Many iPhone 5 users want to boost battery life but adding a special battery case adds bulk and weight to your super-slim Apple smartphone. Read our review of the Phonesuit Flex micro battery pack.
We’ve tested and reviewed iPhone 5 battery cases from the likes of Mophie and Powerskin. Read our Mophie Juice Pack Helium review, Mophie Juice Pack Air review, and PowerSkin battery Case for iPhone 5 review.
Each of the above performed well and offer added protection for your valuable smartphone.
But many will be put off by the extra bulk each case adds to your iPhone 5. See: iPhone 5 review
These work fine and pack a powerful recharging punch. The £80 Mophie Powerstation Duo boasts a whopping 6,000mAh charge – although it’s not too heavy, it is obviously larger than the less-powerful packs – except for the £90, 4,000mAh Powerstation Pro that is super-ruggedised for extreme sports or extremely clumsy people.
These portable battery chargers work with most smartphones and tablets as they have USB slots into which you connect your device’s charging cable. That means you need to carry round not just the battery pack but the relevant charge cable as well.
For an iPhone 5 that might mean buying another £15 Lightning to USB cable. And if you forget it you can also forget getting that much-needed power from the battery pack to the dying iPhone.
The Phonesuit Flex micro battery pack beats the Mophie Powerstations by having a built-in Lightning connector, so no need to carry round a cable too. As such it's the only wireless battery pack for the iPhone 5.
It also means you don’t have to take the iPhone out of a case just to sync it. The Phonesuit Flex takes up the Lightning port only when you need it.
The Phonesuit Flex offers a powerful 2,600mAh charge, which is significantly higher than the Juice Pack and PowerSkin battery cases. Four LED lights show you the amount of charge left in the Flex. You re-charge the Flex via the supplied micro USB cable.
You simply connect the Flex to your iPhone to start charging. The iPhone should be fully charged in about two hours, says Phonesuit, but we had a dead iPhone back to a full charge in just over an hour. Once connected to the Flex an iPhone should be operational again within minutes if not immediately.
Phonesuit claims this will give you an extra 125% charge on an iPhone 5.
Our tests confirmed that the Flex micro battery pack will fully recharge a drained iPhone, and then give up an extra surge – around 20-25% – when that charge is used up.
Phonesuit describes the aluminium Flex Charger as “thumb sized”. That’s a pretty fat thumb but it’s certainly equal to the length of an adult man’s thumb.
It weighs 79g, which is around the same weight as the iPhone 5 battery cases listed above.
You wouldn’t want it on your person all the time but it’s perfect for slipping into your bag when travelling. You won’t notice it’s there until you get that low battery warning.
The Phonesuit Flex Charger is available in three colours: Gray Slate, Red Metallic and Blue metallic.
It costs $69.95 (about £45) which is reasonable. Shipping to the UK, however, is expensive, adding another $24.31 to the price to make a total of $94.26 (about £62). The Mophie Powerstation Mini (2,500mAh) requires a cable but costs £50 including shipping.
At £62 the Phonesuit Flex is reasonably priced but with cheaper shipping costs (Sena, for example, ships cases to the UK for $9.99) would be more compelling.