Mophie’s Juice Pack is an external battery built specifically for the iPhone. Unlike other external batteries made for iPods and UBS devices, the Juice Pack clips directly onto your iPhone so it’s always there with no mess or hassle. It’s also quite stylish. The inner portion is a nice green and the outer portion is made from a smooth black rubber.
Your iPhone slides downward into the Juice Pack and connects via the 30-pin dock connector and everything but the dock connector is totally accessible. Mophie even took care to make sure the camera was uninhibited by the battery.
To your iPhone, the Juice Pack essentially looks like a wall charger. When you plug it in, the battery icon changes to a “charging” icon until it’s fully charged. Your iPhone will then run off of the Juice Pack until it’s totally depleted. From that point, you can actually ditch the Juice Pack and continue running from a fully charged iPhone.
The Good: The Juice Pack offers what all iPhone owners want: more battery life, and it done in a fantastic way. Unlike other batteries, the Juice Pack is one piece and it fits right onto your iPhone like a glove. It also offers a level of protection. It’s also very stylish and offers a smooth rubber coating and rubber grips on the sides.
The Juice Pack comes fully charged, ostensibly so you can pick one up to recharge a dying iPhone on the spot. On the back of the unit is a 4-LED battery gauge for checking the Juice Pack’s charge on the go, and it doesn’t seem to lose much if any charge over long periods of storage.
The cool thing about the Juice Pack is that your iPhone draws power from it first. When the Juice Pack is… well, out of juice, the iPhone will switch to its internal battery. The end result is a doubling of your iPhone’s battery life. In our tests, it lived up to Mophie’s claim without a problem.
From what we could tell, the Juice Pack doesn’t inhibit your iPhone’s ability to get a good signal. It doesn’t affect speaker or microphone quality either. In fact, the Juice Pack tends to direct audio upward, which seemed to improve the sound coming for the speaker. Additionally, everything but the dock connector is usable with the Juice Pack in place.
The Bad: The Juice Pack is a slick solution, but it does have its share of problems. The most obvious is that you can’t keep a case on your iPhone while the Juice Pack is attached. And although it does offer some protection, the entire screen and top portion of the iPhone is exposed to bumps and scratches. The nice rubber finish on the Juice Pack also tends to wear off and tarnish quite easily. This obviously doesn’t affect the performance, but it is an aesthetic annoyance.
The dock connector at the bottom is used for charging from an iPhone-style cable, but it doesn’t offer any sort of syncing capabilities. It’s also flipped backwards, which really threw us off. And if you’re looking to charge other devices with the Juice Pack, you’re pretty much out of luck. It’s made to fit the iPhone only and may only fit around a nano if you’re lucky.
And finally, if you’re a fan of skinny jeans, the Juice Pack may be a tight fit since it does add almost another iPhone in thickness.
Bottom line: The Juice Pack is a fantastic solution to the one issue all iPhone owners seem to complain about. Its one-piece stylish design looks great and saves you the hassle of carrying adapters where you go. If your iPhone is low, simply throw it in the Juice Pack and keep on going. It doesn’t work with anything but the iPhone and its finish wears off quickly, although these aren’t deal-breakers. If you’re looking for a great iPhone battery, the Juice Pack is a convenient and stylish solution.
The Juice Pack is available for $99.95 at Mophie.com.