We recently got our hands on the Bionik PowerPlate, a third-party Nintendo Switch accessory. In a bid to get more down with the kids, and to try and get over my fear of cameras stealing my soul, I decided to do a small unboxing and first impressions video which you can check out below. For more details and scores, keep on scrolling.
Build Quality & Design – 3.7/5
As pointed out in the video, the build quality is a bit of a mix for me. The charging station for the PowerPlate itself feels cheaply made, both in terms of the plastic casing and the rubber coating on the cable. However, the PowerPlate has a more quality feel to it and definitely feels more sturdy.
Design-wise though, it comes together nicely. It’s a great idea for an accessory that is easy to pack up and take with you wherever you go. And the charging station, which I didn’t mention in the video, also rests the Switch screen in there nicely as a stand, which makes the non-slip feet on it all the more useful. The display is a nice touch though, with lights appearing under the glossy black plastic, showing you not only the battery life of the plate but also if the controllers are connected.
Battery Life – 3.3/5
I know there is probably a lot more going on inside the PowerPlate than just housing a battery, but I’m still a little disappointed at the battery size. I mean I’ve seen plenty of more powerful PowerBanks than this at a similar and even smaller size.
Don’t get me wrong, 4,500mAh is enough to keep you going or give you a boost on a short journey, but if playing a resource intense game, then the battery may not last all that long. It would be great if they offered alternate models with larger batteries, or even figured a way to increase it in this one. Having said that, if purely being used for Joy-Cons, then because they’re unattached to the Switch, it will be using less power, prolonging game time, which is quite a clever move.
Functionality – 4.5/5
Functionality for the PowerPlate is great. As stated, it can be used in many ways. And whilst using it as a Switch charger may drain the battery quickly, it shines better when connected to the Joy-Cons. Not only does this allow the Switch to focus using its power to play games rather than keeping the Joy-Cons powered, but it also creates a nice controller to hold onto which means you don’t have to take your existing controller mount with you, saving you that little more space on your journeys.
The only thing that could be somewhat better is if the charging dock for the PowerPlate was USB C too, so it doubled up as a Switch Dock. Even if it isn’t one to display the Switch on the TV and just charges it, it would be an excellent feature to have.
Value For Money – 4.7/5
When filming the video we found the Bionik PowerPlate at a few online retailers for around £24.99, although as I’m writing this (19/05/2019) it’s actually even cheaper on Amazon for £19.99, an absolute steal if you ask me. Yes, it isn’t going to solve all your battery problems, so an additional PowerBank may be required, but it does come in handy and unlike some accessories, has multiple purposes, meaning you get more bang for your buck.
This is a nice little accessory that offers the user a few solutions to their gaming problems when on the road, or just not near a mains power supply. It packs up into a lovely travel bag allowing you to take it with you anywhere, offering your Switch and Joy-Con’s a little extra juice. I won’t lie, it does have a few areas of improvement such as having a bigger battery, but for the price you pay compared to some Switch products (especially official ones) the Bionik PowerPlate won’t steer you far wrong.
If you want to get more information on the product, head to the official site by clicking HERE, and you can purchase it from Amazon by clicking HERE (also available at other online retailers). Oh, and let’s not forget, click HERE to check out some of our other reviews.