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Today we will be taking a look at another battery pack/case for the iPhone 4. This time, it comes from Mophie and its called the Juice Pack Air. It’s similar to the Case-mate Fuel Lite case that we reviewed a month ago except that the Juice Pack Air has a 1500 mAh battery while the Fuel Lite had only a 1020 mAh. To be fair though, Case-mate does also make the Fuel Max which has a 2000 mAh battery in it. In terms of price, the Juice Pack Air sits inbetween the Fuel Lite and Max prices at $79.95.
With the Juice Pack Air, you get a slider case with the battery built into it. It in turn means it serves two purposes. One is to protect your iPhone and the other is to give your iPhone a recharge when needed. Like the Case-mate Fuel cases, the Juice Pack Air is a 2-piece case. The bottom part houses the battery and the LED battery indicators while the top part is just a cap that seals everything up. Unlike the Fuel Lite however, the Juice Pack Air is much more stylish and doesn’t look make the phone look like a slab of plastic. In fact, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is in my opinion, the best looking battery pack case on the market thus far for the iPhone 4.
What separates Juice Pack Air from the others is that it’s not just a slab of black. Mophie saw fit to give the Juice Pack Air some style and gave it a silver-metallic look plastic strip that mimics the iPhone’s aluminum antenna band. Not only that, the soft touch material the covers the rest of the Juice Pack Air can be had in three different colors – black, white and red. The one we got to test was red and definitely gives the iPhone a whole different look thanks to the splash of color.
The design of the Juice Pack Air is also carefully thought out with a few really nice touches that you might not notice at first. At the bottom, there are 4 LED lights that light up letting you know how much charge is left in the Juice Pack Air’s battery. You push a button to display the amount of power left. To the left of that is the power switch which you toggle on and off. The switch is pretty solid and requires a bit of force to move it so that it does not accidentally get turned on or off in your pocket or purse. To the right of the lights is the micro usb port which is pretty well hidden and you don’t really notice it upon first glance. Now here’s the feature that I like most about the Juice Pack Air. Instead of having the speaker holes directed towards the bottom like most cases do, the Juice Pack Air actually redirects the speakers to the front of the case so you know longer have to cup your hands to hear the audio better. It’s a very nice touch and one that other case makers should emulate. On the downside, the recessed holes for the power, volume, and ringer switch make it a bit hard to reach these buttons one handed. It’s a minor issue but one that you’ll probably get used to after time.
Once you have the Juice Pack Air on, you never have to take it off. As far as I can tell, both pieces are securely connected and take a bit of effort to pull apart which keeps it from accidentally detaching from each other. Charging is done via a micro USB port and as with other battery packs, it allows for simultaneous charging of both the battery pack and your iPhone 4. The port even allows for syncing to iTunes so no need to worry about that either. The case is covered in a soft-touch type coating which I usually do not like but it’s not as offensive to me on the Juice Pack Air. It doesn’t seem to have that “stickiness” that I sometimes associate with the soft-touch coating. Only time will tell however if the coating will rub off or how durable it is as prior experiences with this type of coating usually suggest that it will rub off sooner or later.
In comparison to the Case-mate Fuel case, the Juice Pack Air is actually a tiny bit wider, taller, and thicker than the Fuel. However, because of the way the Juice Pack Air is shaped with a curved backside, it doesn’t look as bulky. You only notice the size when it’s placed side by side with the Fuel.
Mophie has a winner on their hands with the Juice Pack Air. It’s stylish, protects your iPhone 4, and it does what it says it does. The 1500 mAh battery should provide you with almost a full recharge once the main iPhone battery has been drained. The only negatives in my book about the Juice Pack Air are the recessed holes for the button that make them a bit hard to use and the USB cable it comes with. It is way too short being about 6 inches shorter than the Apple sync cable which in my opinion is a bit too short as well. Other than that however, the Juice Pack Air is near perfect. Sure your svelte iPhone 4 isn’t quite as sleek as it once was, but it’s a fair trade off for that extra amount of battery life you’ll get. Plus, in all honesty, the Juice Pack Air looks really good doing what it does.
Battery Extender and Case in One
The juice pack air for iPhone 4 combines rechargeable external battery power concealed
inside of a protective form-fitting case. It offers the full protection of a hard-shell case
with an ultra-thin, light-weight, low-profile design.
Twice the Power
The juice pack air for iPhone 4 virtually doubles the power available to rock, talk, surf and send. A full charged case gives users:
-Up to an additional 6 hours on 3G, up to 12 hours on 2G, of Talk Time
-Up to an additional 36 hours of Audio Playback
-Up to an additional 9 hours Video Playback
Advanced Battery Technology
Highly condensed lithium polymer battery delivers an incredible amount of juice in a small form factor and features built in overcharge, short circuit and temperature protection.
Embedded electronics results in no signal interference with the iPhone 4.
Acoustic Sound Enhancement
The case design acts as a virtual speaker box, redirecting sound from the bottom of the
iPhone 4 to the front, resulting in a richer, fuller sound quality.
4 Light LED Battery Status Indicator
An integrated LED status indicator tells you exactly how much “juice” is left and also
displays how much time remains during the charging process.
500 milliamps fast charge technology, with an advanced battery for added safety,
as well as 1500 mAh capacity.
Sleek design includes a new, soft-touch, rubberized finish and silver band that mirrors
the aesthetic of the iPhone itself.
Included USB cable enables you to simultaneously charge and sync your iPhone 4
to iTunes without having to remove it from the juice pack air.
juice pack air for iPhone 4:
- Standby Time: Up to 270 hours
- Talk Time: Up to 6 hours on 3G | Up to 12 hours on 2G
- Internet Use: Up to 5 hours on 3G | Up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
- Audio Playback: Up to 36 hours
- Video Playback: Up to 9 hoursOther product specifications are as follows:
- Product Dimensions: 5.07 in x 2.51 in x 0.68 in; 2.5 oz
- Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
- Estimated Shipping Weight: 1 lbs
- Item model number: 1145_JPAXP4, 1146_JPAXP4, 1147_JPAXP4, 1148_JPAXP4
- Shipping: This product ships world wide
- Product Category: Cell Phone External Battery
- Product Compatibility: Apple iPhone 4, iPhone not included
- Package Content Included: juice pack air™, USB-micro cable, User’s Manual
- Patent: Pat. D616360, Pat. D616361