Mophie Juice Pack – iPhone 3G


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When Apple switched from the EDGE network to the 3G version, iPhone 3G users gained wireless network speeds were sorely lacking in the past. However, this speed increase does come with a price: decreased battery life! Due to the power demands of the 3G chip, the newest iPhone has a much shorter battery life than its predecessor; especially when operating on the 3G network. One way to save battery life is to switch the iPhone’s settings to the EDGE network, but that is counter to why most people bought the phone.

Solutions to the battery issue involve carrying a charging cable and having access to either an electric outlet or a car charger. Of course, sometimes these options are feasible or possible. On the market, there are external battery packs, but none of these devices have not been certified by Apple, so there is always a chance, you may damage your iPhone using one of these products. That is, until now. Mophie has released the Juice Pack for the iPhone 3G which is the first Apple certified external battery solution.

The Juice Pack is a lithium polymer battery housed in a soft rubberized case. With a fully charged Juice Pack, one can significantly increase their standby, talk, internet use, audio and video playback times. In fact, Mophie uses an Apple designated connector which is only available through Apple certified vendors.

The Juice Pack features a pass through USB which allows the iPhone 3G to charge and sync via iTunes. In addition, the Juice Pack can be charged by itself or simultaneously with the iPhone 3G attached.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Juice Box is that it has Intelligent Power Distribution meaning the Smart Battery Technology will instruct the iPhone to always drain out the Juice Pack first. Thus, when the Juice Pack’s power is exhausted, detach the iPhone and the phone will be fully charged. Besides this, the Juice Pack had built in overcharge, short circuit and temperature protection.

If you check out the Mophie website, you can see that they don’t take themselves too seriously and have a whimsical outlook which comes across in the packaging for the Juice Pack. The device comes wrapped in black paper with a green ribbon and a sticker that says “Thirsty” on the back. While on the front embossed in the paper is the phrase “mophie loves you” and the Mophie logo. Kind of feels like a present doesn’t it?

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After removing the paper, we find the Mophie Juice Pack in a black cardboard box with a clear window displaying the device. On this window is the name of the device and the model iPhone which it is designed to be used with.

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The back of the box lists the features of the Juice Pack and has a clear opening which displays the four LED Charge Status Indicator. This back panel opens outward to list the increase in usage times the Juice Pack provides to the iPhone 3G.

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Inside the package we find the Juice Pack 3G, a USB mini cable and the User’s Manual. The User Manual is a fold out cardboard and unfortunately does not provide much information about the device usage. Luckily the device’s use is pretty self explanatory.

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The Juice Pack measures 2.5” x 4.75” x 0.75” and weighs 3 oz. The outside shell is a rubber black material with the inner portion fluorescent green. Luckily, this green part is mostly covered by the iPhone 3G, so there is no need to worry about color clash.

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The front of the Juice Box has the Mophie logo at the base. Just above this logo is the iPod connector. On the bottom, we find a mini USB connector and on the back is the four LED Charge Status Indicator and check button.

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Specifications:

Mophie Juice Pack – iPhone 3G
The All-New mophie ‘Juice Pack 3G’ is now shipping and is designed to more than double the time you can Rock, Talk, Surf and Send with your iPhone 3G.
This is the first Apple certified “Works With iPhone 3G” attached battery in the world!
Juice Pack 3G is specially designed for iPhone 3G and has passed the strict over-the-air performance tests by an Apple designated test lab. As a result, the Mophie Juice Pack 3G has been officially certified by Apple Inc. as a “Work with iPhone 3G” product!
Mophie Juice Pack 3G also uses Apple designated connector, which can only be ordered through Apple’s certified vendors. This ensures its 100% compatibility with your iPhone 3G.

The Juice Pack is a rechargeable lithium polymer battery in the form of a non-slip, soft grip case. It extends the time that you can use your iPhone 3G in these ways (additional hours):
Standby Time – Up to 350 hours
* Talk Time – Up to 6 hours on 3G | Up to 12 hours on 2G

* Internet Use – Up to 6 hours on 3G | Up to 7 hours on Wi-Fi

* Audio Playback – Up to 28 hours

* Video Playback – Up to 8 hours

All juiced up and ready to go…straight out of the box!


The Juice Pack arrives precharged, so just open the package and slide the iPhone 3G into the device. If the iPhone 3G is not at 100% power, then the charge indicator on the phone will light up when plugged into the Juice Pack. That all there is to using the Juice Pack, just plug and go.

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For charging the Juice Pack, there are two options, plug the mini USB connector into the device and then the standard USB connector into a PC or Mac, or you can place the USB plug it into the iPhone 3G AC adapter. Understandably, the Juice Pack takes several hours to charge since it holds twice the charging capacity of the iPhone 3G. When the Juice Pack’s LED indicators are all lit up, then the device is fully charged; plus the user can press the button next to these LED to know when the device needs more “juice”.

