Mophie Juice Pack Air

galaxy s3 covers

Mophie01

One of the best iPhone accessories that I have reviewed and gotten the most use out of has been the original Mophie Juice Pack. It is the perfect companion on long trips such as flights and car rides. My main issue with it was it did not totally cover the iPhone 3G causing it to ruin the aesthetic appearance of Apple’s sleek phone and it was bulky. Thankfully Mophie resolved that issue by housing a rechargeable 1200mAh lithium polymer battery inside of a form fitting iPhone 3G case. With the release of the Mophie Juice Pack Air the user is able to carry a spare battery and a case all in one.

The earlier Juice Pack was on all the time, for this newer model Mophie also included an on/off switch for the battery; so you are not left wondering if the iPhone is being charged. The four LED charge status lights found on the original Juice Pack are still found on the back of the Mophie Juice Pack Air. Now you can carry an iPhone 3G with three times the battery capacity, all in a protective hard shell case.

The Mophie Juice Pack Air comes in a black card board package with the device prominently pictured on the front of the box. Since this is an Apple certified product it has the “Works with iPhone” sticker displayed on the top corner of the package. On the rear of the box one finds a list of features and specs as well as an opening to check the LED charge status. Mophie pre-charges the device, so you are ready to roll as soon as the case/battery is taken out for use.

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The package flips open with Quick Start instructions in both English and French on the inside of the front cover. In the remaining section of the packaging we find the Mophie Juice Pack Air with a USB charging cable sitting below it. While the original Juice Pack uses a mini USB connector, the Mophie Juice Pack Air relies on a micro-USB connector. This means another cable to carry around if you already have a device that charges via a mini-USB cable such as a Bluetooth headset. I thought the mini-USB connector was small and portable enough, I guess I was wrong on that count.

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The Mophie Juice Pack Air is seen holding the user manual which doubles as iPhone prop. Mophie currently offers three color selections for the Juice Pack Air – white, black and purple. Our review sample is the white version.

The Juice Pack Air measures 4.9” x 2.59” x 0.75” and weighs in at 2.66 ounces. It is composed of a white glossy plastic material. It is thicker than most iPhone 3G cases because it houses a 1200 mAh lithium polymer battery which sits on the back part of the case.

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The Mophie Juice Pack Air is composed of two halves; the lower large portion which contains the battery and where the iPhone 3G docks into and the upper segment which covers the top portion of the iPhone 3G and has the requisite openings for the camera, headphone jack, power button, volume and mute buttons.

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The front of the Juice Box Air features a Mophie logo at the base. Just above this logo is the iPhone connector. On the bottom, we find a micro-USB connector input and on/off switch. The back of the Juice Pack Air has a status indicator button with four adjacent LEDs. Four blue LEDs lit up means a full battery!

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For size comparison, here is the original Juice Pack next to its brethren.

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Specifications:

Mophie Juice Pack Air

The juice pack air™ is a rechargeable external battery concealed inside of a protective form-fitting case for the iPhone 3G. It offers you the full protection of a hard-shell case while providing virtually twice the battery life of the iPhone alone; all in an ultra-thin, light-weight, low-profile design.

• The world’s thinnest Apple certified “Works With iPhone” external battery for iPhone 3G!
• Rechargeable 1200mAh lithium polymer battery virtually doubles your time to rock, talk, surf and send.
• Pass-through USB charging and sync with iTunes
• Extended smart battery and full case protection
• On/Off switch offers choice of battery or case
• Integrated 4 LED charge status indicator

Dimensions:
height: 4.9” width: 2.59” depth: 0.75”

NOTE: The juice pack air is made to fit the iPhone 3G in its natural state. If you have protective skins, cases, etc. you may find it difficult to place and remove your iPhone from the case. (screen guards/shields are okay)

Installing the iPhone 3G into the Mophie Juice Pack Air involves inserting the iPhone into the lower larger half of the case and then sliding the top portion on the phone. Mophie recommends removing any protective skins or else the iPhone 3G will be difficult to insert and remove from the Mophie Juice Pack Air. I can attest to that fact as my iPhone 3G features an Infectious skin which made the phone fit too snuggly within the case and separating the case from the iPhone was rather difficult.

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Once the Mophie Juice Pack Air is protecting the iPhone 3G you will notice and increase in bulk and weight. My wife upon seeing the case/battery on my iPhone remarked how big and bulky it was; I am talking about the Mophie Juice Pack Air of course!

