Many of us search far and wide for iPhone battery cases. Unlike today’s top Android phones, the iPhone 4S and 5 barely last a day of moderate use, let alone a trek through a trade show, several days on the road, or just tons of calls, emails, and texts in a single day. And let’s not even start with gaming. To help iPhone owners spend more money (since they are so willing to anyways), battery case docks are the way to go, but since the switch to the smaller Lightning connector case manufacturers haven’t been able to meet the demand.
The Freedom 2000 from myCharge is not particularly special. It’s a standard protective case with a hard shell and rubber corners, and of course there’s a battery inside. But if you pitted the Freedom against some of our more admired iPhone 4/4S battery cases — like the Spyder i4 — they look similar but the details are wildly different. And as they say, details are the devil’s work.
Aside from the absurd name (would you like some freedom fries with that?), the Freedom 2000 is actually a pretty good battery case for the iPhone 5. It hits every requirement for a battery case and then some, though clearly little time/money/effort was spent on making it as braindead simple as possible while delivering a still unique product. As a case, it’s protective in every way that matters; the hard shell is very strong, the rubber corners firm yet malleable, and most iPhone buttons and ports are left open for easy access. That’s with the exception of the power/standby button, which has a hasty rubber covering that makes it damn nigh impossible to put the phone to sleep without callousing a few fingers.
Part two of this narrative is the charging. As per the name, the Freedom has a 2000mAh battery, about 51% larger than the iPhone 5′s puny power pack. This means that from 1-2% battery life remaining you can fully charge the iPhone 5 — while still in use, albeit not constant use or on calls/Wi-Fi hotspot — back to 100% and the Freedom will still have a little charge left over for dessert. Most charge cases can’t claim the same, so if you’re the sort to use your battery fully, you’ll adore the Freedom.
Charging the Freedom itself is, like the i4, through MicroUSB from a connector on the bottom left. This isn’t as efficient as other cases. The user has to open the flip and connect, and while we all love playing with those dangling parts on phones and cases, there’s a reason most smartphone makers have stopped using them entirely. A power indicator button/light is on the back of the Freedom to turn the battery on/off and to indicate when it is charging.
The final piece is connecting to the iPhone 5, which may be the laziest design I’ve ever seen. The Lightning connector is attached to a piece of rubber that comes out of the dock and plugs into the iPhone, almost like loose wires. Just see the pictures. Aside from how I can’t shake the feeling that the Lightning connector will snap off and be stuck in my iPhone and the additional bulk added to the bottom (because the rubber sticks out like Paul Bunyan’s thumb) makes the case even larger in the pocket.
If the overall tone of this review made you believe that the Freedom 2000 isn’t a good case, do not be mistaken. myCharge has done everything that a battery case maker need do for such an iPhone accessory, and in fact they do several things better than the competition, namely the charge rate and the external battery’s size. My disappointment is with the overall design, which shows an almost flippant sense of detail. Ironically Apple diehards may forgo this case for that reason alone. For everyone else who actually cares about maintaining battery life on their precious smartphone, the Freedom 2000 is a good option for a fair price.
A very strong iPhone 5 battery case…that’s just a tad lacking in the good looks department.