At this point every iPhone owner should be aware of the rechargeable battery pack. Several companies have their own take on the product thus giving the consumer a bevy of choices. GadgetReview has reviewed the last two incarnations of the Mophie Juice Pack and today we’ll take a look at the Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 3G and 3GS.
Fully charged out of the box the Mophie Juice Pack Air combined with a completely charged iPhone lasted me a whole 5 days with out charging. That’s awesome, especially if you are traveling and don’t have access to wall outlets. The whole big thing with the Juice Pack Air is the super flush aesthetic that is supposed to look and feel like a case rather than a charger. Does it succeed? I will go ahead and say for the most part it does.
The Juice Pack Air has a really nice feel to it and uses a glossy heavier duty feeling plastic than the actual back of the iPhone 3G. Adding considerable weight to the phone, you will notice it a bit more drag in your pocket but nothing that’s overly cumbersome. The Juice Pack Air fits on your phone using two pieces. The bulk battery pack on the bottom and a smaller one for the top of the phone. When both pieces fit together they are about 90% flush with a little dangly bit exposed. Again nothing glaring, just an observation.
At the bottom of the Juice Pack Air is an on/off switch that activates charge and works great with the slide of a thumbnail. I never had any problems with the button switching itself on or off. When switched on, the Juice Pack Air will begin charging your phone. Bright blue LED’s after an adjacent button press will denote current charge remaining on the battery pack. You can also see what charge level your phone has attained by a press of the home button. From a wall outlet the Juice Pack Air took 3-4 hours to fully charge itself.
Gripe time! What I disliked most about the previous iteration of the 3G Juice Pack was the fact that it ditched the Apple connector in favor of a “mini” USB input. You couldn’t dock it like you could the 2G iPhone edition and you then had to carry around another cord in the form of a mini USB. Lame. Making it worse is the Juice Pack Air in that it now uses a “Micro” USB that only works with it and none of your other normal mini USB devices like a digital camera. Not yet atleast. So you have to keep track of this ultra special micro USB cord in order to charge your Juice Pack Air. Confusing huh? Why would Mophie do this? In Europe, the micro USB has recently been announced as the new standard for all cell phones. While not confirmed as of yet for the Unted States, Mophie decided to future proof their cable for the Juice Pack Air by incorporating micro USB. Time will tell.
My second gripe is that once you switch your ringer off the shape of the plastic around that button makes it extremely difficult to turn the ringer back on. You either have to have a really ripe coke nail or some tool on hand to get the slide button back to the ringer on setting. Also very lame.
While this version of the Juice Pack is definitely the best, it also boasts the most problems in my mind. If you don’t mind adding an extra special cord into your gadget inventory and you have long fingernails then this will be the perfect battery case for you. All gripes aside though, the Mophie Juice Pack Air performs well and will surely give you the fuel you need till you get back home.
- Slick feel and ergonomically kosher
- Great battery response
- Provides adequate protection
- Uses worthless proprietary micro USB cord for charging
- Ringer button gets stuck all day long
- Might be a bit heavy for some
Buy it now in multiple colors for $80!