[Review] TYLT Powerplant and Energi

Portable power can come in a number of different varieties. TYLT accommodates  most of them by making dedicated power packs as well as smartphone battery cases. In this post, I took a look at the Powerplant and the Energi (for iPhone 5).


The battery pack is called the TYLT PowerPlant, available with Lightning, 30-pin, and micro USB varieties for $89.99, $74.99 and $69.99, respectively. While they each have a USB port, there’s also an integrated cable arm so that you don’t have to carry your cables around with you. Just make sure you get the right connector type for your devices.


  • 5,200mAH Battery
  • USB port AND charging arm
  • One button design
  • Charge two devices at once
  • Charges tablets and smartphones
  • Includes a micro USB cable for charging the battery pack

Throughout my testing the TYLT Powerplant has been great. It’s a battery pack, so there’s not much to expect, but TYLT does one better with the integrated charging arm.

The only real complaint I have is that the one button design, as I call it, really takes some getting used to, and I still don’t understand it. For the price I would have liked to have a switch versus a button, but maybe in the next generation.

Overall I have to say if you are looking for a battery pack for multiple devices, the TYLT Powerplant is definitely a good choice, if you’re willing to spend the obviously high price.

Energi iPhone 5 Battery Case

In the box you get two “Inner” cases, red and black. These slide into the main part of the case which has the battery itself.

The only thing wrong with this case is the  difficulty both I and others had in getting the iPhone into the case to slide out of the main case. This can be fixed with some sandpaper or a knife, but paying $100 for a case that you have to break to make easier to use doesn’t seem like a good idea. The volume and vibrate openings through the inner case are a bit tiny, but after awhile I got used to the form factor and the buttons.

TYLT did get the one button design right on this case though. You press the button on the back of the main case to get a color coded battery level, and press and hold to turn on and off, pretty simple.

Access to the headphone port is basically blocked, but TYLT has included a wire that fits nicely in and lets you use all the functions of the Apple Earpods. The main case charges via micro USB, but you can also sync your iPhone 5 if it is in the main case, via the same micro USB connection. Since the iPhone speakers become covered there are cutouts on the main case, which actually make the audio sound better than usual. The camera also works just fine, flash on or off.

Overall I really have to say it depends on the user whether or not you buy the Energi. It’s definitely not the greatest battery case, but it gets the job done, and is very useful for charging your phone in your pocket.

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