Yeah my camera was not happy with this one, prepare for a few blurry shots.
That is the Power Plate by Bionik , a $50, 5500 mAh battery bank for the Nintendo Switch that acts as a Joy-Con charging grip, and a battery for the Switch too, if you want.
But more than just that… it’s really just a USB-C power bank with two Joy-Con rails on the sides.
Now what you’re seeing, right there, is the power plate on the included USB dock. This is, indeed, one way that you can charge the thing:
And yes, you can slap two Joy-Cons on the sides and charge them at the same time if you like. The center ring is a battery charge indicator, and up at the top is a little red light. It doesn’t have another color like green, if it’s red, it’s charging (itself), if it’s dark, it’s not.
Slap some Joy-Cons on the thing, and you get this:
The two little icons indicate that it’s connected and charging. Also of note, while it looks like that entire upper half is a display surface, it’s not. This is laid out more like the dashboard of your car, there’s lights that shine through translucent parts to produce the icons, and what you see is all it’ll ever produce.
Now, in my opinion, the rails on this are a little sight, and it may take a little extra push to get them to seat in correctly. Like any good switch product, they’ll actually click into place once they’re down all the way, though the pins (underneath the part with arrows on it on the Joy-Con side) make contact before they fully lock.
By the way, the little red/blue thing you can see in the banner image is a tiny USB-C to USB-C cable that it comes with (along with the black cloth drawstring carrying bag), meaning you can charge the switch if you keep it close by:
However this is just a USB-C port, so I can charge other things too, like my phone:
It’s not super fast in that it’s not negotiating fast-charge, but it does seem to be capable of supplying a pretty common 1.5 amp charging current, so pretty good for most purposes, as a Switch accessory, or just a slightly specialized, but ultimately generic, USB-C battery bank. And yes, you can use any USB-C to USB-C cable, not just the one that they provide.
One thing I’ve yet to mention though, is that USB-C port is bi-directional, you can indeed charge the power plate from here:
Combine all this together, along with a little Switch stand, and you can keep going for a little bit longer than usual, assuming you don’t mind playing with your hands pretty much tied directly to the console unless you have another dual USB-C cable handy:
In my opinion, well, if I didn’t like it, I’d have returned it. It’s nowhere near as comfortable as one of those actual Joy-Con charging grips that are designed to have some real ergonomics to them, but it also has it’s other benefits, really it’s just another item to add to the bag as a dedicated Switch pack, instead of the Switch-only battery pack that clips onto the back, or my generic Anker USB power bank, which I can reserve for charging other devices if I need them.