Mophie Juice Pack 3G in Review – Double your iPhone fun

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One of the biggest gripes with the iPhone 3G (aside from the lack of native copy & paste and running apps in the background) is its relatively poor battery life. Hardcore users who surf, make calls, check emails, listen to music and play one or more of the zillion app store games can hardly get through a day without first worrying about how much “juice” is left on the phone. It’s no wonder then that Mophie, one of the leaders in iPhone/iPod accessories, has stepped up to the plate with the very popular Juice Pack 3G.

juicepack4There are essentially two main types of external battery packs for the iPhone, the backpack type that slides onto your iDevice like a glove (as they say, no glove no love) and the extender kind that sticks out at the end of your phone. With the Juice Pack, Mophie has created a soft rubberized shell that houses an impressive 1800mAh lithium polymer battery. When attached to the iPhone 3G, the Juice Pack indeed fits like a tight glove, leaving no wiggle room for the casing to accidentally slip off.

juicepack2On the back of the Juice Pack 3G, you will find 4 LED status indicators that tell you how much battery is left. Simply hold down the test button and the LED will light up blue, revealing roughly the amount of  juice left. Using the provided mini-USB cable, you are able to simultaneously charge both the iPhone and Juice Pack. The Juice Pack 3G also features a pass-through USB, thereby allowing you to sync to iTunes while charging. Those always on the go and pressed for time will appreciate being able to install and transfer apps/video/music while filling up the tank. It should also be noted that with Mophie’s Intelligent Power Distribution, the battery is “smart” enough to first discharge the Juice Pack before draining the iPhone’s battery.

juicepack7As a case, the Juice Pack 3G actually works quite well. Weighing in at 3 oz, it does make your iPhone 3G heavier (4.6 oz), but not necessarily in a bad way. The added thickness (essential double) makes the iPhone sturdier and at times easier to hold, especially once you get used to it. The non-slip grips  on the sides and the overall feel of the rubbery shell gives a great finish to the product. On more than one occassion whilst gaming with the battery attached, I found myself digging the case even more. The extra bulk and rubber strips made the iPhone feel more like a mobile gaming device. Of course, the down side to the battery doubling as a case is that the top half of the iPhone remains unprotected.

juicepack5Lets have a look at the Juice Pack 3G Specifications:

  • Standby Time – Up to 350 hours
  • Talk Time – Up to 6 hours on 3G | Up to 12 hours on 2G
  • Internet Use – Up to 6 hours on 3G | Up to 7 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Audio Playback – Up to 28 hours
  • Video Playback – Up to 8 hours

If my math serves me well, 350hrs is about 14-15 days of stand by time! While I can’t vouch for this claim (I didn’t leave my my iPhone/Juice Pack combo intact for 2 weeks without using it one bit), I can say that Mophie’s Juice Pack 3G really does double the battery life of the iPhone. Prior to trying out Mophie’s battery pack, a fully charged iPhone would basically get me through till 6-8pm in the evening (could be less if I end up testing a bunch of games/apps during the day). With a fully charged juice pack and iPhone attached, I didn’t run out of gas till the very next day. Sweet.

juicepack9For those who prefer to use the battery pack solely as an external charger and not as a case (thereby only making use of it when needed), the Juice Pack’s performance is just as impressive. Running my iPhone’s battery below 20%, the Juice Pack was able to fully charge the phone in about 2 hours. At this point, the LED indicator still had between 2 to 3 lights (out of 4). With the iPhone’s juice falling below 20% once again, the Juice Pack didn’t disappoint and was able to recharge it once more (though just barely). With the ability to juice up the iPhone 3G twice over, the Juice Pack is a godsend for hardcore users and those not satisfied with the 3G’s battery life .

While the Juice Pack 3G isn’t perfect (doesn’t provide 100% protection, no way to “turn off” the battery when using it as a case – it continues to charge even when the iPhone is in sleep mode), Mophie has given us a battery pack that works as advertised and one that looks and feels good to boot. Aside from the fact that it doubles as a pretty solid case, not having to constantly worry about when to charge my iPhone next is simply fantastic. The $99 dollars price tag may scare off potential users, but considering what you get in return, the Juice Pack 3G works like a charm and shouldn’t be missed by those who like using their iPhones to the max.

Get your Mophie Juice Pack 3G here

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Summary
Product:Mophie Juice Pack 3GCompany:Mophie
Price:$89.95App Size:4.0 mb
  • Doubles iPhone battery life
  • Works as a case
  • Speakers not affected when juice pack attached
  • No-slip grip and soft touch rubberized finish feels good in hand
  • Apple certified “Works With iPhone 3G”
  • Case doesn’t enclose iPhone 100%, leaving the top end vulnerable.
  • No way to prevent external battery from charging when iPhone in sleep mode
  • $99 price tag

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Get your Mophie Juice Pack 3G here

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