The Power Jacket for Nokia Lumia 920 from Brando is an extended battery/case that can nearly double the battery life for the Lumia 920, if you’re willing to accept the trade-offs that come with it. So what are the trade-offs? Let’s look at them.
Besides the nearly impossible to photograph black version I received above, the power jacket also comes in white. You’ll get the jacket and a brief translated manual that more or less explains how it works. The power jacket is a bit under 3 ounces, which is not bad at all weight-wise. It is pretty darn huge though – nearly 3/4″ thick (twice as thick as a Lumia 920) and a half inch longer than the 920 itself.
The bottom of the unit has pass-through cutouts for the speakers along with the micro-USB charging connector to the 920. More on that in a bit.
The back has a power button and 4 blue LEDs that show the current charge level – they light when the unit is on or charging. There is also a kickstand (on the left) and a cutout for the rear camera/flash. You can see how thick the back is from that cutout.
Putting on the Jacket
I found that the kickstand works, but it’s not much match for the combined weight of the 920 and power jacket. I also found it helpful to kick it out to open the top.
Once you pull the top up you can drop your Lumia into the jacket and slide it onto the micro USB connector. Then push down the top and you’re ready to go.
When you power it on, it starts supplying power to the 920, much like plugging it in to another power source. The battery is fairly large at 2200 mAh, but the 1A output is actually a bit below the draw of the 920 when gaming or using the GPS. The Lumia 920 has a 2000 mAh battery, but charging a battery from a battery is not 100% efficient – you’ll be able to get somewhere between 80-90% recharged from a fully charged power jacket.
The Lumia can’t tell it’s not plugged in.
The power jacket has full cutouts for all the buttons on the side…
and the top…
and the bottom has holes for the speaker/mic. The mic will be nearly a half inch away from the outside world when the phone is in the case, which makes your voice sound a little different to callers. It’s noticeable but not horrible.
As I said before, it’s not small. Fortunately the feel of the rubberized case is quite good. The color choices of black or white are unfortunate as well, given the rainbow of colors the Lumias come in.
You Shall Not Pass Through
Aside from the sheer size of the combined power jacket and Lumia 920, I was a bit surprised by the note on the web site to “Please Charge the Battery Case and Nokia Lumia 920 Separately. (Do Not Charge the Battery Case and Nokia Lumia 920 At the Same Time) ” – after all if I’m going to use a sleeve-type battery I’d expect it add functionality without taking away functionality. Not in this case, however. With or without the 920 in it, the only thing the USB connector on this power jacket does is charge the battery in the jacket. You cannot sync your Lumia to your desktop if it’s in the jacket. You cannot charge your Lumia if it’s in the jacket. You cannot use the induction charger if it’s in the jacket.
If you want an external battery that can recharge your phone (which in many ways, is what you’re getting with the Brando Power Jacket) there are other options with even higher capacities which you can toss into your travel bag. If you don’t want to carry a separate battery and you’re either carrying your Lumia in a purse or you’re wearing cargo pants, the power jacket is a convenient way to marry a battery to your phone. You’ll just have to pull it out of the jacket to recharge it or sync it.