This model of the Juice Pack has been replaced with newer versions.
Extends iPhone's battery life
Coating chips off
Can't use cases with it
Let's face it: the iPhone's battery life isn't great. You can get a few days out of a full charge, but if you do much emailing, web browsing, or listen to much music, you're likely only getting a day or two between charges. And, since the iPhone’s battery is famously non-replaceable, users are stuck with that limited capacity.
Stuck, that is, unless you have a Mophie Juice Pack, a device that slides onto the back of the iPhone to provide additional battery life. And though the Juice Pack successfully extends the iPhone's battery life, I'm not sure it's a must-have iPhone accessory.
The Juice Pack is a sled that the iPhone slips into that is slightly taller than the phone and about as thick as two iPhones. It attaches to the dock connector to provide its juice.
Mophie claims that the Juice Packs adds an extra 250 hours of standby time, 24 hours of iPod use, 8 hours of talk time, or 6 hours of Internet use to a fully charged iPhone battery.
Like Apple's claims about the iPhone battery, these claims seem a little on the high side. Though I haven’t put the Juice Pack through any scientific tests – just use tests – it adds about 24 hours of useful life to my iPhone’s battery.
I run my iPhone with WiFi and Bluetooth turned off, as well as screen brightness at around 50%, to conserve battery.
I get about 24 hours of use from the Juice Pack when it’s attached to my iPhone. In my most recent tests that has included 3-4 hours of calls, downloading and reading/deleting about 200 emails, and roughly 20 hours of standby time.
While getting an extra day of use out of the iPhone before I have to recharge it is valuable, I’m not sure it’s enough to compel a purchase of the Juice Pack.
First, the Juice Pack adds three ounces to the weight of the phone, nearly doubling the iPhone’s 4.8-ounce weight. Plus, with the extra size, the phone and Juice Pack don’t fit in your pocket as well as the phone by itself.
On top of that, because of the way the device surrounds the iPhone, you can’t use a case with the extra battery. And though this is a cosmetic issue, the plastic coating on my Juice Pack began to chip and peel after just a few days of use.
So, is the Juice Pack, even with these flaws, worth $100? The answer probably has to do with your use of the iPhone and how often you recharge it. I’m never so far away from a charge, or use my phone so much, that I need to spend $100 to get extra talk time. But, if you’re on the road a lot, make a lot of calls, or don’t have a chance to charge your phone too often, you might give the Mophie Juice Pack a look.