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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nother day, another iPhone case. Well, in truth, another iPhone battery case that is compatible with both the 5 and 5s. If you ask me, a battery pack for a smartphone is a must have. And not just for the purpose of charging your phone on the go. They’re extremely handy around the house, as they negate the need to leave your phone tethered to a wall or a computer. If you want to compare with another battery case, take a look at our Ventev Powercase 2000 review.
So today I’m looking at Odoyo’s iPhone 5/s battery case. Specs state that it sports at 2,200mAh battery, which is almost 800mAh more than the iPhone 5s’s built-in battery. Impressive, but rarely does this actually translate to actual use time (more on that later). Other features include a kickstand, an LED light that glows three different colors to indicate remaining charge, and an on/off switch.
Like Mophie’s line of battery packs for the iPhone, Odoyo’s also charges via microUSB. I find this extremely convenient since microUSB cords are far more ubiquitous and cheaper than the iPhone 5 and 5s’s Lighting cable. Odoyo points out that you can sync your iPhone 5s to your computer using this port – a moot concern for me since I never sync my phone by cord.
Made up of two parts – a battery pack and a frame – the Odoyo EX can be a bit fiddly, at least when compared to competitors. First, the iPhone 5 or 5s must be inserted. Simple enough. Then a frame must be fitted around it and snapped into place. Easy, but you’ll want to ensure it snaps completely into place by pressing on all four corners. This is the part that is more laborious than Mophie’s cases, which generally speaking are just two parts. That said, lose the frame and you can still use the battery pack.
The frame and battery pack of the Odoyo EX provide reasonable protection from dings, scratches and the occasional drop. I have to wonder what would happen if my iPhone 5s took a serious fall to the floor, but since I’m not willing to test this out I can’t tell you.
What I can tell you is that sound is channeled forward (and into the handset) thanks to a set of slots on the base of the phone. Callers never complained of any sound interference while the Odoyo EX battery case was in use.
Looking to the back there is the familiar cut outs for the iPhone 5s’s camera, as well as a port for the headphone jack. However, since the headphone jack is on the bottom of the iPhone 5 and 5s, the hole is fairly deep and for most headphones you’ll need the included headphone jack extender. Annoying since it’s another thing to carry around. And given its small size, you’re likely to lose it.
Further down the back is a kickstand and power button to turn the case on and off. At first the kickstand was very difficult to extend, but after some use loosened up – just watch your fingertips, at least initially. The power button, however, is almost useless, since it can be inadvertently pressed by sticking it in your pocket or laying it down flat against a hard surface. For some this won’t matter. But for others, who’d like to achieve the optimal amount of charge by turning the battery case on when the phone’s batter is low, this might be a cause for concern.
All together I’m pretty pleased with the Odoyo EX battery case for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Its 2,200mAh battery generally nets me about 80% more battery life, which is a bit less than I expected given the battery’s capacity. But this seems to be par for the course in all my experiences with battery packs for the iPhone or Android devices. I would rather a soft rubber finish (instead of the hard plastic seen here), since that seems to provide added protection and a all together nicer/grippier feel in the hand.