So far, every Just Mobile product we've reviewed has proven to be a great success. Just Mobile's love for aluminum surely shows a strong dedication towards creating perfectly matching accessories for Apple's most desired products. Today, we've got our hands on the Gum Plus. A battery backup pack that will not only charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod, but also any other gadget that can be chargers over USB. Hidden beneath that little aluminum enclosure is a huge, 4400mAh battery that promises to recharge your iPhone up to 3 times, and within just an hour, recharge your juiceless iPhone up to a 90% charged state. Oh boy, do we love these glorified product descriptions. We've put the Gum Plus thru its paces that's for sure. So get past that break for the full review!
I must say, this is the first battery pack to ever take me by surprise. When you look at many of the battery backup packs that are currently out there, the Gum Plus is by far the most attractive. It might not be the latest and greatest, but Just Mobile has done a superb job in designing this clean looking battery pack. I have to point out the odd name Just Mobile picked for this battery backup. Gum doesn't come to mind when you first lay your eyes on it. Nevertheless though, the build quality is outstanding as well.
Aluminum top and bottom feels solid and smooth to the touch. Almost as if it were an Apple product on its own. The black middle frame only adds to the Apple-esque theme of the Gum Plus and sort of a reminiscent to the MacBook Pros. In no way would you say that the Gum Plus feels cheap in the hand, which is always a good thing for portable devices.
Just Mobile hasn't held back on a single cable to get you charging up from the get-go. Included with the Gum Plus is a USB to mini-USB charging cable that is used to charge up the Gum Plus from any USB power source, a short USB to Dock Connector cable which will come in handy when you need to charge up your iDevice without plugging in your much longer white Apple sync cable, and last but certainly not least, a carrying pouch. I wouldn't expect any less for the $69.95 price tag. Although a wall adapter for charging the Gum Plus could have been the cherry on top.
If we take a look at the bottom of the Gum Plus battery pack, we see a hole bunch of writing and directions I personally could have lived without. There is only one USB output port in which you can use to charge up your gadget, while at the opposite side is where the mini-USB input port is located for charging the Gum Plus unit itself. Here is where we run into the first drawback to this battery backup pack. You may have already noticed that the bottom does not have any rubber feet whatsoever. A strange decision in which I think Just Mobile should have never taken. I have never seen such a battery pack without some form of bottom feet for traction and surface protection. It's safe to say that the bottom of the Gum Plus will get scratched up fairly easily and quickly, and not to mention there isn't any surface traction. However, some may even like it this way since it looks much cleaner.
So let's talk about what's really important in the Gum Plus. The battery within. As much as we all love those spiffy product statements, we must put them to the real test, the test of real world situations where we say it like it is. Ok bruddah? To put the claims to the test, I've used an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 and let the Gum Plus do its job. After a days of use and many recharges later, I was able to fully charge my iPhone 4 from a fully drained battery only twice. That's one full charge less than what the Gum Plus claims to fulfill. The 4400mAh internal battery of the Gum Plus isn't capable of recharging the iPhone 4 three full times. I would still say that having the ability to recharge your iPhone an additional 2 times, thus tripling your battery life is not bad whatsoever. Especially when you've got such a small, sleek and well rounded battery pack that's great for portable use and comes with all the cables you'll ever need.
If you must know how capable the Gum Plus is when it comes time to charge that massive battery of that iPad or iPad 2 of yours, I was only able to get an extra 50% charge out of the Gum Plus until it died on me from exhaustion. And that's with a fully drained out iPad 2 and a fully charged up Gum plus. If you're looking to get a battery backup for your iPad, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Gum Plus, unless you'll be using it to charge other gadgets too. When you compare the Gum Plus to the Tekkeon TekCharge which has the same exact battery capacity, performance outcome and price, but with a few more features, the Gum Plus feels and looks better with any Apple gadget.
In terms of power management, the Gum Plus remains as simple to use as possible with just one button located at the top of the unit that will let you power it on and off, check the remaining battery life of the Gum Plus and all of that is shown to you thru the strip of 5 green LEDs which will blink ever few seconds while you're charging and automatically reduce the number of lit LEDs to indicate how much juice the Gum Plus has left while your charging up a gadget. It's a very neat little status indicator that I think really compliments the Gum Plus' overall design.
If you're in need for some extra portable power, the Gum Plus is more than capable of keeping a single gadget of yours running for a few days. The Gum Plus is indeed a beautiful munchkin of a battery backup pack, we're not denying that. You just need to ask yourself a simple question, is it enough for you? If so, then you'll be glad you picked it up. The Gum Plus is available in silver, red and black for $69.95.