Review: ZAGGsparq 2.0

Review: ZAGGsparq 2.0

We’re living in a mobile technology world, and I am a mobile technology…guy. I am, in fact, a mobile technology power-user, especially when it comes to press events and conventions. My iPhone 4 acts as my notepad, camera, video camera, audio recorder, phone, and full mobile web interface. Without it, I would be lost. As such a heavy power-user, though, I find that my battery life takes a massive hit. That’s where a device like ZAGG‘s ZAGGsparq 2.0 comes in handy.

While more commonly known for their incredible invisibleSHIELD screen protectors, they have made a bit splash with their mobile device power solution. There are plenty of products out there that provide the same basic functionality as the ZAGGsparq 2.0. Figuring out which one is right for you comes down to a matter of personal preference and needed performance. The ZAGGsparq 2.0 is not as convenient as, say, the Universal Gadget Wrist Charger, but it’s shiny, sleek, sturdy, and packs one hell of a powerful punch. This small power brick (3.5″x3.5″x1″ – 8.6 ounces) contains a Lithium ion battery rated at 6,000 mAh. ZAGG claims this will provide a standard smartphone with four full recharges (which is generally correct mathematically, if not in actual practice) or recharge an iPad from 0% to 60%, all at the same charging rate of a standard wall outlet.

In practice, I wasn’t able to get four full charges on my iPhone 4 out of the ZAGGsparq 2.0. I was, however, able to get a bit over three full charges out of it, which is still impressive. To be fair, though, a good portion of my final recharge was done while I was actively using the phone, so it may be capable of four full charges as long as you’re not draining the mobile device’s battery as you’re charging it. Charging the ZAGGsparq 2.0 itself is an overnight kind of thing; you plug it directly into a wall outlet using the built-in plug (with an included adapter for European sockets). The first full charge requires 9 hours, with subsequent charges still taking a considerable amount of time. Once charged, though, there’s an awful lot of spare power just waiting to be used. Simply plug your device into the onboard USB outlets, and charging begins.

The ZAGGsparq 2.0 has two USB outputs for charging: one is optimized for certain devices to provide a faster charge, while the other is a standard USB outlet. Not every device will be able to charge from the optimized outlet, but every device will be able to charge from the standard outlet. With smaller devices, such as smartphones and bluetooth headsets, you can use both outlets at once. If you’re charging something with a much larger power consumption, like an iPad, you will most likely be draining the entire ZAGGsparq 2.0 for a partial device charge, so multiple devices at once becomes impractical. There are four lights on the face of the ZAGGsparq 2.0, just below the two USB outlets, that indicate the ZAGGsparq’s remaining available power. As power is drained from the unit, the lights will turn off at the appropriate levels. The lights, however, don’t seem to be 100% accurate. Once you’ve used the device for a while, though, you should be able to mentally gauge your remaining ZAGGsparq power based on your usage.

With its dimensions and weight (3.5″x3.5″x1″ – 8.6 ounces), the ZAGGsparq 2.0 is hardly a featherweight compared to its alternatives. It is, however, absolutely a heavyweight when it comes to the amount of mobile power it can store and distribute. You will notice the weight and size of the device if you’re carrying it around in your pocket; it takes a long time to get used to the heft. If you’re going to be away from charging opportunities, however, and want to be able to keep your device running without taking any breaks for a full day of intense usage, the ZAGGsparq 2.0 is tough to beat, weight be damned. Conventions, events, and busy days will tremble before you with the ZAGGsparq 2.0 in hand. It is available directly from ZAGG for $99.99, and is absolutely worth the cost. Feel that $99.99 is too high? Well, two lucky readers will be able to get 25% off up to 3 items at once using the following two discount promo codes (kindly provided by ZAGG) during check-out: “zdnzpddj” and “zdnzpdd9”. Get your ZAGGsparq 2.0 in time for E3 from ZAGG!

Review

ProsCons
Very high power capacity
Conveniently built-in charging plug
Two USB charging ports
Larger than alternatives
Heavier than alternatives
Potentially a bit pricey
Rating
95 out of 100
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