The case sits flush with the face of the iPhone leaving it exposed to the outside environment; which is the situation with most iPhone 3G cases. This open area allows the use of screen guards and shields since those do not press against the Mophie Juice Pack Air. Accessing all the controls and buttons was simple with all the requisite opening for buttons and connectors.

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As a case, the Mophie Juice Pack Air seems sturdy enough and seems like it would withstand a good fall or two onto a hard surface. However, since the Mophie Juice Pack Air is also an electronic device, I would advise against dropping it as traumatic impact may save your phone but could destroy the battery function of the Mophie device.

Since it is composed of a glossy plastic material the case does pick up smudges. Overall it is a nice looking case, as I mentioned previously it does add a fair amount of bulk to the iPhone. Another nit pick is I wish they provided a grip area or made the case out of a less slick material as the Juice Pack Air is more slick feeling than the original model.

According to Mophie the Juice Pack Air provides up to 270 hours of standby time, 4.5 hours of talk time running on the 3G network and 9 hours on the 2G network, 20 hours of audio playback, 6 hours or video playback and 4.5 to 5.4 Internet access depending on whether using 3G or Wi-Fi. These times are in addition to the iPhone 3G’s native battery life.

With the integrated power switch, you will only use the Juice Pack Air when it is required. You can have it recharge your iPhone and then turn it back off or just run directly off the external battery keeping the native iPhone battery topped off at all times until the Juice Pack Air drains out.

Charging the Mophie Juice Pack Air took approximately 3-4 hours via a USB port connection from a PC.

Normally I charge my iPhone every two days unless I am using the internet heavily, then I usually have to charge it by the end of the day. Using the Juice Pack Air I was able to run 5 days without connecting to a power source other than the Mophie case/battery. This was with a mix of heavy internet use at times, watching a couple of movies and actual cell phone use. This seemed to match the battery life of the original Mophie Juice Pack.

One thing I would care to mention, when charging the iPhone, the Juice Pack Air did get particularly warm. With the external battery I was able to get the iPhone to absorb all of the Mophie charge in about two hours. Unlike its predecessor the Juice Pack Air was able to muster only a 90% recharge off a full charged external battery. This is due to the 1,200mAh as opposed to the 1,800mAh of the original Mophie Juice Pack.


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Conclusion:

If you are an iPhone junkie and constantly use your Apple phone, then the Mophie Juice Pack Air is a no brainer. It provides protection and additional power all in one well designed package. However, if you need more than one full recharge off an external battery then you may want to pick up the original Juice Pack.

Mophie is proving to be the leader in external battery technology for the iPhone and with their latest offering have created another winning product.

9 recommended5

Pros:
Extends Battery Life
Protects iPhone as well as charges
Integrated power switch

Cons:
Would not call it Ultra-Thin
Bulky
Battery not as strong as the original Juice Pack

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10
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  • Tom

    http://www.applelinks.com/index.php/more/applelinks_iphone_news_reader_friday_june_5_2009/

  • Tom

    http://www.macsurfer.com/?redir=412774

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  • Lou LG

    I am finding it difficult to get the air off my phone. I brokr one the first time, fotunately it was replaced by Apple. Does anyone have a special technique for removal? Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Joseph

    A number of users report interference with signal. Some say that the signal interference can be so bad, it renders the phone useless. What has your experience been with respect to signal strength with the Air on the iPhone? (I’m a 3G S user, by the way.)

  • Bill

    I just received my Mophie Juice Pack Air an hour ago. I have 5 bars of signal, wi-fi is full signal and speeds are awesome right now. No problem with signal at all. I am using the new iPhone 3GS.

  • Chris

    I love the Juice Pack, but boy is it fragile. I also broke a small piece off the top while pulling the iphone out of a snug holster. The mere pressure of my fingers squeezing either side of the top of the Mophie – while it was still firmly attached in place on the iphone – managed to cause just enough flex to break off the thin piece of plastic on the front top edge in front of the sleep button. I’d had it for 6 hours. Going to try and replace it now, or maybe exchange it for an Incase Power Slider.

  • Sean

    This really does destroy your signal in alot of areas. I have 3 iphones (one for me, one for my girlfriend, and one for my brother) And in the same locations they have full coverage while I am searching for it. Double edged sword to be honest. Really worth the cost considering what it does, however the lack of signal strength with it on is a turn off.

