Last fall, we reviewed Lepow’s Moonstone 6000mAh Power Bank, finding it to be a very good battery for the price. Now the company is back with Moonstone 9000 ($120), packing a cell with a 3000mAh higher capacity, but otherwise, the same aesthetics and features. Because this battery is so similar in so many ways, this will be a somewhat abbreviated review; please see the original for more details.
Moonstone 9000 has the same 3.2” by 3.2” footprint as the 6000mAh version, but it’s almost twice as thick at 1.4”. Unlike the various colors offered for the smaller packs, this one only comes in one color, sapphire blue. It comes packed with a felt carrying case, as well as a micro-USB cable, but it’s important to note, as per Lepow, “it will only charge with a 5V 2A charger.” This means you’ll have to use a self-provided iPad power block, or connect to another power source with enough juice. According to the company, “This issue is being resolved so it will work with a 5V 1A charger as well”.
The battery has two USB outputs. One is listed as offering 1.2A charging power, the other, 2.1A. We connected a fully depleted iPad Air to the port labeled with two lightning bolts, indicating it was the faster of the two. After unplugging and replugging the battery when a “not charging” message appeared after the tablet powered back on, it began charging as normal. While the charge level was better than expected, getting the iPad up to 83%, the rate was slower than advertised. It took almost seven hours to get to this level, which is far longer than it should be.
There are a lot of strange things going on with Moonstone 9000. From its slow charging rate to the high power input it requires to the gifts included, things seem just a bit off. And then there’s the price. Even though the MSRP is $120, this battery sells for $40 on Amazon, seemingly the sole distributor. Obviously that’s a huge difference, totally changing the value. Our ratings, however, are based on list price, so we can’t take that deep discount into account. For the capacity, $120 is actually rather high, and combined with the other strange things going on, the unit earns a C+ rating. Obviously, it is much more valuable at the 2/3 discounted price. We wish Lepow wasn’t playing games with its pricing, as we’d otherwise be able to offer a higher rating.