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Mophie Juice Pack Plus (iPhone 4) review

Gordon Kelly

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Mophie Juice Pack Plus (iPhone 4)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Doubles iPhone 4 Battery Life, Excellent Build Quality, Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

Key Features

  • Double your iPhone battery life and protect the phone at the same time.
  • Manufacturer: 2D Boy
  • Review Price: £89.95

Earlier this week we discovered a keyboard that is actually cool. Can we now same the same thing about an iPhone case? Yes… with reservations.

Chances are you have heard of Mophie. The California-based company has garnered a lot of attention in recent years having become obsessed with finding a solution to that most nigglesome of tech problems: smartphone battery life. Mophie focuses solely on Apple products and the latest addition to its so-called 'Juice Pack' range, the 'Plus', is arguably its most important product to date.

What gets us excited is the technical achievement. The Plus is currently only available for the iPhone 4, but it crams a 2000 mAh battery inside. To put this in perspective the iPhone 4 has a 1420mAh battery. On its own Apple claims the iPhone 4 is good for seven hours talk time on 3G or up to 300 hours of standby, six hours of 3G web surfing (10 hours on WiFi), up to 10 hours of video playback or up to 40 hours of audio playback. In isolation these sound impressive, and they are, but when you're listening to music while surfing the web over 3G and running GPS in the background battery life goes down fast.

Consequently Mophie claims the Plus can more than double the iPhone 4's stamina. It adds eight hours of 3G talk time, seven hours of 3G web surfing (11 on WiFi), 11 hours of video playback or 44 hours of audio playback. Essentially it is like having a second iPhone in your pocket when the first runs out. Furthermore at 70g it has a bearable weight premium. The reservation? It costs £89.95.

So how does Mophie go about justifying something that costs as much as two iPod shuffles? Thankfully in a number of ways. The first thing you'll notice about the Plus is its construction. Mophie doesn't market it as a rugged case, but at 18mm at its thickest point it is thinner than many rugged cases and tougher too. I suspect the reasoning behind this is the Plus doesn't specifically cover the screen, instead using a bevel to protect it from falls onto flat surfaces. That said many rugged cases, including Tech 21's famed iBand with d3o, do the same.

Secondly the Plus is very well constructed. It doesn't just feel rugged, it feels good in hand. Mophie has used an injected rubber finish and the back is curved so, while bigger, it actually feels better to hold during phone calls. Obviously rubber also provides a better grip than Apple's stylish, but somewhat impractical glass front and rear.

On top of this it is the little touches that impress…

Hamish Campbell

March 26, 2011, 11:35 am

Well you're not actually buying a case though are you, you're buying another battery. the clever part is that the battery is shaped like a case of course.

Having said that, I searched for a replacement battery and it was 25 US, though probably not as many (insert standard battery measument unit here).

So battery, plus case.....yeah still maybe not cheap.....hmmmm wonder why I bothered posting now.

Peter

March 26, 2011, 3:14 pm

Great stuff!! One thing to ask, is the micro usb power and data? If so that would be very good.

Gordon394

March 26, 2011, 3:52 pm

@haim I suspect swapping out batteries on an iPhone would be an incredibly difficult way of doing things every time the charge got low!

Gordon394

March 26, 2011, 3:56 pm

@Peter yes you can sync via the case (Good point. I'll add that point to the review)

Everlast

March 26, 2011, 6:11 pm

Believe me, you can't believe how good you can become through training.

I got down to 14.25 mins for a full dissasembly and reassembly of my 3GS now.

stefan andrusyschyn

March 26, 2011, 9:25 pm

This is a fantastic device by the looks of things. My only criticism would be that if you want to dock the phone with a speaker dock, you'd have to keep removing the case as I have to do with my leather one. I wonder how much taking out and putting back in it would put up with?

Oh Dae-Su

March 27, 2011, 3:35 am

If they made "Samsung Galaxy S" and "HTC Desire" versions this company would make a killing. I would be first in line to buy it for my phone.

Craig Leggat

November 14, 2011, 6:10 am

This is quite a good product. It will give you all the extra power as promised, no question there. Problem for me is that the bulk it adds really spoils the iPhone's natural slim-feel.

I'd recommend this only to people who really need that extra power, but if you're charging your phone every night then don't bother.

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