The Tekkeon MP1200 (also marketed as the Tekkeon myPower) is a unique blend of features and oddities. It follows the road less traveled, eschewing traditional design elements, such as a shiny black exterior and a 4-light charge meter, in favor of black leatherette with white stitching and a single multi-colored charge indicator light. On the technology front, the MP1200 is bizarre in that it cannot be used to charge the iPhone – it only acts as an auxiliary power source that, when the iPhone is connected, is drained first before the iPhone battery is used. More on this below, but suffice it to say that this creates limitations in certain use cases. The Tekkeon MP1200 is so different that it’s difficult to evaluate against its competitors – you will likely either love it or hate it, and our overall rating reflects the even split among our review staff on the merits of the device.
Retail price: $79.95
Ease of Set-Up
The Tekkeon MP1200 comes with a USB-mini cable (mini-cables have a small connector, but not as small as a micro cable). When the iPhone is plugged into the MP1200, connecting the M1200 to the computer with the USB cable not only charges both the MP1200 and iPhone batteries, but also syncs the iPhone to the computer. The well-written instruction manual does a nice job of detailing the various features of the MP1200.
One of the oddities of the Tekkeon is that the charging indicator is a single tiny light on the side of the device that glows green if the charge remaining is between 65%-100%, orange if it’s between 30%-65%, and red if it is below 30%. As small as it is, the light is difficult to find, and in bright lighting conditions, it is extremely difficult to make out the color.
The Tekkeon MP1200 tied with the MiLi Power Pack as the heaviest iPhone battery extenders in our comparison, coming in at 2.8 ounces (as tested). The dimensions also make it among the largest devices we tested. While it only adds approximately 0.5″ in length and 0.25″ in width, the MP1200 basically doubles the thickness of the iPhone. Thickness is good for milkshakes and wads of money, but for phone batteries? Not so much…
The MP1200’s black leatherette exterior with white stitching is unique among the devices we tested. The look is similar to the leather seats on some luxury automobiles, providing a buttoned down professional feel. Lost as a result of this is the sleekness of the iPhone, which led to a sharp division between our reviewers on the appropriate grade for “Style.” We wound up splitting the baby…
The Tekkeon has a strap that snaps over the top of the iPhone, thus providing some coverage over each side of the phone, with significant sized cutaways that provide access to the camera lens, headset jack, ring/silent switch, volume buttons, and the sleep/wake button. Note, however, that these same cutaways leave the upper corners of the iPhone essentially exposed should you drop it.
Battery Life / Usage Impressions
The Tekkeon MP1200 continued to confound us when it came time to rating its battery life. It performed well in the “real world” test on the golf course, but we were unable to verify its battery power in the recharging test. For whatever reason, the Tekkeon is designed such that it will serve as an auxiliary power source (i.e. when the iPhone is plugged into the MP1200, the MP1200’s battery will be drained before any of the iPhone’s battery is used), but it will not charge the iPhone on its own. Thus if you have drained your iPhone down to 20%, then connect the Tekkeon, the iPhone battery will stay at 20% while the iPhone uses the Tekkeon’s battery. But your charge will not rise above 20% – it will just stay there. We did find that if the iPhone battery is drained completely (showing the dreaded red battery meter), the Tekkeon would provide resuscitation, lifting the charge to 5%. But it would then stay at 5%.
What this really means is a loss of flexibility – if your iPhone battery is run down, you have to connect the MP1200 and keep it connected. This isn’t the end of the world if you plan on keeping the battery pack on your phone at all times. But if you wanted to just recharge the iPhone and then shuck the battery pack to cut down on weight or size, you are out of luck.
For details on our performance testing methodology, see our description of “How We Test.”
- With a battery capacity of 1500 mAh (milliamp hours), the Tekkeon MP1200 sits at the median among the battery packs we tested.
- In our “real world” test on the golf course, we averaged 62% battery life remaining after a round – which places the Tekkeon in the middle of the pack.
- As noted above, we were unable to do a test on how much of the iPhone battery the Tekkeon would charge, as the Tekkeon only charges the iPhone if they are both plugged into an external power source.
- The leatherette casing makes the Tekkeon a bit bulky, but it doesn’t generate enough friction to really impede sliding it in and out of a pocket. The leatherette improves the grip that you can maintain on the iPhone, which is nice when you’re standing over a concrete cart path. (This is probably neither the time nor the place to get into our distaste for paved cart paths on a golf course…)
With a retail price of $79.95, the Tekkeon MP1200 sits at the median of iPhone battery pack pricing. Some of our reviewers wanted to dock the Tekkeon on value because they perceived its quirkiness as a loss of features. Others loved the styling, and didn’t really care about the missing feature set. Reasonable minds can differ – so we went up the middle with our rating.