Review: PowerKick suffers from poorly executed gimmicks in an otherwise decent battery

Posted:
in General Discussion
The PowerKick battery pack uses suction cups and a kickstand to differentiate itself, but it falls short of being a useful iPhone accessory.

The PowerKick battery pack can't quite cut it despite unique gimmicks
The PowerKick battery pack can't quite cut it despite unique gimmicks


STM wanted to solve the issues surrounding wireless charging and provide some convenience with some unique features. The PowerKick is a 10,000 mAh battery pack with 10W wireless charging, suction cup mounting, and a kickstand.

The device is fine, in concept. In reality, it is a bulky add-on that only solves a couple of problems while bringing new ones with it.

The battery is made to fit on any device, so it doesn't account for camera placement or other design anomalies. The kickstand works in portrait or landscape orientations, and since the iPhone is attached, it makes for a good viewing stand when charging the device.

Key Specifications

  • 10,000 mAh capacity
  • 10W wireless charging
  • 18W wired charging
  • 1 USB-C port
  • 1 USB-A port
  • Weighs 0.53 pounds

Features and design

The battery pack is thick and the white portions are easily scuffed
The battery pack is thick and the white portions are easily scuffed


The design is unique compared to other battery packs, as it features a soft gray plastic enclosure with orange accents. The lighter portions of the case and kickstand are prone to scuffs and smudges, however.

The PowerKick has a honeycomb pattern to match the suction cup layout on the back. The button on the front wakes the battery for charging, alongside LEDs to indicate the power level.

Battery packs tend to be black or brown rectangles with industrial designs built for practicality. Users typically try to hide battery packs away and run a cable to the device being charged, but the PowerKick is designed knowing it will be used out in the open.

The suction cups attach to any phone with flat aluminum or glass backs. They are patterned around a central element that contains the wireless charging coils.

Users can also charge the battery via the USB-C or USB-A ports. The device charges wirelessly at 10W, but iPhones are limited to 7.5W.

Using the PowerKick

We tested the PowerKick with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This is Apple's largest iPhone, and so it has plenty of space on the back for an attached battery pack.

The PowerKick sticks on with ease, needing just a small press of the pack to the iPhone's rear side. Instinct would tell you to place the suction cups so that they are all flat on the iPhone's back, but this doesn't align the wireless pad properly.

The heavy iPhone 12 Pro Max can slide off of the battery due to poor suction cup placement
The heavy iPhone 12 Pro Max can slide off of the battery due to poor suction cup placement


To wirelessly charge the iPhone with the PowerKick, you must move the battery higher so it is centered on the back of the iPhone. This is an issue for multiple reasons.

First, it covers the rear camera module. While users may not expect to take a photo while using this pack, it is a limitation, as the point of the battery pack is to allow continued operation of the device while charging.

Secondly, the suction cups cannot completely adhere to the back of the iPhone due to the camera module. The cups surrounding the module are left loose, which ruins the attachment integrity of the remaining cups.

The iPhone remains attached and wirelessly charges in such cases, but it is noticeable that some cups are not attached and that part of the iPhone hangs free from the battery pack.

During use, the suction cups are hit and miss. Sometimes the phone stays attached while watching a video, but the phone just slides off onto the table more times than not.

Using the battery pack as a kickstand works just as you'd expect. Despite issues with the suction cup system, the kickstand is a novelty that makes this pack more useful than standard packs.

The kickstand doesn't hold the large iPhone up when in portrait mode
The kickstand doesn't hold the large iPhone up when in portrait mode


That being said, the kickstand is designed to offer two viewing angles when in portrait orientation, but fails to do so. The battery is higher up than expected due to the suction cup placement.

Due to this, the kickstand can't support the iPhone at the "high" viewing angle and falls straight to the "low" viewing angle.

Should you buy the PowerKick?

The PowerKick has some gimmicks that make it stand out when shopping for a battery pack. However, the execution of those elements leaves a lot to be desired. The suction cup system isn't well-executed, and the kickstand only works in some cases.

Despite its shortcomings, this is still a battery pack. It charges your device wired or wirelessly via a 10,000 mAh supply. As a simple battery, it gets the job done.

If you're in the market for a battery pack, we can't recommend the PowerKick because it is priced much higher than competitors. For $20 cheaper, you can get the same specs in a similarly sized battery, but without the suction cups or kickstand.

The kickstand is well designed for landscape use but struggles in portrait orientation
The kickstand is well designed for landscape use but struggles in portrait orientation


You'll have to decide if the kickstand is worth the $20 difference. In a world with MagSafe, this battery feels dated as an old solution to an old problem.

Pros
  • Good materials
  • Kickstand offers passable uses
  • Decent capacity and charging speeds
Cons
  • Adds too much weight to device
  • Poor suction cup and charging pad placement
  • light-colored material smudges easily

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Where to Buy

Get the PowerKick battery pack from STM's website for $69.95.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 1
    I have a portable charger I picked up at Costco that combines wireless charging with USB A and C connections and the ability to jump start your car. It also has a built in flashlight. In a simple black finish and an included soft padded zippered case it cost less than this thing.

    The PowerKiick sounds late to the party, expensive and ugly.

    What I have can charge my MacBook Air &  iPad Pro via USB C and my iPhone 12 Pro wirelessly and jump start my car. For less money.
    edited February 22
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