To many iPhone owners, Mophie’s Juice Packs are the standard when it comes to handset battery cases. No, Mophie isn’t the only company in this market, but over the past few years, its Juice Pack line has become popular as a way to both protect an iPhone and add extra battery capacity same time. I spent the last week with two of Mophie’s newest cases for the latest iPhones to see if they’re worth the purchase price.
Mophie loaned me two Juice Packs; one for the [company]Apple[/company] iPhone 6 and one for the iPhone 6 Plus. I have the former handset while my son has the larger phone, and he’s also a former Mophie customer: He bought the Juice Pack for his iPhone 5s and never took the phone out of it.
The Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus costs $99.95 and is advertised as adding 60 percent more run-time to your handset. Juice Pack for the iPhone 6 is also $99.95 but doubles your phone’s battery life while there’s also a $119.95 Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 6 for 120 percent of additional battery life. I’ve been testing the latter, which has a 3300 mAh battery, with my iPhone 6 and it certainly works as advertised.
Normally I get through a full day on my iPhone 6 and have roughly 25 percent of battery remaining. With the Juice Pack Plus, my phone easily lasts for two days, with power to spare. The Mophie case is designed with an integrated Lighting connector but actually recharges with a standard, included microUSB cord. I’ve seen many complaints about that cord being too short and those are addressed: It measures nearly three feet long. Also included is a headphone adapter in case your headset jack doesn’t fit through the case hole.
To use the case, you slide off the top section, insert your iPhone into the case, ensure that the Lightning port at the bottom of your iPhone aligns with the Juice Pack’s connector, and replace the case top. It’s a snug fit.
Although I haven’t dropped my iPhone 6, I feel comfortable that the Juice Pack will protect it; the case is pretty solid, with a rubberized feel, and it covers all of the iPhone’s buttons. It also has a rounded lip near the screen opening so that the front glass of your iPhone doesn’t touch anything when placed faced down.
On the back of the Juice Pack is a switch: Slide it from red to green and the case battery will charge your iPhone’s battery. Slide it back and you save the juice inside the case for later. When charging the Juice Pack with a microUSB cable, it first charges your iPhone — using the Lighting port as a power pass-through — and then smartly charges the internal case battery. Pressing a button on the back of the Juice Pack shows how much power is left in the case via four LED lights.
Overall, I like the functionality Mophie offers here: More power and protection. My son likes it too. Normally he gets close to two full days on a charge; with the Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus, he can use his phone for three days without a recharge.
But I wonder if Apple’s larger phone even needs a battery case. Sure it’s convenient, but adding a 2600 mAh battery case to an already relatively large phone with 2915 mAh battery just makes it even larger. I personally found the iPhone 6 Plus in Mophie’s case to be pretty unwieldy due to the added size and weight. And if you struggle to put the 6 Plus in a pants pocket without a case, good luck doing with with this case.
Granted this is an extreme comparison but my iPhone 6 looks super skinny and small when sitting on top of the Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus.
That being said, it’s a personal choice: If you need more time away from an outlet and don’t mind the added size, the new Juice Packs for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, available in black, white and gold colors are well worth the look.
My son is already saving up for the iPhone 6 Plus case since the review units are getting returned. I’ll likely stick with what I have: A thin, third-party iPhone 6 case and a portable battery in my bag for those “just in case” situations. Again, just personal preference because the Juice Pack products definitely fit the need of more battery life while protecting your iPhone.