  • margaret

    Noticed recently on vacation that while my husband had a signal, I did not. When I tried to remove my phone from the case, the top broke. I never could get the bottom off to see if my reception improved! It really does charge the phone well though…

  • lynn

    To remove the Juice Pack, I used, of all things, a putty knife. I carefully put it in the space that separates the top from the bottom on the side of the Pack. Slowly and gently twist the putty knife to further separate the top & bottom. Do this on each side a little at a time until you have enough to pull the top off. If you can’t pull the bottom off, use the putty knive again, on the front of the phone just where the “mophie” imprint on the Pack and the phone meet. Worked like a charm.

  • Erik

    Taking the Juice Air OFF:

    1) Dry your fingers (Both Hands)
    2) Hold bottom piece and body of iPhone 3GS firmly in your dominant “strong” hand.
    3) Grasp top piece between second joint of index finger and top joint of thumb (righties thumb should rest over the volume rocker.
    4) Dot NOT pull with your dominant hand!!
    5) Simply apply enough separation force to creat a space between upper and lower halves then stop
    6) Do NOT squeeze the top piece after it moves
    7) Gently take the top off, followed by the bottom
    8) Always control your iPhone 3GS position with no sudden lurching movements
    9) Torque and control with no wasted forces are key to a trouble free disassembly every time
    10) It gets MUCH easier after a few times…trust me…be patient initially

  • Bill

    Testing with your iPhone in a 5 bar signal strength area is meaningless. You need to test the phone at an area with less than 5 bars. In my tests I generally lost at least 1 bar. In a building like at my job where the signal strength of my iPhone 3gs is generally about 2 to 3 bars, with the mophie it will drop to 2 to zero bars and many times I get no signal with the mophie on my phone.

    For removal I take the top off then holding with both hands I push up on the bottom of my phone with the thumbs. It comes off quite easily.

    I generally keep the mophie in my backpack for emergencies, but do not regret the purchase.

  • Virtuous

    Between the Mophie being fragile and reducing signal strength I’ll stay away from it.

  • Frank

    I just recieved my juice air a few days ago. I didn’t like it. I don’t like the shiny look, it’s going to scratch easy. When my hands are moise it will be slippery. The top cap didn’t fit good and the controls on the iphone were hard to reach through the case. I know they are trying to make it a thin as possible, but I would like to see a ridge around the face to protect the face when it is laid down on its face. I plugged it in all night to charge. It never showed a full charge. Maybe one of the lights were out. It’s on its way back for credit. I should have went to the apple store to see it first. Now it’s costing me $14 in shipping.

  • K. Janssen

    I bought my air a month ago and i have no problems with the signal. For my mother I bought the same one from a Dutch website called http://www.ibatterycase.nl. This one was half the price and didnt have the Mophie logo. The same: no network problem. However, the material of this one seems a little stronger. But for the rest is looks exactly the same!

  • David J Rathbone

    Do NOT buy the Mophie Juice Pack Air. If you are one of the many unlucky ones, you will have a really hard time removing the bottom part of the case and may very well damage your iPhone trying to do so. The case is also poorly made and the ports don’t align up properly. There are reports of many people with stuck iPhones that have become damaged in the process of trying to remove the bottom part of the case.

  • Dan

    Bought it directly from Apple Reseller 2 months ago.
    I have full bar most of the time unless i m in the lift.
    As I am a heavy user, the battery lasted 4 days. This
    one or probably the best accessories ever created for
    iPhone. Removing it was easy. Just gently from the
    bottom push the phone up but I have not remove since
    I purchase it as I don’t see the need to since the whole
    idea to get this product is to extend life usage.

    I would not recommend for users who prefer the original
    weight of the phone. Oversea travellers and heavy business users
    would swear by this!

  • James_in_uk

    I was a bit nervous about buying this. Yes, I needed a battery pack as my iphone 3G’s only problem seems to be battery-life. I had read lots of reviews and in the end I bought both the Juice-pack air and the juice-pack original (1900mah) to see which was better. I was nervous having read lots of comments about the sound on/off bit falling off… They both arrived and to those people who seem to break it I would suggest taking your mittens off before fitting it.. Maybe if in the Arctic with thick gloves on you can do this but it you do not attempt to ram it on with your eyes closed I think it is easy enough to put.on. As for the product itself – it really just gives you a full second charge on the phone – which is great. The Air model is much nicer to hold (and less cumbersome than the original model and though slightly lower in capacity than the original (which can charge it more than once) is fine. i think this is an excellent product. It may be that with time I come to prefer the rubberised grip of the original as the Air model might get scratched slightly but I think this is a great product and I am surprised Apple themselves have not launched such a thing. As for losing signal-strength – still have maximum bars on the iPhone though it sometimes drops 1 bar when I have it charging the phone (to be expected as it will create a magnetic field.. I love this product – and got it with some free screen protectors so the front is fine too.

