The Mophie Juice Pack Air is a real iPhone (battery) life saver – it's a great battery case for iPhone 4 and 4S.
If the iPhone has a fault it’s its weak battery life. Depending on which apps you use an iPhone often needs charging every day, and the Apple mobile has a tendency to run out of juice just when you need it most – Pod’s Law.
Who hasn’t picked up their iPhone on the way out of the house before a long day only to switch it on and be confronted with the dreaded red sliver of low battery life? Oh, the self recrimination of failed home recharging…
When you’re away from your home/office opportunities for even a quick power charge are extremely rare.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air (for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) is a stylish case that conceals a 1,500mAh-capacity rechargeable battery that can give a failing iPhone a full charge just when you need it. That’s right, a full charge. Got an iPhone 5: Mophie Juice Pack Helium battery pack for iPhone 5 review.
A common complaint with battery cases for the iPhone is their weight and bulk. The Juice Pack Air is slim and lightweight. Once you’ve carried it around for a few days you really won’t notice the difference in your pocket.
See also: iPhone accessory reviews
Its minimal aesthetics are sympathetic to Apple’s award-winning design. In fact it’s so stylish that I’ve had compliments on its looks before I told people about its amazing battery boost.
The low-profile case has a hard, protective shell, but a lovely smooth soft-touch back.
My one gripe with the case is that the top section occasionally became semi-detached when pulled from a trouser pocket, but it slides back into place with a touch.
As with all good iPhone cases it allows access to ports, buttons and cameras, although the dock connector is concealed. This isn’t much of a pain when you want to sync to your computer as you can sync via the supplied micro USB cable, and, if not, the phone slides out of the case simply and easily.
The Juice Pack Air is charged via this micro USB cable. It first charges the iPhone, then the case’s battery. Charging the external battery does take a while, so it’s best left powering up overnight if possible. One day not too far away you’ll be glad you gave it that full charge.
Mophie claims that the Juice Pack Air adds up to six hours of talk time or Web browsing, and up to 270 hours of standby time to your iPhone 4 or 4S. These numbers are pretty irrelevant as most people use their iPhone more for apps than talking, and each app uses up battery power to different degrees.
All you really need to know is that when the phone’s battery life is down to 5-10% you can flick the standby switch on the case and the external battery starts to refill the iPhone’s own. You can toggle the amount of new charge you give your phone, in case you want to keep some reserve in the pack.
Four LEDs on the bottom of the case display how much power is left in the Juice Pack Air's battery, as well as keeping you updated on the charging status when plugged in.
Not only will the Mophie Juice Pack Air give your iPhone a power boost just when you need it most, the likelihood is that you’ll be plugging in friends’ iPhones for a quick burst of charge – if you’re feeling generous. Don’t forget to take the case back with you, though!
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is available in white, black and red.