two and left it for a few hours. Of course with the iPad turned off it is impossible to see what the situation is. The power pack has a % and bar indicator and when it was down to 12% I turned on the iPad which was up to 95%.

    Taken at face value the power pack has discharged 88% of 12000mAh = 10560 mAh, and the iPad has received 95% of 6470mAh = 6146 mAh. Simple arithmetic would put the powerpack capacity at just under 7000mAh. i.e. transfer efficiency 58% of the 12000mAh nominal capacity.

    This is only slightly better than the many tests I did previously leaving the iPad on while charging, which is what I expected, but nowhere near the 12000mAh.

    I am not expecting 12000mAh to be delivered to the receiving device because of the transfer efficiency effect, which the manufacturers freely admit in the small print. But I was hoping for more than 7000 mAh (58% of 12000mAh), and analysis of the data in this article for instance suggests that the best devices are capable of transferring 70-80% of the rated capacity.

    There are some apologies for my test above which I will address with more testing in due course. e.g.

    1. Using the battery % indicator is not as precise as waiting until the power pack is flat, but all the previous testing I have done shows it is not bad.

    2. My device is not a Mophie XL, but all the previous testing of my device compared to the three Mophie XLs I tried before getting the refund showed it to be very equivalent.

    I am intrigued how your XL can charge a flat iPad mini twice and still have maybe 15% left. That would imply your XL can transfer over 13000 mAh, more than the rated capacity of 12000mAh, and with over 100% transfer efficiency.
  8. driedsquid macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    Mophie Powerstation XL

    I just got one of these XL products. I did similar testing with iPad Air 2 and iPhone turned off and on. Almost same results. Nothing higher than 6,500 mAh charge before the XL is drained.

    Wrote to customer support and 5 times they told me I was getting the expected results, charging from 0%, 15% or 30%. I explained I would return the product to the president of the company. They bumped me up to a "Customer Service Manager". This person said my results were not what the product should be delivering and replaced the battery. I did a "pure" test on iPad Air 2 turned "off". It charged from 13% to 100% and the XL was completely drained. My research says the iPad Air 2 has a battery of just over 7,300 mAh. Sorry, but I don't get it. What am I missing?

    By the way, the back of my Mophie does say EU 5,900. I asked them about this and they said that was the mAh rating of only one of the batteries. They said the XL has 2 batteries.

    When I tested my old 4,000 mAh battery on my iPhones, I consistently got pretty close to 4,000 mAh charges.

    I don't think the $110 plus price I paid for the Mophie is delivering what cheaper products will give me. I am not impressed with the product and their customer service, with 2 opposite stories, confused me. I don't know who or what to believe.
  9. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    Thanks for the corroboration!

    The bit I am intrigued by is the bit I have left quoted....I have now tested several similar products not just Mophie and they all have the same behaviour.

    What was the brand/model of the battery which actually delivered 100% of what it claimed?

    If it was an old product perhaps what is happening is that the manufacturer quoted the honest number, but since then other manufacturers have been quoting the source battery capacity, not what can be transferred, and they all have to follow to appear competitive.
  10. KenB macrumors member


    Nov 4, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Just to clarify: When you "flatten" the battery in an iOS device, then reconnect it to a power source, the device will turn itself back on automatically, once the battery charges sufficiently.

    Are you then powering the device back off?

    Because if not, then you are testing it with the device powered on.
  11. Mike Boreham thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    Yes. In my initial testing I was not doing that, and that is why I repeated everything after the point was made.

    This is all nearly a year ago now so I might go over it again to see if anything has changed.

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