A LITTLE JUICE IS GOOD FOR YOUR iPHONE
© 2010 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The iPhone 3G and 3GS are probably one of the best and most popular smart phones on the market today. However, anything electronic always has a downfall. In this case it’s the iPhone’s battery life. AT&T and Apple are quick to tell you to shut off things like 3G, wi-fi and many of the other neat features that we all paid for and want to use. Under normal circumstances I use the phone for incoming and outgoing calls ten, or more times a day. I probably use the Internet and/or email for about half an hour during this same period. My phone charges all night and begins its daily use cycle around 8 AM. Like clockwork, I can count on the battery being down to a 28% discharge by 7 PM. Apple indicates you should never let your phone discharge below 22%, as it will go into a safe mode that ceases all operations. Even the use of the AC adapter, or car cord has no effect at this point.
Mophie, an Apple products third party accessory provider, offers a simple and effective solution known as the “JUICE PACK AIR”. The JUICE PACK AIR is a shell that easily incases the iPhone and only adds a few ounces to the overall weight. In fact, I find the added weight and slight increase in size gives the iPhone a better, more secure feel. In this shell is a flat, non-visable/non-replaceable, battery that more than doubles your battery life and includes its own ‘charge remaining’ indicator. If size is not a consideration the original JUICE PACK, a model that is slightly bigger and provides a bit more charge, is also available.
(TIP: 3GS models have a setting under settings>general>usage that activates the percentage readout feature. The percentage appears next to your battery symbol on the top right of the home page)
When your battery approaches the 22% mark, you just turn on the JUICE PACK AIR with the switch on the bottom right edge. JUICE PACK AIR now begins charging your original battery while allowing full use of the phone. JUICE PACK AIR uses its own USB cable that charges both batteries and can sync your iPhone as well. Also available, but not tested by me, is the JUICE PACK TV that not only provides the extra battery power, but also includes live TV viewing. It requires an additional service provided by AT&T on a monthly fee basis.
I’ve tested the JUICE PACK AIR and find it works well. The extra weight and size better fits my grip and makes it less likely to be dropped. The design is much better than some of the other products available. They attach like large appendages that can easily break off, and make for a clumsy phone. The USB cable supplied is too short, a problem plaguing most iPhone car cords and the Scosche Bluetooth speakerphone, a gadget I will review in a future article. I give the JUICE PACK AIR five stars since it’s well built, works exceptionally well and seems to be the best external battery pack available.
It’s interesting to note, Mophie is currently developing the MARKETPLACE, a magnetic strip reader for the 3G and 3GS iPhones. This device looks much like the JUICE PACK, but will read credit cards and automatically send electronic receipts to the customer. The Apple stores currently use a similar device in place of checkout counters, so Apple associates all carry one. JUICE PACK AIR is available on-line at www.mophie.com and at retail, including the Apple store.
MSRP: JUICE PACK AIR $79.95 • Original JUICE PACK $99.95
GADGETEER’S RATING: H H H H H
(TIP: Always return to the Home Page prior to putting your iPhone to sleep. Failure to do so causes the application to continue running in the background thus further draining the battery)