Just Mobile Gum Plus battery backup pack review

Here on Gadling you may have noticed a trend in my reviews – I have a strange addiction to anything that can power my gadgets. This addiction comes from sad memories of dead gadgets, and being “on the road” with a bunch of products with “low battery” messages. So, hence the abundance of products that can keep things powered. In today’s review, I’ll introduce you to the “Just Mobile Gum Plus”. Yes – the name is rather weird, because there is very little about this product that resembles gum.

The Gum Plus is an external battery pack – but unlike some of the others that paid Gadling a visit, this one excels in capacity and good looks. Inside the Gum Plus is a 4,400 mAH battery – more about that later. The good looks come from some polished aluminum, not unlike that found on Apple laptops.
The Gum Plus has just one button, five LED lights and two power ports. The button has a single function – to show the battery status. The five LED’s show charging status when plugged in. One of the power ports is the input, the other is the output – it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Included in the box of the Gum Plus is a carrying case, an iPod/iPhone charging cable and a MiniUSB device cable, which doubles as a charger cord for the battery pack itself. To charge, you simply plug the unit into any USB port or USB power source. This can be a PC, laptop, wall USB charger or even a car USB port.

Given the high capacity of this battery pack, it takes a couple of hours to reach a full charge, but this speed obviously depends on the performance of the power source as well.

As I mentioned in the opening, the Gum Plus has a 4,400 mAH battery pack. What this means in real life is that most gadgets will get up to four full charges when hooked up to the unit. This is a huge advantage over most other chargers, which usually offer just half of this (the highest we reviewed here on Gadling was the 6000 mAH Zagg Sparq).

The output capacity of the Gum Plus is 5 Volts/1 Amp – which means it can charge an iPhone at “full speed”, unlike some other chargers that can only power it, and not charge.

The Gum Plus retails for $69.99 – which is very much in line with the retail price of many other battery packs – despite offering a much higher capacity. Unfortunately, the unit does not come with its own AC or car chargers, which would have made it an even better deal (but would probably have raised its price).

All in all there is little more to add about this product – in my tests, it performed exactly as it should, the design is nice and sleek, and the internal battery really did keep my phone going in line with its rated capacity.

The target audience for products like this is obviously anyone who may be away from a regular power outlet. The Gum Plus can keep an iPhone or iPod Touch playing video or music for an entire long haul flight, and can power a Blackberry or Android phone for 3 or 4 times its normal battery life. If you usually get 2 full days from your phone battery, the Gum Plus may be able to extend that to a full week.

You’ll find more information about the Gum Plus on the web site of Just Mobile, where you’ll also find a retailer locator.