Seems there can never be enough power available for us Android junkies out there. I am always on the look out for powerbanks and extended battery cases that can give my daily life a boost to keep me going no matter the circumstance. Since I picked up the Sony Xperia Z, I have noticed that the battery life isn’t as stellar as I would like it to be. While most days I can pull a good 10+ hours out of the device, my physical days are closer to 16 or more. This dilemma is easily solved after the first 6 hours of my day when I return home by simply putting my Z in the desktop dock that I showed you guys a week ago. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of days where sitting at my computer to feed you with knowledge and information just doesn’t happen. For those days I need to turn to portable solutions that keep my Z in my pocket and handy. This is where an easy to use and easy to have available extended battery case comes into handy.
Meet the 2800 mAh Power Jacket for the Sony Xperia Z
Emergency Power Pack:
Input Voltage: 5V
Input Current: 800mAh
Output Current: 1000mAh
Charging Time: 3.5 hours
Size: 142mm(L) x 74.8mm(W)x 16mm(T)
The Power Jacket uses the same POGO style pins as the charging dock. This keeps you from having to open up that USB port and keeps the device all sealed up. While I am sure you wouldn’t want to dunk your device underwater with the case on, you should still be safe during those spontaneous rain storms or child spills. The Power Jacket comes in two colors, black and white. The white one, from images and videos, appears to be pretty shiny and a bit more on the plastic side of things. Where as the black, which is what I have, is more dull with a rubberized finish to it. It make sit soft to the touch and a little less cheap looking, in my opinion.
The Power Jacket has all the proper cutouts you would expect to find and need. One on the rear for the camera and flash. A wavy design cutout for the power button, easy access to the volume rocker and space for the speaker. The bottom is cut down across most of the case and keeps the mic exposed and on the case itself you find the micro USB charging port.
On the left hand side is where you find this curious hump. This is of course where the pogo pins are located that connect your Xperia Z to the charging plates.
The rear of the Power Jacket is where you will find the two other wonders of the case. There is a kickstand to allow for easy gaming and media viewing, which I am growing to love by the way. You will also find four LED lights and a power button. Obviously you don’t need the case to be on all the time, just when you find yourself low on power and knowing that you have a few hours before you will make it to a physical charger.
What we like about the 2800 mAh Power Jacket
There is a lot to like about this product. The fact that your device easily slips into it without any fuss and stays securely in place being the biggest. The Power Jacket is lightweight, weighing only 85gs and only doubles the device thickness when in place. The added kickstand gives it a little more functionality to your device for Hangouts, watching movies, taking video with the front facing camera and even for using it as a photo viewer or desk clock. It looks good and feels good in your hand and in your pocket. With 2800 mAh of power at your disposal, you can almost gain a full charge per use. This varies depending on if you are using your phone while it is charging or not of course. I found that with minimal use I could go from 20% battery life to about 85% or 90% before the case died. It certainly got me through the rest of the evening without fear of my phone dying before I got home.
What we don’t like about the 2800 mAh Power Jacket
No product is perfect, but many can offset minor flaws due to necessity or added functionality. There are four main things about this product that distract me.
The charging port on the bottom of the case is positioned right in the middle of the case. This is not the issue though. The issue for me is that the part of the case that is cut out for the port is not rounded on the inside. I have a terrible habit of placing my pinky finger on the underside of my devices while I hold them. So my pinky is constantly right in the center and is being cut so to speak by the sharper edges. Of course I haven’t been sliced open like a pig or anything, but it is annoying enough that it is forcing me to hold my device differently when the Power Jacket is on.
The LED Lights on the rear of case that indicate how much power is left inside before it is dead are EXTREMELY bright. Like, use them as a blue flashlight bright. They shine through the pockets of my shorts and draw attention when charging the Z after dark. I would greatly prefer a darker film or tint over them to minimize the light emitted.
The Kickstand, while functional, isn’t perfect. At least not on the sample I have in hand. It securely clicks shut and doesn’t flop open unintentionally, but it doesn’t click into an open position. This small issue forces you to hold it open while you set the device down on a flat surface.
The POGO charging pin bump could have been designed a bit better. The way it sticks out leaves two sharp corners to catch your fingers, or other things, on. I would prefer that the POGO pin part of the case was more rounded and streamlined into the case. Keep the bump if you must, but make it less of, what looks like, an afterthought or last-minute addition.
The Power Jacket isn’t something that I plan to keep on my device at all times. I will keep it charged up and handy for those days where I know my schedule is full and I probably won’t be getting to an alternate means of charging anytime soon. It is quite a bit more handy than packing around an external powerbank and charging cable. With a price tag of just $35, I can easily live with the small, but annoying, shortcomings of the power Jacket.