I have been on the lookout for a decent rechargeable backup battery for my iPhone for quite a while. I use the phone a lot, and the battery doesn’t last the day without a top-up at some point. Whilst I can usually find a spare power socket, and keep a power cable in my handbag at all times, there are times when it would be more convenient to just have a little battery I could plug in instead.
This is why I was so interested in the iWalk stand at the Gadget Show Live earlier this year. They were just launching a couple of their backup batteries to the UK market, and they looked really good.
I was first drawn to the iWalk 2500mAh Link rechargeable iPhone battery because of its size and design (Please note it appears this product has now been replaced by the iWalk Link 3000L as I can no longer find it on the iWalk website). It’s a neat little thing, the width of an iPhone and slightly curved meaning you can continue to use the phone with the battery plugged in. The iWalk people told me it stored enough power to recharge an iPhone battery to 140% (i.e. more than one complete recharge). The picture above shows it plugged into an iPad, not an iPhone, so it’s harder to judge the size, but trust me it’s a neat little thing. I was tempted, but then started asking if it would recharge my iPad as well, as I know that draws more power. Here’s where they pointed me at the iWalk Link 5200i as being a better solution, and I was absolutely delighted when they offered me one to review.
The iWalk Link 5200i is larger than the iWalk 2500mAh, and whilst it has a lightning connector on the top it is designed as a dock rather than something you can continue to use the phone when connected. It even has a little flip-top lid that covers the connector up when not in use. But the big selling point of it is that it also has a USB socket on the side, meaning you can charge two devices simultaneously, and also meaning you can charge anything without a lightning connector. It even has a little pull-out stand that allows you to prop your tablet up whilst charging. And it’s a powerful battery as well – I can connect my phone at the start of a train journey and an hour and a half later, with my having used the phone constantly, the battery will be a good 50% or more recharged.
And when I say the iWalk Link 5200i is larger, it is certainly not too large by any means. It fits comfortably into the palm of your hand, making it an ideal size to simply tuck in your handbag and carry around. It’s supplied with a little velvet-ish bag and a dear little microUSB cable, which can be used either to charge your microUSB devices or to recharge the battery itself.
Since I have had the iWalk Link I have put it to a lot of use. And I absolutely love it. I love the flexibility of being able to dock my iPhone or connect a charging cable to the USB port. I love how fast it charges my devices. And I love being able to charge two devices at once. The iWalk people never told me quite how much charge the Link 5200 holds, but it will definitely charge my iPhone from empty to full with charge to spare. The LEDs on the front of the battery give an idea of how much charge is left in it – there are three lights, and one goes out for approximately each 1/3 of the battery.
The only downside of the iWalk Link 5200i is the lightning connector itself. Like many other similar accessories it won’t fit into my iPhone when the protective case is on, so I have to take the phone out of the case to recharge it. Which is a bit of a pain, hence the reason I usually use the USB cable to recharge my phone rather than the lightning dock!
Despite the prescence of the Lightning connector, this is not just a backup battery for iOS device users. Several times the geekdaddy has borrowed it from me if he’s been travelling, and he is an Android man through and through. But he likes being able to use the USB port on the iWalk to charge his phone or tablet as necessary. I would say though, that if you don’t have any devices that use the Lightning connector you might want to consider the iWalk Extreme 5200Duo instead, which is a dual-USB rechargeable backup battery.
The iWalk Link 5200i has a recommended retail price of £44.99, although as usual I recommend shopping around as prices do vary from store to store. It is currently available on Amazon (affiliate link) for close to list price. I think it’s a reasonable price for such a versatile battery, and I throroughly recommend the iWalk Link. You can also see a selection of iWalk’s other rechargeable backup products mentioned in this review in the Amazon carousel below:
STOP PRESS: In researching this review I have discovered that the iWalk Link 5200i is currently on sale for just £22.49 as part of the iWalk Black Friday sale. This is through iWalk themselves, and I don’t know how long their Black Friday sale is running for, so if you’re considering purchasing now might be a good time!
Disclosure: I was provided with an iWalk Link 5200i for review purposes. All words and opinions are my own. Prices correct at the time of going to press. Amazon links in this article contain my affiliate ID, this means if you make a purchase after clicking I receive a small payment, at no extra cost to you.