Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone – OK, but Fragile

June 18, 2009 by · 35 Comments 



The Mophie Juice Pack Air is a great product in concept.

With the iPhone 3.0 Software and the ability to play some serious games, listen to music via Bluetooth headphones, and do more imaging, the appeal of a larger battery was very high for me. Not only that, I usually found myself in situations where my battery would die mid-day due to excessive twittering and emailing when travelling.

The Mophie seemed like the ideal solution.. why? well it effectively hugs your phone and provides you with a whole days worth of battery life in addition to the built in one. However, it is fragile. As you can see from the picture… 3 days from purchase and the top bit broke whilst trying to remove it.

To cut to the chase, here are my conclusions on this product:

  1. Battery life is extended as if the phone had two batteries of the same size. Roughly what this converts to is that the battery pack dies around 6pm and my iPhone’s battery kicks in. This is under heavy use. not bad, not as good as I hoped.
  2. Charging and synching is done via a micro-USB cable, which although somewhat standard, isn’t as standars as mini-usb (or did I get it the other way around). Anyway, point being, it isn’t the standard version that almost all consumer electronics use. The nice thing is that you can tell when it is charging via the LED, which also tell you the state of charge when it is discharging.
  3. The top bit is very difficult to remove (and you will need to remove it occassionally, for me it was when I needed to transport the phone at night (when you want less bulk in your pockets).  My top bit broke when I was trying to remove it this morning.
  4. Bulk is part of what you expect for an extended battery, and frankly, I didn’t mind it. It made the phone more ergonomic.

Would I recommend the product? Probably not. I like the idea, and it behaves better than some of the other charging solutions out there that protrude from the iPhone, but the quality of this one is just not up to spec. I would perhaps consider their normal Juice Pack. Seems at least like it has less moving parts and more battery.

Update: Just found the replacement top part for the Juice Pack on Mophie’s site. Seems to me like they know this is going to happen. Bummer. Good (that they offer replacement) but Bad (that it breaks in the first place):

Update II: Found that it has a bug when you end the charge of the Mophie unit: When it hits complete discharge, the iPhone gets confused and starts charging and discharging very quickly making the charging sound many times. The Mophie should just shut itself off rather than letting this happen. Not good. For now, when I hear this, I switch the Mophie pack off.

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