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!

mophie juicepak plus for iPhone 4 - battery charger review

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.

Hardware

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

Usage

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.

Conclusion

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.

Get your mophie juicepak plus for iPhone 4 now from the TiPb iPhone 4 Accessory Store...

Pros

  • Convenient case form factor
  • Complete re-charge for iPhone
  • Pass-through recharge for simultaneous charge
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Button extenders can be finicky
  • Uses Micro-USB so not compatible with dock accessories
  • Big charge means big case

TiPb review rating

TiPb iPhone 4.5-star rated

Photos

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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mophie juicepak plus for iPhone 4 - battery charger review

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We didn't. The video above is a YouTube video which is supported via HTML5 and iOS without Flash. I'm watching it right now in a web browser that doesn't have Flash installed. Works great.
I understand your frustration but please don't leap to conclusions. Try reloading the page. If its not working, that's YouTube messing up :(

Not to take away from the desire to highlight this particular product by the author, I purchased a similar product of a different brand. I think these types of products are great for emergency use. However, my original intent was to find something I could use while playing golf. I use Golfshot GPS when I am on the course and I prefer to keep GPS locked so I don't slow down my pace waiting to acquire satellites. As you know, keeping GPS locked drains the battery quickly. Typically I am down to about 20% batterly life by the time my round is finished with brightness set low. I used my new "product" this weekend and it worked out perfectly. I just slid my iPhone4 into the unit and maintained a 100% battery life the entire time I played and kept GPS locked AND my screen brightness high. Playing time was approx 4.5 hrs. I don't plan to use my "product" other than for play golf and when I need an emergency charge which has occurred once since I bought it.

Which did you buy?? I just got golfshot tonight and researching portable chargers for the same reason. I liked mophie reviews until I ran across a number saying that reception is reduced, which worries me since many golf courses have low reception to begin with. I came across the exolife which seems to not have any issues. The downside is 1500mA vs 2000mA of mophie plus which is preferable. Any advice for fellow golfer?? Thanks!

Rene, very good review and video, but one question. Would you be able to do a quick photo shoot to show the differences between the size of the naked iP4 vs Air vs Plus? Maybe like a front just to visually see how much it extends and then depth for each?

I went through this right before CES and ended up buying myself the Plus. Personally I don't see any reason to purchase the Air. The difference size between the two, the Plus and the Air, are so minimal unless you simply can't afford the additional $20 you're getting 500 mAh more and adding almost no more bulk when you opt for the Plus. According to their specs they actually weight the same.
Plus: 5.10 in x 2.57 in x 0.71 in; 2.5 oz
Air: 5.07 in x 2.51 in x 0.68 in; 2.5 oz

I love Mophie and have had two juice paks for my 3G. For my i4 I have both the Air and the more powerful Juice Pak. They're especially great when traveling. Can't say enough good stuff about this dependable product. Most elegant power solution out there.

The JPP is truly as advertised. I commute on a train 50 min each way and usually watch movies. I can do that and my normal day of surfing and streaming music at work. My favorite accessory.
I hate taking it on and off and needed to buy a longer cable to reach my night charging location. Ships with a 3 ft USB/microusb.

So Rene, it isn't clear. Did the JuicePack Plus last all day at CES, or did you need to swap on the Air a few times?

Thanks, great review... three questions: is the mophie available for the Verizon iPhone, does it correct the antenna issue, and is the charging port similar to previous mophies? The port on my current mophie (3G) requires an elastic band and some fidgeting in order to charge. Thanks again!

Is the extra width cumbersom? I have held off due to keeping the phone in my pocket and not wanting to add the extra bulk.

CONSTANT PROBLEMS WITH POWER INPUT JACK ...GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE BUT SENDING IN FOR 2ND REPLACEMENT....BIG INCONVIENCE