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Griffin PowerBlock Reserve review

Stop your iPhone struggling to make it a full day without a charge

Our Verdict

More battery life as an option would be nice, but still a great gadget

For

  • Only £5 more than Apple's…
  • …and does loads more
  • US/UK plug included

Against

  • Only 500mAh battery

Here's a smart idea. The Griffin PowerBlock Reserve – something around the size of a thick bar of soap – comes with US and UK socket adapters, and outputs 5V/1000mA, so it'll charge pretty much any USB device you plug into it.

(Exception: while it will charge the iPad, it does so very slowly. It would take three days to charge it fully. Rest assured, Griffin's on the case.)

The clever bit is that part of the PowerBlock Reserve pulls away; it's a little battery with a standard 30-pin dock connector that you can use to give your iPod or iPhone a jolt of power when away from the mains.

The battery is held in place with a couple of magnets, though when used with the UK plug, it sits on top rather than hanging underneath so the magnets aren't so important – and as it's charging, a row of five green LEDs show its level of charge.

But while you can press the battery icon to see the charge level when it's connected to the mains or a device, it doesn't show it when it's not.

Of course, the PowerBrick Reserve charges a connected device and its own removable battery at the same time.

This battery is a bit weedy, though. With only 500mAh capacity, it won't fully charge an iPhone battery, though it was sufficient, in our tests, to make an iPhone properly last an entire day away from the mains, even when being used heavily.

The Griffin's only a fiver more than Apple's own USB charger, too, with the bonus of the battery and US/UK compatibility.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeAC Adapter
Brand NameGriffin
Device SupportediPod, iPhone, Portable Audio/Video Player, Cellular Phone
Input Voltage110 V AC, 220 V AC
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
Compatibility
  • MP3 Players
  • Cellular Phones
  • USB Chargeable Devices

Apple Audio/Video Players:

  • iPod classic (2007) 80GB,160GB
  • iPod classic 120GB, 160GB
  • iPod video 30GB, 60GB, 80GB
  • iPod photo 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 60GB

Apple Smartphones:

  • iPhone
  • iPhone 4GB, 16GB, 32GB
  • iPhone 3G/3GS 8GB,16GB.32GB
ManufacturerGriffin Technology
Product ModelGA23059
Product NameGA23059 PowerBlock Reserve AC Adapter
Manufacturer Part NumberGA23059
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.griffintechnology.com
Marketing Information

At the same time you're charging your player's internal battery, you're also charging the detachable Reserve battery pack for your iPod or iPhone. It's like getting twice as much use out of every time you charge.

Output Voltage5 V DC