Monday June 15, 2009 11:40 am
Mophie Juice Pack Air review
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is the latest iPhone 3G (and iPhone 3G S) battery pack to come out of Mophie, and is the follow-up to the Mophie Juice Pack 3G. We’ve actually been big fans of the Juice Pack 3G since it launched last year, as it’s kept our iPhones running for just about twice as long as they normally would. FOr days during events like CES, that meant we could be checking email and texting all day and night without worrying about battery power dying. Of course, the Juice Pack 3G did have one drawback—its size. With the Juice Pack 3G on the device, it was just too big to fit anywhere comfortable, including a pants pocket. Looking to improve on that, Mophie has released the Juice Pack Air. Come on in for our full Mophie Juice Pack Air review, and be sure to enter our Mophie Juice Pack Air Giveaway!
Okay, so let’s cut to the chase. If you want to double the battery life on your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S, the Mophie Juice Pack is the best answer. In fact, battery life is our biggest complaint about the Apple mobile phone, so when we find a product that solves it the way that the Juice Pack does, we can’t help but become an instant fan.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is pretty much a “sleeve” that you slide the iPhone 3G or 3G S into, similar to a protective case. The difference here, obviously, is that this sleeve powers and charges your phone.The product has a very aerodynamic look to it, very curvy, and it aims to be less bulky than the original Juice Pack 3G. It definitely succeeds in that, since it isn’t anywhere near as thick. The product has cut-outs for all the iPhone controls, and the audio jack. You can’t access the dock connector, since it is in use by the product itself, but you do get a micro USB connection on the bottom of the Juice Pack Air, which allows you to charge both the phone and the Juice Pack at the same time.
On the back of the Juice Pack Air, you’ve got a button and four blue LED indicators, which tell you how much battery power you have left in the device itself. Now, if you are a Juice Pack 3G user, you should know that the way the Air was able to slim itself down was by reducing battery power. The Juice Pack 3G had an 1,800mAh battery pack, which the Air has just a 1,200mAh battery. So in reality, it’s good for an 85-90% recharge of an iPhone 3G battery. Not quite double, but very close. If you want real-world usage, Mophie claims that the Juice Pack Air will hook you up with an additional 270 hours of standby time, 4.5 hours of 3G phone usage, 9 hours of EDGE talk time. It also means 4.5 hours more web surfing time on 3G, 20 more hours of music playback, and 6 more hours of video watching.
In my use with the product, I’ve been impressed. The feature I love most is that, for the first time, there is a switch on the Mophie Juice Pack Air that let’s you turn it’s power on or off. This is great because then you are only charging the phone when it needs to be charged. You see, the iPhone uses more power when it is plugged in to a power source. So as a way to make the battery last longer, only turn it on when your iPhone needs to be charged, rather than leaving it on when the phone is fully charged. While the Juice Pack Air does definitely improve upon the Juice Pack 3G, it still does add some bulk to the iPhone 3G and 3G S.
Lastly, you do want to be careful when putting the iPhone into the Juice Pack Air, as well as when you take it out. I know one person who cracked the top piece of their Juice Pack Air the first time they pulled it off of the iPhone. And me? When I pulled that top piece off, my iPhone’s silent switch came off with it. I had to take a trip to the Apple Store, where they had to give me a new phone (luckily, I was covered by AppleCare.) So definitely be careful.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air sells for $79.99, and we realize that isn’t exactly a bargain for everyone—however, if you are like us and are constantly checking the web, email, text messages, and the like, this product is for you, and $80 is completely worth it to keep the phone going all day and night. For more images of the device, check out our Mophie Juice Pack Air gallery.
Gallery: Mophie Juice Pack Air review
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