Review: mophie Juice Pack Battery Pack/Case for (original) iPhone

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

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

tech says:

This looks bulky, but it might be worth the battery life to some.

dloveprod says:

sounds like a nice product but the price is a killer

iDT says:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14431
This is an emergency pack for the iPhone 3G. $18 free p&p, nowhere near as powerful as above but cheap and cheerful

iDT says:

actually there are a couple of good items for the iPhone on here well cheap (as well as for the NDS, PS3, etc).
If you ahve not tried them before, give them a go, I've used them for a couple of years now with no worrieshttp://www.dealextreme.com/default.dx/r.55388914

Jerry Moore says:

iPhone External Battery
Around the time of MacWorld 2008, I heard that a company named FastMac was going to be selling an external battery for the iPhone. Since most afternoons I found my iPhone battery dropping below 20%, this sounded like the perfect solution for me.
After visiting the FastMac site and reading “FastMac gives you more power for less money than any other company. And we stand behind our products 100%. With our one to three year warranties and our excellent customer support, we're committed to giving you the best value and service you can’t find anywhere else.” On the strength of that statement, on 12 February I placed my order for a $79.95 iV Battery Charger for iPhone ($94.30 with tax & shipping).
On 13 February my order status changed from new to processing and on 3 March the status changed to backordered. Later in March, I spoke to a FastMac representative on the phone who explained that they were having quality problems with the product and a redesign for compatibility with the 3G phone, but expected these issues to be resolved shortly.
On 1 April I received an email that said Pre-orders will begin shipping in mid May. Then on 7 May I received an email that said It looks like the IV will be shipping by the end of the month. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience.
May and June came and went with no further contact from FastMac so I revisited the FastMac web site which now said Pre-order now! Shipping in limited quantities on June 10, in volume by July 10 Note: Our 1st run is sold out, additional units are expected by July 10th. Hmm. That seemed suspicious. Were there really that many people that placed orders before me?
On July 14th I received an email that said Your IV will be shipping in approx. 10 days. Please contact me if you have further questions. Then on July 18th I received another email that said Your FastMac TruePower iV iPhone battery backup will ship out within one week - that is just seven days. Within that time, please look in your email for a shipping confirmation and we went ahead and upgraded your shipping to priority!
Well I never received a shipping confirmation, but on 22 July I noted that my credit card was billed. I considered that a good sign. Certainly a company like FastMac wouldn’t bill the credit card company for merchandise they hadn’t shipped, or would they?
On 26 July I tried calling the FastMac customer support number but it was a Saturday and there was no answer. I then tried sending an email to three email addresses I had for FastMac contacts, and all three messages bounced back.
On Monday, 28 July at 10 AM I spoke on the phone to a FastMac representative who said Oh yes, we have the batteries in hand, are in the process of boxing them up and they should go out no later than Thursday
By now I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but come Friday 1 August I still had heard nothing so at 9:52 AM I sent FastMac a message simply stating Please advise order status and provide tracking number At 12:39 I received a reply from FastMac stating We are in the process of shipping units out. I was not able to find your invoice to provide you with details. Do you have the invoice number? The f…ing subject line of the email included the invoice number, but I replied anyway with the order number, billing date and every other detail I thought they might need. This was the last time I heard from FastMac.
By comparison, I found an iPhone battery at www.richardsolo.com, placed my order on 30 July, it was shipped on 31 July and delivered to my home on 2 August.

Stacy says:

I'm anxiously holding on until Sept, when the Mophie website says the Juice Pack for 3G will be available.

dizzy says:

Woops, somehow I left some comments about the juice pack on the wrong review... Here they are posted again in the right place.
August 3rd, 2008 at 3:01 pm
The new mophie juice pack 3g should be out in september. A few days ago I was browsing the mophie website and saw they had the new juice pack 3g on the site with some pictures and available for preorder. I couldn’t actually create a preorder because you couldn’t select the color.
I created a blog on this with the pictures if you are interested in checking it out: http://whenwillapple.com/saywhy/2008/07/30/mophie-juice-pack-3g-preorder/
August 3rd, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Right after leaving my last comment I decided to go back to mophie website and the pre-order page is back up again. I just ordered mine so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I have it in hand :)
http://whenwillapple.com/saywhy/2008/08/03/mophie-juice-pack-for-iphone-...

Robert says:

Thank you for the review. I do have a quick question you could answer. Does the Mophie charge the internal iPhone battery? So if I have a half drained internal battery and connect the Mophie, will it trickle charge the internal battery?
Thanks, Robert

Gizmos Gadget says:

I was looking for some computer gadgets that I can give as a birthday gift for a 25 old girl. Do you have any idea what to purchase

Ernestine Radde says:

Hi GinaDirect Bikes says that Bennett is a good site for insurance. I'm not sure how much it is, and I don't think they give you the quote online.I'm also 16 and in the process of getting a license and moped… I'm not sure if my parents are nice enough to pay the insurance cause I don't think I can handle that, but let me know what the quote is so I can have a ballpark figure.Phoebe