mophie juicepak plus for iPhone 4 - battery charger review
The mophie juicepak plus for iPhone 4 is serious charging power for serious power users. If you're on the go, if your iPhone can't run down, won't run down -- if you need a case that can get you through twice the work and play, then here's your solution. To see how it held up for me under the rigors of CES 2011, read on for the review after the break!
Trade shows are the ultimate test of any battery for me. I'm on the go for 18 hours a day and my iPhone 4 is my lifeline to the world. It keeps me in contact, it lets me help run TiPb, and on top of all of that it lets me shoot all the show video and photos you see here on the site. It's bad enough AT&T hits my iPhone 4 battery like a freight train but the constant usage would run any device down. Enter the mophie juicepak plus.
The mophie juicepak plus is all black, all soft-touch, and surprisingly solid. Mophie's done a lot of engineering work to prevent breaks around the cutouts and increase protection and it shows. It is a slider case and there have been some worries about slider cases scratching the glass but I didn't have any problems. (I also wipe down my iPhone before sliding.) Also, it sometimes takes a few, wiggling tries to get the iPhone dock port lined up and properly seated.
There are cutouts for the 3.5mm headset jack, rear camera and flash, and mute switch and extender buttons for sleep and volume. The cutouts are deep due to the size of the juicepak but didn't interfere with usage. The button extenders are well built but if they weren't set just right it would take a few presses to make them work.
The micro-USB charger is at the bottom right. Not using a dock cable to charge means you have to carry a separate micro-USB cable around with you, and doesn't let you use your existing dock-compatible car or video cables while the mophie is on. Understandable given the size of a 30-pin dock port but still annoying at times.
On the handy side there's a series of battery level lights so you can always tell how much of a charge your mophie is packing with the touch of a button
The juicepack plus is the bigger, badder charging solution in mophie's stable. It weighs more than the juicepak air but it also provides more power. More than double the power. That's twice the talking, twice the surfing, twice the tweeting, twice the recording, twice the watching, and twice the getting stuff done. Phew!
In my CES tests those results weren't just marketing. It's really tough to judge consistently since usage patterns always vary but when I slapped on the juicepak air I could pretty much go as long as I had on the iPhone-only charge. (I carried a juicepak air with me as well -- them were long days!)
When you charge the mophie via micro-USB it passes the charge on to the iPhone as well, so at night you can charge them both without having to plug in multiple charges for each one, or get up and switch.
The mophie juicepak plus ads bulk, no doubt about it. It makes your iPhone 4 bigger and heavier but that's the price of power. And the plus packs a ton of power. If you're away from a charger for a significant period of time the juicepak makes the difference between getting your work done and carrying around a dead brick for the rest of the day. That's an easy tradeoff to make.
- Convenient case form factor
- Complete re-charge for iPhone
- Pass-through recharge for simultaneous charge
- Solid construction
- Button extenders can be finicky
- Uses Micro-USB so not compatible with dock accessories
- Big charge means big case
TiPb review rating
[gallery link="file" columns="2"]
Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!