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If you need to sync your iPhone, the USB connection acts as a pass through and works with iTunes. Also, the iPhone can be charged while plugged into the charging Juice Pack.

I have tested the Mophie Juice Pack for the past two weeks and found it works as advertised. For the first week, I let my iPhone 3G run down to the less than 20% charge point and plugged it into the Juice Pack. It took the Juice Pack about two hours to get the iPhone 3G fully charged. I then unhooked the Juice Pack and used my iPhone normally. The next time, the battery was near full discharge, I reconnected the Juice Pack and it was able to recharge the iPhone one more time before its charge was fully expended. The fully charged Juice Pack was able to provide two full recharges of the iPhone 3G.

The next test was using the Juice Pack with the iPhone 3G as a case and additional power source. After several cycles of my normal iPhone 3G usage, I found the Mophie Juice Box basically doubles the run time of the iPhone 3G.

One of the nicest features of the Mophie Juice Pack is that it doubles as a case, thus keeping the iPhone 3G safe and usable while providing additional power. Other battery solutions attach to the iPhone connector plug and hang off of it, rendering the iPhone unusable during the charging cycle.

The casing is solidly constructed and covers the back and sides well. However, the front and top of the iPhone 3G do remain exposed and can be easily damaged. So as a case, the Juice Box is not the best that I have seen. Plus, the casing does double the bulk of the iPhone, giving it the size and feel of a blackberry device.


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Conclusion:

Most everyone with an iPhone 3G has encountered the dreaded you have 20% charge remaining and not had access to a charger. These situations are what the Mophie Juice Box was created for! This device is the perfect source of extra power and provides additional protection as an iPhone case. I found very little to complain about with this product. Other than the price, it seems to be the perfect solution for the power iPhone user.

Pros:
Doubles battery life of iPhone
Smart Charge Circuitry
Comfortable to use
Non slip case
Intelligent Power Distribution

Cons:
Price
Case does not fully protect iPhone
Can’t be used with other cases

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10
  • W.M.

    I got mine a week ago from Futureshop in Canada and let me say, I love it. My biggest gripe with my phone was not being able to charge it at work (No iTunes). Since the Mophie has a standard USB jack, that’s no longer a problem.

    On top of that the battery life is now fantastic, so I’ll never really NEED to worry about charging it at work anymore anyways.

    I find the extra bulk of the case to be a plus. My hand sometimes cramps from using the phone for extended periods, and the extra heft lets my hand cradle it more comfortably.

    The base is also cleverly designed so that it does NOT cover the speakers on the bottom. There is room for the Mic, and Speakers to let sound in and out. This was not covered in the review.

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  • Paul Slak

    I recieved mine in early November and I love it. The only gripe I have is the rubber strips on either side come off the, The adhesive is sticky and they can be put back but the do slide and stick out. I can suggest this 100% to all of my friends

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  • Leo

    I like this designing idea that li-poly battery housed in a soft rubber case, but this is limited to the connector for iphone only, I would like to suggest you developing this case with other connectors such as Motolora and Nokia etc. Refer to U2O brand backup battery, she has various of connectors in the package to save household cost, all my family are no need to carry different phones and camera’s chargers. It is very convenience !

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  • MARIA MOEINI

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I CAN USE THIS CHARGER WITH MY 8GB IPHONE.
    LET ME KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE PLEASE. THANK YOU

  • Bill Reese

    Not this one, but there is a Mophie battery case that is available for your phone. The shape of the 3G is slightly different.

  • johndoe

    I love my battery. No more dead phone, yeah!!

  • Unicorn

    Ms. Maria Moeini, why not try U2O brand emergency battery, I am using it and it is so delight for my holiday outside.

  • joe

    hi there, can i leave my iphone connected to this juice pack without overcharging the iphone battery or cause problem to my iphone. thanks

  • Tom

    Joe,

    Yes, the battery has technology to stop charging both the iPhone and the Battery when they are at full capacity.

  • Joe II

    Tom & Joe,

    while the juice pack won’t ‘over charge’ the iPhone, nothing within the iPhone or juice pack is smart enough to actually stop charging the iPhone — the iPhone still shows as connected to power (the little plug-inside-the-battery icon on the iPhone).

    This, I would say, is my only real problem with the juice pack: no way to stop charging the iPhone without removing it from the juice pack. Since the juice pack keeps supplying power, the iPhone keeps taking it and together they run down faster than if you took the iPhone out of the juice pack when it’s fully charged. If there were a switch or some way to control power-to-the-iPhone, that would be great.

    I’ve confirmed this with my own iPhone 3G and juice pack and an associate with the same setup.

    We love the juice pack, but we don’t leave them in all the time because of that.

