I was actually in the market for a new case for my iPhone 4 because the Griffin Reveal case had the “flash ring” problem when taking pictures at night. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome case and it would have been the PERFECT case but this review isn’t about that. The mophie juice pack plus (yes it’s written in lowercase on the box) is the latest impulse buy when walking into a best buy late at night and it has been impressive for these past few days of usage.
mophie also makes a lighter version of this extended case battery for the iPhone 4 called the ‘juice pack air’ which is $20 cheaper and is only 1500mah vs 2000 in battery capacity to the plus. Those are about the only differences. In terms of size and weight, they are nearly identical with the juice pack air slightly thicker but the difference is hardly noticeable. It features a micro-usb port making it easier to sync and charge using a widely available micro-USB cable instead of the standard iPhone cable. I tested this and it synced with iTunes without any problems.
The juice pack slips on like a two part slider case and it’s easy to put on and take off. My biggest gripe about this is that if you want to plug it into a dock or if for some reason you have to use the standard iPod cable instead of a micro-usb that’s on the case, you have to completely remove it. The larger portion of the case is on the bottom half which is where the battery itself and charging port is located. The volume and power buttons are easily accessible along with the silencer switch. The power check button on the bottom illuminates a bar of lights to show you how much ‘juice’ is left.
Regardless of the added thickness and weight this adds to the iPhone’s slim form factor, the case is actually very well designed. The case adds extra grip and protection to the iPhone 4 which is slippery and sometimes too thin to use when it’s bare. I also like the fact that it reroutes the speaker to the front instead of the bottom side where it’s very easy to block the sound when you’re playing a game in landscape mode. And finally, this doesn’t have the ‘flash ring’ problem like some cases do which is a plus so I don’t get bright and blurred spots on my photos!
I use my iPhone heavily especially during days that I work where I make a lot of phone calls, send and receive emails, access the web, tether internet with the iPad when WiFi is not available, and have Bluetooth on at the same time. From 8-4, my iPhone battery is at 10-15% on doing those tasks alone and my day usually ends at 7PM.. There will be days where I actually do have time to take a break and listen to music and play games which takes a larger drain on the battery. I also do a lot of domestic and international traveling so this battery case will come in very handy. mophie claims that this will add about 8 hours of talk time, 44 hours of audio playback, and 7 hours of internet usage. It’s a bit difficult to benchmark that kind of claim because everyone’s usage is different. With 9% of battery left, I went to sleep leaving bluetooth and WiFi on and activated the battery on the juice pack and woke up with 94% of power on the iPhone 4, not bad but I was expecting it to be at 100% with some power left!
If you need a protective case and rely heavily on your iPhone 4 throughout the day without minding the extra thickness and weight, this would be the perfect case for you. There are cheaper alternatives out there but mophie’s juice pack plus actually feels durable and doesn’t make the iPhone look cheap. For my needs of listed above, the mophie juice pack plus has met my expectations and it is most likely I will NOT be returning this to best buy after 30 days!
Overall Rating: 9/10