Walk into the wilderness with your iPhone with the GPS function blazing away and the battery is sure to drain in no time flat. Mophie, who has long made battery packs for the iPhone is well aware of this and in fact encourages such behavior. After all, they did release their very own trail map app. And with it has come their Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition battery pack.

It uses the same battery as found in their Juice Pack Plus battery, but the case has been upgraded to add greater protection against dings and drops. The dual-injected hard shell case sports a rubberized band around its circumference. However, it won’t inhibit you from removing the device from your pocket while adding more protection to the fragile iPhone 4s’ skin. ¬†However, without reading the product’s website I never would have known it sports such a feature, as the outer edge is as equally hard as the rest of the body.

Nevertheless, it’s a pleasure to old the iPhone in your hand with this case attached as it transforms the sharp edges to a more comfortable rounded form factor. This is complemented by 4 LED battery status lights that can be activated with the push of a button. While it may not have been intended, they’re bright enough to providing some lighting in a dark venue. These are located at the bottom of the case, which flash while it’s being charged up. Just to the left, sitting adjacent, is a switch to power the Juice Pack on and off and above it buttons for controlling volume and a port to access the iPhone’s vibrator switch. There is no port for your iPhone’s sync cable, but since you can use the mini-USB port to do just that and all the while charge the Juice Pack, it’s no matter.

As with all batteries your mileage will vary with use. For the most part I was able to recharge my iPhone to full from a 10-15% charge, but on occasion the Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition fell short, especially if I was surfing the web or constantly responding to emails. I actually found it to be most effective, and perhaps efficient, by simultaneously charging the Juice Pack Plus with the iPhone and leaving it turned on. That way my iPhone 4s would stay charged until the battery pack ran out of uice. Again, my mileage varied, but i could generally get a full days use out of the Juice Pack Plus Outdoor edition before the iPhone 4s’ battery would take over. However, on occasion I’d catch my iPhone displaying the Plugin Icon in the battery as if it we’re fully charged yet still draining the handset’s battery power. I resolved this by turning the Juice Pack Plus off the on, where upon it would begin charging again back to 100%. It’s not clear if this is an iOS issues or a Mophie issue, but it’s a small one so no big thing.

The Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition adds some significant bulk to the iPhone 4s, and while it doesn’t double it’s girth, it does come close. But with that comes some solid protection, though the screen will still be exposed as will the home button and the speaker. Since the bottom portion of the case covered the speaker and microphone, Mophie has added a set of ports to help channel these, and I couldn’t notice any decrease in amplitude and callers never claimed they couldn’t hear me.

Aesthetically the Mophie Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition is a real treat to the hand and eyes. The Orange band that wraps the circumference of the case is a nice touch to the overall aesthetic, though I’d gladly live without it if Mophie could slim down the case without compromising protection. That said, it’s a solid battery that is well built, adds some needed protection from dings and drop but sometimes suffers ever so slightly when it comes to delivering a full charge to the iPhone’s battery.

Editor’s Rating:

Rating: ★★★★☆

Great

Review of Mophie Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition by
Bottom Line:
2011-12-14
4.0/ 5.0
A protective case that recharges your iPhone to full if you’re willing to deal with added bulk.

Pros:

  • Fully recharges your iPhone 4s’ battery
  • Protects the edges and back of the iPhone 4s
  • Cool orange band wraps the circumference

Cons:

  • Battery mileage will vary with use
  • Adds some significant bulk
  • Doesn’t protect the screen or home button

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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."