Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone - Usage, Testing and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone
Usage, Testing and Final Thoughts

Usage & Testing:

When the iPhone is docked to the Juice Pack, the phone sees it as an external power source, drawing from the Juice Pack until its battery is depleted before moving on to the iPhones internal battery.  As I feared when I first opened the packaging up, while offering some protection against dropping and scuffing as a hard case, it does almost double the thickness of the phone, making it impossible to carry around in you jeans without a bulge in your pocket.


Lab Test:

In the lab I used a program called iPhone Modem to create a tether between my iPhone and my notebook. The program creates an ad-hoc wifi network on your laptop, which the iPhone connects to, then sets your web browser to use the iPhones WiFi IP address as a proxy. All requests made by your web browser are then passed to the 3G chipset on the iPhone via the iPhone Modem application running on the phone, allowing you to use your 3G cell connection for data on your notebook.

Using the Firefox plugin “Refresh Every”, I set firefox to refresh every 10 seconds. While this method doesn’t use huge amounts of data, because of the latency using the cell network for data, it keeps both the 3G and wifi chipsets running for 2-3 seconds off of every 10 second refresh.

The iPhone alone with a fully charged battery lasted just a few minutes shy of 3 hours before loosing all battery.

The iPhone with a fully charged battery paired with the Juice Pack with a fully charged battery lasted a whopping 6 hours and 45 minutes before depleting completely.

  Juice Pack Charging


Real World Test:

I recently took a 4 day business trip to Edmonton Alberta. For the first two days I used the iPhone as it was designed, with no accessories. While using my phone normally, browsing webpages, checking twitter, looking up places on google maps, etc, both days my phone would be at 10% battery remaining by the time I got back to the hotel room after dinner. The third day I took the Juice Pack with me. With similar day to day usage, not only did I not have to charge the phone the first night, but by the end of day four I still had over half my battery remaining for the drive home.



I like the look and feel of the Juice Pack, it feels completely natural in your hand, and with a distinct green on the inside of the unit where the phone docks, it is near impossible to set it down and forget where you put it. A quick glance around the room and that green will be screaming out at you. Aesthetically, aside from the fact that it doubles the size of the phone, I love it.

I think the decision to use a standard USB mini port to connect the phone to the computer and wall charger, was a HUGE miss however. If mophie had opted to use a standard iPod connection for syncing and charging, it would have opened up a whole world of possibilities for additional accessories to be used in conjunction with the Juice Pack. Never mind the cost they could have saved by not including a USB cable, it would have felt more natural to most users to not have to unplug their iPod cable or dock from their computer every time they wanted to sync with the Juice Pack in line.

Instead of having to remove the pack every time you want to plug your phone into something like an FM transmitter, you could have actually charged the Juice Pack while driving and listening to your tunes.


Final Thoughts:

The Juice Pack feels very Apple. It does what it was designed to do perfectly; in fact it surpassed my expectations on battery life in the real world test. Heck it only has one button on the entire unit, Uncle Steve would be proud.  However when it comes to expanding your options or using it for more than what it was originally intended for (such as using both the Juice Pack and an FM transmitter at the same time), They use a connection that while not proprietary, it may as well be when it comes to the device it is connecting to.

I would recommend this product for anyone that uses mass transit for commuting. Your phone will last all day plus some, even if it does add some bulk. I would also recommend this to anyone who takes long road trips in the car, more as a backup battery than an everyday device. If your phone is running out of juice, simply grab the Juice Pack out of the glove box, plug it in, and your good to go for another day without charging.



I'd like to thank mophie for sending the Juice Pack 3G our way for review and for making my iPhone 3G much more usable.  Please post any questions or comments in the forum at the "Comments" link below.