  • grace

    I had the air pack 10 days and the micro usb port would not connect and it sucked up into the case…it was replaced…i am just wondering how fragile is this port and what is the best way to remove the micro usb cord from the case…is there a trick or do I just take it straight out…it does not come out easily-it is a bit of a tug…any thoughts so the port does not collapse again. Thanks

  • ScrewedByMophie

    I read many reviews about the JPA and liked the concept.
    Sadly, Mophie’s implementation is problematic. The device I received lasted 10 whole days and then died. The RMA process has been a nightmare and they so far, have managed to screw me on the shipping charges, despite a promised to refund them as well.

    YMMV, just know that if you have a problem with the device, you might have the same horrible experience that I’m having and it might cost you $20-$30 in shipping charges just to learn how badly Mophie treats customers.

    Good luck in whatever you decide..

  • coel

    i thimk this would be a good accessorie but i allready struggle hear my i phone speakers so will this nearly mut it or the two little curved vents on the front work like the sound chip so being curved shoot the sound bacat you and some times a bit louder than the speakers please tell me before i spend my money on this accesorie

  • G550guy

    One word: Too Slippery, otherwise good.

  • Jay

    I am on my FOURTH Juice Pack Air – the first and second lasted about a month each before the input jacks fell apart. The third I had for about a month, but I only used it a few times before it fell apart. Now I’m on my fourth and it lasted ONE WEEKEND before dying on me. Seriously, what gives? I own plenty of little delicate electronic devices, including the iPhone and digital cameras. I take very good care of things. I am baffled why/how this thing breaks so much.

    I’m at the point where I don’t care anymore and I’ll just eat the $ I spent on this POS.

  • Mindblowerz

    Just wanna help as much as I can..
    To take it off, try taking off the bottom piece first, slide it off without touching top piece.. U need a little pressure on the screen and pull the bottom piece off.. If u have trouble pulling it off, yr phone prob does not fit into the bottom piece snugly.. May have some dirt in between the case and the phone.

    For signal wise, use sbsettings and turn on numeric gsm and wifi.. Then compare it side by side with another iPhone. Yes, there is a loss of signal for both wifi and 3g BUT it was very very minimal in my tests. At most i lose about 1-2%.. no difference for my case. Am loving it!

  • NewMorpieUser

    I like the extra battery time. I don’t like the loss of cell signal strength. In areas with weak cell service, my wife’s 3Gs gets 2 bars and my 3Gs with the Morphie Air is searching for signal.

    The case slips on and off of my phone without problems.

    I don’t understand why they don’t use a standard micro USB. This new mini USB is one extra cable for the car, home and office.

    Overall, I’m disappointed and will probably stop using this case.

  • Db

    I bought one and have nothing but trouble with it

    Plugging it in to the PC to charge both at once results in a never ending series of USB beeps – connected beep- disconnected beep – connected beep- disconnected beep – over and over every few seconds.

    I just took the case off – checked the battery indicator on the back – it showed 4 lights – mostly charged – when I plugged it in by itself, its charging and the second of 4 lights is blinking which suggests that it was nearly discharged. Which is right ?

    Finally the cse is VERY loose on the phone – keeping the phone in the case when you pull it from your pocket is tough

    Ive reported the problem to Mophie through the website – not response – I guess I can just return it to the Apple store …

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  • Veronica

    I purchased this over a week ago and LOVE it! I am using it on a 3GS which I was disappointed in almost immediately as the battery would constantly be dead every day around 7 or 8 pm. My device is unlocked and jailbroken so I understand that these 2 things can make a significant different in the battery life of my device. Having said that, I needed an every day alternative so I could use the iphone as it was meant to be used (wifi, bluetooth, push notifications, etc).

    I am in LOVE with this case. First and foremost it is a case. It doesn’t have to come off and on to use it. I keep it on all the time which is huge for me. I normally use the slimmest profile cases (within a mm) because I hate bulk. This certainly adds bulk but I will say it isn’t annoying or overbearing. I am a female and use a purse anyways so if you do put it in a pocket you might want to really consider the size of the case as a daily item. I am noticed NO interference in the reception, wifi, or any functions of the phone. In fact it is exactly the same with at least double the life of my normal battery. And this is with VERY heavy use. Now that I can actually use my device I feel like I am really getting the best out of the iPhone.

