We're smack in the middle of new phone season and getting close to the time when some of us are going to have to start worrying about wish lists and stocking stuffers so I want to look at an accessory that may be on some people's radar: the PopGrip Jump

I wanted the JumpStart to be a good battery bank and a good way to hold my phone. It was mediocre at the first job and worse at the second, making it difficult to know who this product is for.

Image of a phone with a PopGrip JumpStart attached to the back.

I will say a few nice things before I start digging in. There is a PopSocket sleeve on the back of the JumpStart object. There is a single button on the top of the puck that you can use to start charging.

It clicks into the PopMount 2 products when you attach it to them. The puck can end up on your phone if you pop it out. It's too prominent to act as a kickstand and it doesn't really change the experience if you're holding your phone in landscape The only thing that bothered me was when the JumpStart was removed from the phone.

Image showing the JumpStart’s integrated Lightning cable, which has been slightly removed from its holder.
The integrated cable is about as good as it could be.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

The cable is around seven inches long and feels sturdy, even though you buy it with one or the other. I was expecting it to flop out of its slot but it didn't. I had to dig my nails in to pull it off. I am happy that PopSockets is using a good cable, but I wish the JumpStart used wireless charging instead.

The built-in cable was supposed to make the JumpStart more convenient than having to carry around an external battery bank and corresponding cord, but I found myself wishing I had gone with the latter solution whenever I was just trying to use my phone. The JumpStart made it hard to get my phone in and out of my pocket, and it made the phone very uncomfortable to hold, even when I was using it like a PopSocket.

A profile view of what the PopGrip JumpStart looks like on the back of an iPhone 12 Mini.Image showing the JumpStart charging a phone while being slid into a pocket.


The JumpStart adds quite a bit of bulk to your phone — that’s always the case when you add extra battery, but this form factor feels particularly inelegant.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

Taking the JumpStart off when I don't use it and putting up with the worse ergonomics is the obvious solution. If I want to use the JumpStart when I run out of juice, I have to carry it with me in either a pocket, bag, or purse. I would probably want to go with something that could give me more power if I have to carry something outside.

The JumpStart has a capacity of 2,200mAh. There was one outlier where it only boosted my phone by 40 percent, but that was a worst-case scenario. My phone has a battery that's not very long. I don't think you'd get as many percentage points with a bigger phone.

That power is enough to get you out of a jam if you run out of batteries. It's not worth the hassle of keeping track of the JumpStart or trying to use my phone with a bulky accessory on the back. Since my phone supports MagSafe, there is even a version with a built-in PopSocket that is over double the capacity, but it costs more.

Image of the JumpStart’s USB-C port, with the accessory extended into the holding position.
I appreciate the USB-C and passthrough charging — but I don’t appreciate how much the JumpStart swivels around when I’m trying to use it.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

The combination of too much bulk to be comfortable while not being bulky enough to really charge up your phone is kind of a shame. Even if you get a different version of the JumpStart, you can still charge it using the same method as before. It supports passthrough charging, which means it can charge your phone while it's plugged into the wall.

I said I didn't know who this was for. Someone dedicated to the PopSocket lifestyle who can't live without a grip on the back of their phone and who doesn't want to use MagSafe or have a phone without it is the exception. Anyone else will probably want to look at other, more traditional battery banks or use the magnetic tech.