My iPhone 4 battery has been letting me down, going through a charge much faster than it did just a few months ago. I was about to price out a new battery, until I got a chance to test the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. Other than a bit of additional weight and a smidgeon of extra bulk, I forget that this rechargeable battery is wrapped around my iPhone 4, instead of the frame I'd been using. There's no noticeable difference in the way I use the phone. But, when my phone battery hits the 20% point, I'm glad Mophie is there, especially on day trips in foreign countries or in the wilderness.
How Mophie Juice Pack Plus Works
The juice pack plus is a dual-injected hard shell case with a protective shock-proof rubberized band. It weighs 2.5 ounces.
The case splits apart, so you slide your iphone 4 or iPhone 4s into the bottom part of the case, then slide the top part over the phone and the case parts lock together. You have easy access to all of the buttons that you use on the phone. If you showed it to someone, they would simply think it's a colorful protective case for the phone. (The case comes in black, white and a variety of colors.)
The case has a toggle switch on one side. The switch lets you keep the case in a standby mode, or a charging mode. When your phone battery gets low, just flip the switch to green and Mophie will charge your phone.
Charging the Rechargeable Battery
In addition to the Mophie Juice Pack Plus, you get a USB cable. You can connect the cable to your computer and charge the battery. You also can keep the iPhone in the Mophie and charge both. You can even sync the phone with iTunes while the battery and your phone are being charged. You can also plug the USB cable into any "works with iPhone wall-plug style" power source. The Mophie Juice Pack Plus has the "Works with iPhone" certification.
Four LEDs on the case bottom show how much power is left in the juice pack plus battery. The LEDs also keep you updated on your juice pack charging status when it's plugged in.
Does the Mophie Double Your iPhone Battery's Life?
The manufacturer stats claim: Talk Time: Up to 8 hours on 3G | Up to 16 hours on 2G. Internet Use: Up to 7 hours on 3G | Up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi. Audio Playback: Up to 44 hours. Video Playback: Up to 11 hours. Using the stand-by switch will give you even more total battery life, as the iPhone uses additional power to be on a constant charge.
According the manufacturer, the juice pack is rechargeable for over 500 cycles, and from then on its fully charged capacity will be less than 75% of the capacity when new. I've only been charging the battery for a few weeks, so I can't swear to the battery's longevity. I often top off the battery, but apparently if I only charge the juice pack ten percent of the way, I get to top off my phone battery 10 times before it counts as a complete cycle.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy