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Mi Suny iPower 4 iPhone Charger Reviewed

We review the Mi Suny iPower 4, a novel power solution for the iPhone 4. This charging sleeve has a rechargeable battery, and a handy solar cell on the back to charge your phone with sunlight


Portable Power Woes

For Gadget Show Live 2011, Carl and Pete toured the halls for two days, and that had a big hit on poor Pete's iPhone 4 battery. Luckily, on the first day, he found a solution... Mi Suny's iPower 4.

iPhones can be thirsty devices, especially with wi-fi, 3G and GPS enabled, and it's not uncommon to need a decent daily charge. This is not always possible if you're out in the field, or you forget to charge your phone before settings out.

In the past, our Pete has used a couple of solutions, including a plug-in charging module from Griffin, a Power Reserve, and his former favourite, the Power Monkey. The Power Monkey is a portable rechargeable battery that comes with a bunch of adapters, so it can charge iPhones, cameras, a Nintendo DS and various makes of mobiles. It's a good solution, but it's bulky and you can't charge the phone on the move when it's in use. The iPower 4 solves all of these problems, and does it very well.


iPower 4 review

Mi Suny sell impressive charging solutions for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the first generation of iPad, with support for Blackberry devices coming soon. The model that interested us, and that we review here, is the iPower 4, for Apple's iPhone 4.

Essentially, it's a sleeve into which you slide your iPhone. It's a solid sleeve with a lightly rubberised finish, and the iPhone sits inside snugly, mating with the iPhone connector at the base.

Mi Suny Case Front Mi Suny Case Back


The iPower is surprisingly light at just 87 grams. Although it adds a little depth to the iPhone, it adds less than a centimetre to the height, and not a lot to the weight. The case has a built-in 2400mAh battery, and the clever bit is on the back - a large solar cell, meaning that you can charge the built-in battery from that very green source, the sun.

The case is exceptionally well made, and doesn't obscure any of the buttons, the speakers, the touchscreen or the camera lens. It's not designed to add any protection to the phone though, so additional protection may need to be considered. Only possible note of caution is that the solar panel on the back isn't protected, and may therefore be susceptible to scratches, which could hinder the charging capability.

The addition of the solar cell really is the key factor with this solution. Ambient light is enough to trickle-charge the case battery, meaning that you can charge without the need to plug into a mains supply or a PC - very handy if you're on the move, or you like the idea of charging your phone cheaply and in an environmentally-friendly way.


Using the iPower 4

Very straightforward - slide the iPhone into the sleeve, and the connector in the sleeve docks easily with the base of the iPhone. On the rear of the iPower 4, there's a small power button. Press this once, and the four blue LEDs will show you how much charge you have in the built-in battery. Press the button twice to start powering your iPhone from the built-in battery. When the iPhone's fully recharged, the power's disconnected, or you can hold down the button for a few seconds to turn off the charging.

There's one other LED on the back - a small red one that lets you know whether the battery's getting anything from the solar cell. Ambient indoor light is enough to trigger the red LED, but obviously direct sunlight is best.

Mi Suny LEDs

Our Interview with Mi Suny

We caught up with Jason Durno, from Mi Suny at Gadget Show Live to get him to tell us more:

Listen to FrequencyCast's Interview with Jason from Mi Suny:

Play Show button Download show now button


iPower 4 Spec

The Power 4's internal battery takes up to 6 hours to change via USB - considerably longer using solar power. Although a solar charge is slower, it has the advantage of being fully green - sustainable and non-polluting.

  • Power: 2400mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Charge: Will give you up to 315 of standby, 5.3 hours talk time or 45 hours of music time
  • Weight: 87 grams
  • Average output under sunlight: 110mA

The connector on the base is a USB mini, which is used for charging and for syncing with iTunes.


iPower 4 Summary

A very impressive and well thought-out solution. Well made, green, and solving a real problem for iPhone power users on the move. Highly recommended by the team here at FrequencyCast.

The Mi Suny iPower 4 comes with operating instructions and a nifty self-coiling mini-USB to USB charging cable

Mi Suny USB cable


Mi Suny iPower 4 Availability:

The iPower 4 is available online for £69.99 from

Other products include cases for the iPhone 3GS and iPad, with chargers for Blackberry and other devices coming soon.



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