As I mentioned in the review I did for the MLB At Bat 2009 a month or so back, due to the suck battery life one gets when running what otherwise is an awesome app, is one of the main reasons I purchased the Mophie Juice Pack Air. What drew me to the Mophie Juice Pack Air was that it kept the sleek sexy look of my iPhone while giving several hours of extended battery life to listen to music, surf the web or listen to my iPod. It’s well worth the $79.99 and whatever time you will have to wait while Mophie tries to keep up with demand (it’s currently on back order again).
As I have the black 3G, I went with the black Mophie, though it does come in purple (no clue as to why) and those who have the white iPhone and dont want the StormTrooper look, the Air Pack comes in white as well. I ordered mine directly from Mophie and paid for the shipping. Shortly there after, I discovered that it is also available in the Apple Store with free shipping. I should also mention for those of you who are still rocking it old school with the iPhone EDGE, Mophie Air is not compatable. The original Mophie Juice pack is.
Upon opening the package, you are greeted with a fully charged Air Pack, a mini USB cord and instructions on how to make it become one with your iPhone. It is a snug fit and if you are one to use an external protector, you will most likely need to remove it as well. I slurp the Kool-Aid on the InvisibleShield products for protecting my iPhone, relectantly, I had to remove it in order for my phone to fit properly in the Air Pack.
Once the phone is in, be careful removing the top cap. Due to the tight fit, you will need to shimmy the cap off left to right until you can slip it off. Where the plastic goes around the on/off switch is extremely thin. The pressure of removing the cap snapped the plasctic and put a hair line crack where the on/off switch is. Since it was not really noticeable, I did not make a stink about it, but it was definately a buzz kill having cracked it literally 3 minutes after opening the box.
There is a toggle switch on the bottom of the Air Pack that allows you the option of running the internal iPhone battery, or using the external Mophie battery. If the toggle switch shows green, the battery indicator on the iPhone will appear that its plugged in until the user manually switches it to red or the Air Pack has run out of juice. The case does not get in the way of any of the external controls of the iPhone, which is nice and each of the controls easily usable. If you need to know the status of your Mophie battery, pushing the battery indicator button on the back will easily give you the information you need by lighting up the appropriate 4 blue LED lights.
There is no need to remove your phone from the Air Pack to charge it as the juice transfers through the Air Pack to the phone to charge. If the phone and the Air Pack are both in need of charging, I hope you have a Snickers bar, because you are not going anywhere for awhile. It takes about 6-7 hours for both to fully charge, so charging it at night is the best option. If you only have a couple of hours, I recommend removing the phone and charging them concurrently. The downside is, you need both connectors to accomplish this, but you will get a full charge, for both, in just a few hours.
Syncing your phone while using Mophie is a breeze. I did not notice a difference between syncing with the iPhone by itself or syncing the phone with Mophie. I am looking forward to the day when all electronics in the US use the standardize cell phone chargers for smartphones. I have four devices that use ‘mini USB’ and none of them match. Mophie of course offers you a replacement one if you lose yours in the meantime, for the low price of nine dollars, but I digress.
Using the Mophie Juice Pacl Air as a hard case, I could not be more pleased. I will concede that it does add heft to the phone, but for me, in a good way. It feels like I have a device in my hand. I am not advocating that Apple make the iPhone thicker or add weight unecessarily, but the thickness the Mophie pack adds, actually makes it easier for me to use the phone for texting or playing games.
It also held up to the drop test and passed with flying colors. The drop test is never performed on purpose (well at least not in my ‘testing’), just during those unfortunate moments when you are transferring the phone from one hand to another and somewhere the process breaks down and the phone hits the ground from 4 feet up. Once the test was completed, my phone sustained no damage, Mophie on the other hand took a hit.
The cap is where Mophie saved wieght and bulk and is clearly its weakest link. The plastic is ultra thin where the volume keys are. This thin part split when it hit the floor and also put a 3/4 inch crack from the volume buttons to just short of the headphone jack. Near the headphone jack, the plastic is probably 3 to 4 times thicker and it still cracked. For the cap to take that kind of an impact and not damage the phone nor render the cap useless, color me impressed. Once the crack extends to the point of rendering the cap unusable, Mophie does sell replacements for $7.95. Seems a bit shady to sell a part that is easily the weakest part of the entire device for twice what its worth, but in this disposable age, I guess its to be expected.
I use my phone for everything, news reader, surfing the web, playing games, listening to the giants games and my fitness trainer. I also let my boys use it for playing games and ever so often I may actually make a phone call or two. Before I received my Air Pack, I would only get about 5 or 6 hours of battery life. Considering all that I did with it was ok. Now that I have the mophie, I would say that I get far closer to 9 to 11 hours. If I charged it up prior to leaving work at 5, I now don’t have to charge it until mid afternoon or the following evening when I get home.
Having used the Mophie Juice Pack Air for a couple of months now and in spite of the weak top cap, I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a solid hard case for their phone that also doubles a battery extender…but are willing to wait.