Over the past few months, I’ve written about a number of iPhone cases, as well as the process of replacing the battery in my own iPhone (you can read that here). Well, what about if you just need extra battery, even with a fresh internal one? That’s where battery cases come in. There are some very clever ones with the newer phones that support wireless charging, for sure. For those of us rocking older (but still very functional) phones, cases like the Mophie Juice Pack Air are where it’s at.
Mophie has been making these cases for quite some time, as evidenced by the fact that they had one available for my 6s that I could take for a spin. If I recall, they had ones at least in the iPhone 5 era as well, if not early. So, they are definitely no newcomer on the scene, and you should be able to trust that this is not some dodgy battery that’s going to go sideways on you. Which meant I felt comfortable using it as my phone case on an extended trip to the UK recently.
Now, I will say, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is not a slim case. You’ve got to fit a battery in there (one that will give you another 100% charge on your phone), and they’ve profiled the case so that it’s got smooth curves (no crazy brick-like bulge as the official Apple case had), so that’s how you end up with what you’ve got here. It doesn’t quite double the thickness, but it’s close. You also pick up a little more length as well with how the case installs. As such, you get a headphone jack extender (as your ‘phones likely won’t be able to reach in there), and they’ve got channels that redirect the speaker sound to the front of the case.
For my travels, it took some getting used to the additional bulk, but that went quickly. I mean, the iPhone is a thin device to begin with, so doubling it isn’t that much different than the phone I carried a few years back, frankly. I was able to slip it into a pocket of my jeans, but more often had it in a chest pocket of my jacket. Just having that security of a battery laying in wait while we toured around was a solid comfort. Nothing like being in a foreign country, relying on GPS and web look-ups to have your phone die on you to put some panic on your shoulders. Well, there was no worry of that here. Sure, you could carry a spare external battery and cable, but having it all packaged together here was much preferable in my book.
It is worth noting that, with the Mophie Juice Pack Air, you won’t be using the lightning cable to charge things up – you’re back to the world of micro-USB. Still, it is one cable that charges the battery pack and the phone. Oh, and here’s the clever thing – when you plug it in, it charges your phone first, and then the battery pack. At least, that’s what the marketing says. I suspect it’s a straight passthrough (rather than a separate circuit) to charge things, but I do appreciate that the phone is topped off before the case’s battery is.
In terms of protection, sliding the phone into the Mophie Juice Pack Air is a very snug affair. While it’s a two-part construction, I didn’t have any problems with it separating. There’s a decent-sized lip to the front of the case helping protect the screen (even with a protector), and there’s a lot of bulk wrapped around the phone to help it stay safe. At $100, this is definitely not an inexpensive case. If you find yourself blowing through your charge midway through the day, or just want the security of always having extra juice available – such as an extended holiday – the options from Mophie are definitely worth checking out. While the Mophie Juice Pack Air is bulkier than I’d prefer to carry every day, for extended travel (or camping away from electricity), this will be a great case to have along. zagg.com