New Trent IMP190
The first New Trent IMP190 iPhone battery pack we purchased was broken, charging the iPhone only sporadically. New Trent was quick to get us a replacement, but we experienced the same issues with the second unit as well. In the crowded field of iPhone battery packs, the New Trent is trying to compete on price, but the device has to work before a cheaper price is going to win any customers.
Retail price: $69.95
Ease of Set-Up
The New Trent IMP190 comes with a USB – micro cable, and serves as a pass through so users can sync an iPhone to a computer without removing the iPhone from the battery pack. The enclosed instruction manual was a bit of a disaster, making set-up a real head-scratcher (for which we docked its grade). For example, it includes the following text (which we copied verbatim):
- When iPhone is well put on the power case which is connecting with electrical source iPhone will be charged first until fully charged, then to the power case; when electrical source is cut off in condition of iPhone’s power less than 100% and power case more than 5%, the product will charge iPhone until it is fully charged.
Huh?!?? Our hunch is that New Trent originally wrote the instruction manual in another language, pasted what they had into Google Translate, asked it to translate to English, and then put whatever was spit out into the manual.
The IMP190 has an on/off switch and like almost all of its competitors, has four blue indicator lights on the back of the device. Pressing a small button immediately to the right of the indicator lights will activate the lights, which then display the remaining charge level (4 illuminated lights means between 100% and 75% charge remaining, 3 illuminated lights means between 75% and 50% charge remaining, etc.).
As a side note, curiously enough, New Trent doesn’t indicate the company name anywhere on the box, manual or unit itself. Doesn’t really lend itself to a brand you can trust.
The 2.55 ounce (as tested) New Trent IMP190 fell directly on the median line in terms of its weight. It trailed only the Mophie Juice Pack Air in terms of avoiding bulkiness (increasing the dimensions of the iPhone from 4.5″ x 2.4″ x .48″ to 4.94″ x 2.625″ x .8″), but in fairness, after the Mophie, there isn’t a huge difference in size from one device to the next.
Perhaps the most charitable way to describe the look of the New Trent IMP190 is “utilitarian.” There isn’t any choice available on color schemes – the IMP190 comes with a black exterior and a neon green interior. While the interior color is generally obscured when the iPhone is plugged it, we still question the decision to go with neon green…The exterior finish is rubber – which may help if you have butterfingers, but doesn’t make it look very sexy.
Battery Life / Usage Impressions
We purchased our initial unit, charged it, and took it out for testing. It stopped charging the iPhone during a recharge test. We tried powering the New Trent on and off, unplugging it from the iPhone and back several times, but this didn’t have any effect. Ultimately we went back and plugged it in to confirm it still had a charge. It did, and in addition, this seemed somehow to “reset” the unit, as when we tried replugging in the iPhone it began to charge again. We thought the issue was fixed, though when we headed to the course for additional testing, the pack failed us, unable to provide any charge to the iPhone whatsoever.
So we contacted New Trent’s customer service department, which was extremely responsive and quickly sent us a replacement unit (we had to send the defective unit back to them). Problem solved, right? Wrong. We experienced the same types of problem with the replacement unit. This is unfortunate, but in our eyes, you only get two strikes before you’re out.
For details on our performance testing methodology, see our description of “How We Test.”
- At 1900 mAh (milliamp hours), the New Trent IMP190 had the second largest capacity among the battery packs we tested.
- We were unable to complete our “real world” test on the golf course because both the initial device and the replacement unit failed during testing.
- We were able to complete a recharge test just once before the unit failed us – recharging a completely drained iPhone to 77% in about 3.5 hours.
- As mentioned above, the device is made of smooth rubber, and is easy to slip in and out of your pocket.
With a retail price of $69.95, the New Trent IMP190 was the least expensive device in our comparison test. And while we’re always looking for a good deal, the New Trent is only worth purchasing if you’re lucky enough to receive a functioning unit, which we weren’t. Twice.