22 Comments

Summary:

Does your iPhone crave power like a mad dictator? Even after trying some of Clayton’s excellent tips on power conservation, you might find that by dinner your iPhone gives out like a puppet government. The Mophie Juice Pack Air external power pack promises extended battery life […]

Does your iPhone crave power like a mad dictator? Even after trying some of Clayton’s excellent tips on power conservation, you might find that by dinner your iPhone gives out like a puppet government. The Mophie Juice Pack Air external power pack promises extended battery life in a compact combination of form and function. Is this new version too good to be true, or could this be one of those rare times that promises are delivered upon? Read on.

JPA-IP3G_3_exposed_largeThe Juice Pack Air is light. When protecting the iPhone it adds just over two and one half ounces to the weight of it and half an inch to the height, a bit over an eighth of an inch to the width and a quarter inch to the depth. The case is mono-color with a glossy finish and comes in black, white, and (Kansas State and Minnesota Vikings fans, rejoice) purple. Unlike Mophie’s standard Juice Pack, the Air version fully protects the iPhone.

As with most hard cases, there are cut-outs for the various buttons and the audio jack, although not for the dock connector. The speakers are blocked, but the Air uses a sound channel to deliver the sound to the front instead of the bottom. I actually heard better with my Air than without it! The standard Apple dock connector is replaced with micro USB, instead of the more popular mini USB connector, which passes the charge through to the iPhone and battery. When the Air is attached, the iPhone does not fit into most other docking or pass-through accessories. Fortunately the case is literally a snap to remove.

JPA-IP3G-PRP_Face Down from Bottom_1800 Style is great, but does it actually get the job done? Yes! Without the Juice Pack, my own year-old iPhone 3G battery depletes itself after about 12 hours of heavy use. During tests, I was able to get about 24 hours of use out of my iPhone before needing a recharge of the iPhone and Juice Pack.

A four-dot blue LED display on the Mophie gives an indication of approximately how much of the battery is left. Like a brave soldier, the Juice Pack sacrifices itself before the iPhone taps its own internal battery. The Juice Pack can also be turned off to allow the iPhone battery to drain first. The Air version of the Juice Pack holds much less of a charge than the original, but just like the Macbook Air, you have to sacrifice something to achieve a svelte figure.

But I’m afraid power doesn’t come cheap. The Mophie Juice Pack Air retails for $79.95, which is a bit more than buying a battery pack separately from a hard case, but it is a great value in that the two are combined together. If your iPhone battery isn’t lasting you long enough and you don’t need a fancy case, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is a great choice.

  1. I tried both the Mophie Air & the Incase Power slider. Let me say that the Incase left me with no signal in my home, but as soon as I removed it, I was back at full strength. The Mophie gave me the same issue, but not nearly as bad. I liked the Mophie much better.

    Share
  2. Man i have to get my hands on one of these.

    Share
  3. I have been using the Mophie Air for the last two months and could not be happier. For apps like pandora and MLB At Bat 09 it allows you to get close to 4 hours of playback time. As a hard case, it also passed the drop test. It took the damage and saved my phone. Highly recommended.

    http://touchtechreview.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/hardware-review-mophie-juice-pack-air/

    Share
  4. i bought this from the apple store in london ten days ago and it cost 70 GBP ($116) so consider the deal you are getting relatively when you buy it in the US. i didn’t have time to wait for an order from amazon.

    it is a brilliant device that’s decently executed although note that the fit of the two-part shell is not ‘apple quality’ in terms of precision but still hardly noticeable. apple sets a high bar for everyone.

    also not a bit of an annoying bug on the iphone 3GS: when the battery is depleted and it switches to the phone’s own power, a ‘this accessory is not supported’ message shows up on the phone but does not really affect performance or usability beyond the inconvenience of a useless message. this has been documented in the forums.

    bottom line: i have not found a better product when i looked for alternatives.

    wishlist: soft rubber (instead of hard plastic) cases as an option.

    Share
  5. Actually, it’s not a snap to remove. It’s quite stubborn. My friend picked one up (purple, ugh) and promptly broke the top piece when trying to remove it.

    The nice people at Mophie sent him several new tops for free. Pretty good deal, but now that I own two $30 cables, there’s no way I’m not using them.

    Share
    1. Broke the top of mine when trying to remove it the first time as well.

      Share
    2. How can you break the top? Both the top and bottom fit perfectly… Not too tight. This thing is great.

      Share
  6. http://charger-battery.blogspot.com/2009/08/3gjuice-black-20.html

    When the battery icon is coloring red, click in the 3G JUICE , start smiling. Double the life from 10 to 100% in 2,5 hours with this extra battery which easily clips on your iPhone, iPod or iTouch. Featured in Gizmodo (NL) and New York Times (US). If you normally can talk 6 hrs with your phone, now you can talk almost 12 hours. If you surf for 4 hours, you get almost another 4 hours. We prefer to use this comparison because claims like up to 50 hours extra power are measured under extreme conditions: all features are off and the 3G radio has to have a great reception. Thats just not normal life. The 3G JUICE charges the battery of your iPhone to 100% and can be reloaded afterwards through a mini-USB cable (included) or your normal iPhone-charger. Be assured, the product output voltage/current is designed per Apple specification. It will not damage your iPhone/ iPod. It has a certification from Apple, called ‘Made for iPhone’ You can throw a 3G JUICE in your glove department (put it on OFF), forget it for a whole year and it will still give your iPhone another boost. The high capacity, compact size Li-Polymer in 3G JUICE is small (62×60×12.9 mm) and gives your iPhone 3G a steady 5V. You can also charge any iPod with a 30 pins connection with it. Ideal for long trips or as emergency battery. With new power board + improved response to extreme temperatures This version has a strong 2A capable IC, which means that any peaks of your iPhone can easily be absorbed. We’re extremeley proud about the stability of this version. Because we use li-polymer, there is no memory effect. Because of the 2A circuit, power doesn’t fade away after a few months. Comes in a black box with USB-cable. Manual is provided online.

    Share
  7. [...] Mophie Juice Pack Air: Extend Your iPhone's Battery Life With Style [...]

    Share
  8. [...] Mophie Juice Pack Air: Extend Your iPhone's Battery Life With Style [...]

    Share
  9. I’ve had one for a month now and am very pleased. It holds plenty of power. I sometimes wish I didn’t have the extra bulk as the iPhone itself is a great size but it’s worth it as I never have to worry about power and ca
    n listen to music, shoot photos and video, browse, watch video and will struggle to drain the battery in a day. light useage gives me two days of power. My only nod to power saving is to turn on airplane mode at night.

    Share
  10. The Mophie Juice Pack Air was a piece of junk for me. I returned mine after only three days.

    Oh, it gave me lots of power, but the degradation of call quality, data, and signal strength in general was unacceptable! It wasn’t quite as bad in 3G areas (though still noticeable), but my house resides in an EDGE only area and the signal strength degradation was more than just noticeable, I would drop from full signal strength without the Juice Pack on, to 1 bar, and sometimes would even loose the signal with the Juice Pack. And the cell tower is only 3/4 mile from my house.

    The Juice Pack Air is a complete waste of money!

    Share
    1. i have a friend who had a similar issue even though i had recommended it to him and i guess the difference is that i am usually in areas with very good signal strength so i dont really feel any degradation.

      i’ve seen this issue crop up enough, though, to wonder what mophie’s response to it will be.

      Share
    2. @pendolino – well, I guess we’ve already seen the response from mophie – “no answer” except they don’t write it! Too bad, too.

      Share

Comments have been disabled for this post