In the years before iPhone, my smartphones had replaceable batteries and I usually carried a spare, especially on trips. Inexplicably, the iPhone doesn't afford this "luxury" -- the battery is not user-replaceable and when it's dead, it's dead. If you don't have a charger handy, you are out of luck. This can be particularly frustrating if you are taking a long flight, want to watch a movie on your iPhone's expansive screen, and still have enough juice left to call someone when you get to your destination.

Enter the mophie Juice Pack Battery Pack/Case for iPhone, available now at TiPB store for $99.95. Read on for the full review!

First Impressions

The mophie Juice Pack arrives sealed in an entertaining package. It's worth a look and a read, front and back, before opening it up and using the Juice Pack. Conveniently, the Juice Pack arrives fully charged and ready to use. 

 

The inside part of the sled is a vibrant green rubberized finish, formed to accommodate the original iPhone (sorry, the 3G is incompatible). The rubberized sides are formed in a curve to wrap around the sides of your iPhone to hold it securely in place when your iPhone is seated. The back of the Juice Pack is black with the same rubberized finish, including a handy four-light LED indicator so you can check the power level.

The sides of the Juice Pack have slightly-raised rubber side-rails for an extra-grippy feel so you can hold it securely. A connector is located at the bottom for attaching your iPhone charger. You can charge the Juice Pack with or without the iPhone in place. Additionally, there is a "cutout" to accommodate the camera of your iPhone when the Juice Pack is in place. 

To attach your iPhone, just slide your iPhone in from the top so the bottom connector fits into place, and you are ready to use the power from the Juice Pack.

Performance

The mophie Juice Pack is advertised as doubling your power. The product specifications are as follows:

  • Standby Time - Up to additional 250 hours
  • Audio Playback - Up to additional 24 hours
  • Talk Time - Up to additional 8 hours
  • Video Playback - Up to additional 7 hours
  • Internet Use - Up to additional 6 hours
It's also "smart" - it powers your iPhone until exhausted, leaving your iPhone battery untouched. Once you drain it, just remove the Juice Pack and resume using your iPhone's fresh battery. Now you can watch your movies and listen to music on those long flights, or browse the internet for a while, and still have a fully-charged iPhone once you've drained the Juice Pack.
The Juice Pack is also advertised as a protective case in addition to a battery. It does offer some protection for your iPhone, but not like a traditional case. The top and front of your iPhone are left exposed. Another drawback is the requirement of removing your iPhone's case (if you use one) in order to fit in the Juice Pack.  ##Conclusion If you have an original iPhone and need some extra power on the go, the mophie Juice Pack, available atTiPB Store for $99.95, is an excellent solution for your power needs. It doubles the battery life of your iPhone and helps overcome the lack of a user-replaceable battery. Although the Juice Pack requires removal of your iPhone's case to use and offers only average protection as a case itself, the benefit of doubled battery life outweighs these negatives. Pros
  • Doubled battery life
  • Soft-touch finish
  • "Smart" - iPhone uses Juice Pack power first
Cons
  • Must remove iPhone's case before use
  • Offers only average protection

Rating: 4.5 out of 5