If you're constantly on the move – or even just spend the occasional day in transit – you know how stressful it can be when your iPhone alerts you that you've dipped below 20 percent battery life. What happens if you're on a plane (and not lucky enough to have an outlet at your seat) or you've left your charging cable at the hotel? Usually, you're out of luck (or forced to beg someone to borrow their cable). Charging cases are a fantastic alternative to constantly worrying about your phone's battery life, but many of these products are bulky, heavy, and lack the necessary power to make them worth the other inconveniences. Mophie, long a leader in this space, took the lessons learned from earlier generations of charging cases – including their own first shot at an iPhone 5 charging case – and created the Mophie Juice Pack Air.
It's not too difficult to drain an iPhone battery, even if you're not traveling. Power users can plow through a fully charged iPhone battery in a matter of hours if they are relying on 4G or LTE connections rather than wireless internet. GPS apps are notorious power leeches, so if you're tracking your runs, you're draining your battery. When you're on the move, plugging in your phone isn't an option. That's the main reason I've been so pleased with the Mophie Juice Pack Air, which essentially doubles your iPhone's battery power.
Once I turned on the Juice Pack Air, thus beginning to charge my phone, I got my battery meter back up to 100 percent nearly every time. The only exceptions were instances in which I allowed my battery to dip below a 15 percent charge. Even then, the Juice Pack Air was still able to get the iPhone back to almost 90 percent charged. To be fair, the user manual says that the case delivers optimum performance if you don't let your battery dip below 20 percent.
Yes, it adds weight to the phone. However, that added weight only amounts to 2.8 ounces. It's more than a fair trade-off when you realize that the case will double your available power.
The only two true negatives of the Juice Pack Air pertain to cables. Because of the size and shape of the case, an extender is needed to plug your headphones into your iPhone. The extender is included with the case, but it's still another doodad that you have to remember to pack (and could potentially lose). The Juice Pack Air uses a micro USB cable for charging (and pass-through charging, which allows you to charge your phone at the same time). While the pass-through feature is great, it's a shame that it's not with the standard iPhone 5 Lightning cable. Again, the micro USB cable is just one more thing to add to your carry-on bag.
Neither of these are real deal breakers, however. The Mophie Juice Pack Air performs so well, that it's become one of my favorite tech accessories in a very short period of time. Later this week, I'll be spending the better part of my morning at three airports and on two flights. Normally, I'd be worried about having a dead phone midway through the trip. With the Juice Pack Air, that concern hasn't crossed my mind once.
At $100, the Juice Pack Air isn't cheap. But it's worth it if you routinely push your iPhone 5's battery to the limit. The Mophie Juice Pack air is available via the Mophie website and comes in three colors.
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