I finally took the plunge and invested in an external battery pack for the iPhone 4. Being an iPhone owner since the 1st generation I’m well aware of the iPhones issues with battery life. I’ve managed to change my charging habits so that Everytime I’m sat at the iMac I dock the iPhone, Everytime I’m in the car I charge it via the 12v socket in the car via an adaptor, and whenever I travel I take the powercord with me and plug it into any plug I can find. I’m forever topping up.
This has served me well, but there have been occasions, especially when travelling or visiting cities that I simply can’t keep charging it. I only ever lost power completely once in London, and had to go into the apple store on regents street and charge it in an iPod dock for 30 mins, pretending I was testing the dock. It was tedious to say the least.
Enter the external battery pack/battery case market. These are often expensive & quality can be hit and miss. There are plenty of cheap Chinese ones on eBay but I’d rather not trust them charging plugged into the mains, or sat in my pocket for extended periods. Spontaneous combustion has been recorded in the press.
I finally decided on the mophie juice pack air. For one all the reviews are excellent. The build quality & protective properties are immense. I can’t separate the phone from the case the fit is that snug. And lastly they are endorsed & sold by apple. I figured if I bought it from the apple store if it did blow up or damage my phone I’d have some comeback.
Well I’ve been using it for a month now and I’ve got to say I’m very impressed with it. Given a full charge the juice pack will top up the charge from around 2% into the high 80% to early 90% full range. This essentially almost doubles the battery life of my iPhone. It also means I can tweet, film, photograph and work without fear of running our of battery. I use the iPhone 4 a lot. I now use both the built in charge and most of the juice pack each day. But it does mean I can use the iPhone even more without anxiety.
The mophie juice pack air isn’t cheap at £60 but it is a great addition to my mobile office. The iPad and the MacBook pro both hold hours of charge, enough to get through any day. Now the iPhone can keep up.
The case is quite bulky but you very quickly get used to it, and it actually enhances the ergonomics of the iPhone 4, much easier to hold onto.
The air has cutouts for volume, power, headphones etc and moulds perfectly to the shape of the phone. There is also a micro switch on the bottom controlled by an inline button which when pressed will show the charge level of the juice pack with white LEDs, much like the MacBooks.
I opted for the red version in matt metallic red & silver, but you can get black or white.
I really can’t praise this product enough, and recommend them to all iPhone users.
The only downside is that you can’t easily dock the phone. Charging & docking is done via a micro USB cable supplied. I have loads of them lying around so have one in the car and one on my desktop, but it would have been nice to have some sort of pass through to allow it to be docked in an iPod dock. Given that the case is so hard to remove this is my only niggle.
It is available online from apple & other retailers.