    Everyone seems to be making a deal of the USB but I think that is nonsense. It still charges, connects to the computer, and works so what is the problem. It is the newest mobile standard which is the micro usb so it is VERY easy to find! I had a BB 9700 and had purchased a car charger for it and had an extra home charger for it and because this is the standard both chargers worked with this case. Although I had purchased chargers for the regular iphone this comes as as added benefit :)

    I love this case and if you need more battery life this is it!! I have not experienced any of the issues noted about. Take a chance!! What do you have to lose as you can always return it should it not work out :)

  • rachel

    I was given a Mophie from my work. It’s a great product and I highly recomend it, but I find and the rest of my office find that after using the Mophie our iphones have been freezing up and at some points wont let us “slide to unlock” them.
    Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Tim

    One problem I keep having with my Mophie is when I turn the battery “on” to charge my phone when it gets low. After doing this I get flurries of beeps/vibrations as the screen flashes to the “battery charging” screen. It might do this several times, settle for a minute, then do it again. VERY ANNOYING! I’ve been looking to see if this is a common occurrence and haven’t seen anyone else voice a similar complaint so I’m assuming my issue is pretty rare. Going to head back to the Apple store and see about a replacement.

  • Andre

    I only use the juice pack when I am running out of power. Any other time, I do NOT put it on my iphone as it kills the signal strength (by at least 3 bars). In any weak signal area, I get “No service” when the pack is on. It is a nuisance because I keep missing calls. I would NOT recommend this product at all. It is expensive for what it is and it really compromises the usefulness of the iPhone. Not a well thought out product from an interference standpoint.

  • Josh

    I also had major problems with signal strength reduction. I am very disappointed as I like everything else about it, although I wouldn’t quite call it “ultra-thin” either. It adds some bulk though not as much as most other options. I’m now considering the Fuel-lite.

  • Amaranth

    This thing always saves my butt in those circumstances where I forget to charge my phone.

    I never really take it off, and now my phones feels naked holding it without the juice pack.

  • Eric daniels

    Just got my air about a month ago. the 4 lights on the back light up when pressing the little button. The switch is on but the my 3gs us not getting charge. Keeps reading low battery. when flipping the switch off and on, reads as charging for about 3 seconds the goes back to red/low battery. should return it to the apple store or is the a fix for this?thanks to anyone who can help. bRegards, Eric

  • Rachmat Sonny

    i have trouble after 1 month use juice pack air, right now i can’t charge the iphone by juice pack air, there isn’t any notice on iphone. do you have any same case?

  • Mark

    Don’t waste your money! I’ve gone through one of the original juice pack which worked for two months and three juice pack air which never worked. The problem I had is, I would charge up the pack then put my phone in it and after a minute or two I would get the very annoying connect – disconnect tone several times and then the pack would show that it was dead. I’ve tried all these packs on three different phones and the problem is the same on them all. Now after receiving and returning the packs to Mophie for four months, I’m being told that it’s been too long since my initial order for them to refund my money. So now I’m having to fight to get it back.

  • ak

    When the the juice pack is switched on, some how interferes with the network signal, both 2g and 3g. Apple should understand the need for extra/additional battery and standardize such products so that people using it will have no trouble. The phone should always be in the area where the network reception is high, otherwise it will loose connectivity which is awful.

  • http://www.fancynancysays.com Nancy

    THANK YOU ERIK! This works…aking the Juice Air OFF:

    1) Dry your fingers (Both Hands)
    2) Hold bottom piece and body of iPhone 3GS firmly in your dominant “strong” hand.
    3) Grasp top piece between second joint of index finger and top joint of thumb (righties thumb should rest over the volume rocker.
    4) Dot NOT pull with your dominant hand!!
    5) Simply apply enough separation force to creat a space between upper and lower halves then stop
    6) Do NOT squeeze the top piece after it moves
    7) Gently take the top off, followed by the bottom
    8) Always control your iPhone 3GS position with no sudden lurching movements
    9) Torque and control with no wasted forces are key to a trouble free disassembly every time

  • http://twitter.com/darchand darchand

    not sure what everyone is complaining about. had mine for 7 months and have hardly taken it off. it’s the only way to get a full day of use without carrying round some clunky separate battery. weight hasn’t bothered me too much, still sits in my pocket most of the time. signal does decrease but only a bar or so, and if it’s a real issue you could always slip the top half of it off temporarily. i use a 3G and i would have ditched it long ago without this, because the factory battery is an absolute joke.

  • Greg Robbins

    Mophie sucks
    Got one for my G3 iphone and it works well BUT for the ipod 2 it disables the speaker so you have to use the ear phones. No where on the Mophie site is the mentioned and Mophie don’t care

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