  • Andy

    Hey Joe,

    the “plug” icon simply means your iphone is running from another power source. If you saw a “lightning bolt” icon it would mean the iphone battery was charging.

    “plug” doesn’t mean charging, but it does mean your iphone is running from the juice pack and not using it’s own battery. Theoretically your iphone/juice pack combo should last longer if the two are always connected. This is because there would be no drawdown on the iphone battery until the juice pack was discharged. If you swap the iphone in and out some of the juice pack charge will be used to recharge the iphone ie charging one battery with another – which is not very efficient. You would lose a percentage of the power available to the iphone due to “double handling”.

  • cris

    My mophies does not charge my Iphone (8GB) even when my Mophie kit is fully charge. What can be the problem?

  • Ray Peyronel

    I recently purchased one of these and am satisfied with the power/charging capabilities but my concern is the antenna. I’m finding that my service is frequently lowered or not at all while the iPhone is in the case. Taken out of the case it seems to work fine. Has anyone else experienced this performance issue?

  • Frank Slater

    Ray Peyronel, yes I have experienced the lost of service due to the case being on my phone. I thought it was just me until I saw the guy next to me talking away on his and mine showed no service. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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  • bob

    Is there a juice pack for the blackberry storm???

  • Matt

    The juice pack has worked terrible. If your iphone is close to being dead and your mophie is all drained (which will happen every day because you are using them both) when you plug the juicepack (with iphone) into the wall to charge over night it keeps beeping and buzzing and will not hold a charge. I have had it for a few weeks now trying to get it working but it will not. Sending back to the company.

  • david

    I love it however

    There is no doubt that the mophie air juice pack interferes with reception in marginal areas. In great barrington ma in a marginal area my friend had identical phone, 3Gs and he had reception and I did not. I took off the battery pack and then I had one bar. Battery back on, no service. When I travel on the Mass Pike from Boston to Lee MA, same thing, lots of dropped calls with battery pack, none with naked phone

    possible cord problem, synch with macbook pro disrupted, rare. reboot phone and computer, no problems so far.

    weak micro cord female attachment to air juice pack, wiggle out don’t pull, apple replaced one that ripped out, weak design, hard to put in too, takes some searching around, unlike ease of USB port, annoying

    Still I love it

  • Mauricio

    Ok, i just got the mophie juice pack air, and i seem to have a problem…The pack works fine when i am out on the street or whatever, if i need a charge, i just switch to green and it works. But when i get home to charge it…i plug the mophie with the ipod in, and the pack charges but not the iphone. The iphone makes no recognition at all that its being charged by the mophie pack. Only when i take the connector out of the pack, with the green button on, it charges the iphone. But having the iphone with pack, plugged into the wall with the switch on green, it doesen´t charge my iphone. So now i am ahving to charge my mophie through the wall, and my iphone through my computer, which sucks. Does this mean my mophie is messed up, or is that how its supposed to be? I dunno, maybe it charges the mophie full, before even getting to charge the iphone, i dunno….:(

  • Mauricio

    oh i forgot to mention, when the iphone + pack are connected to the wall, the iphone doesen´t charge, but the mophie does.

  • Lead.Wrist

    @Mauricio

    Had the same problem, when connected to wall wart it won’t charge the iPhone 3G S only the Juice Pack Air. Wall Wart was the Zune charger 5v 1.5amps. Anyway I grabbed my Motorola charger that uses the same micro USB connector and it was 850mAmps and now my iPhone 3G S charges as well as the Juice Pack. Conclusion is that that depending on the wall wart you using it may not send the correct signal to the iPhone to tell it to charge.

  • Jann

    @Mauricio, The answer here is convoluted. When the iPhone 3g is plugged into the Mophie Juice Pack and the BOTH of them are plugged into the wall using Apple’s *newer* usb wall-wart (the one that is about 1″ square and TINY) the iphone charging “chime” will play once, the screen lights up and begins charging, then a second later the NOT charging “chime” (deferentiated ONLY by the fact that the same chime plays and the charging indicating icon is GONE) plays then 1 sec later, does the same loop again. The answer is that the MINI wall-wart made by apple does NOT provide enough power to charge the iPhone 3g AND the Mophie at the same time. If both the iPhone and the Juice Pack together are plugged into the computer, this does not happen. It charges correctly. The only thing I can come up with is that the MINI wall-wart does not provide the 1000 mA required to charge both at once…while the MacBook Pro I am using DOES provide the necessary amperage.

    If charged from the MacBook Pro, the system works as it should and is, indeed, great. However, since you cannot charge them both from the wall wart (and even Mophie admits this in their FAQ) this is lousy for travel.

  • Mike

    Loved the Mophie UNTIL it stopped taking a charge all of a sudden. I plug the Mophie into the wall by itself, and NOTHING. I left it plugged in for hours just to see if it was picking up any residual charge, and it still doesn’t charge. I’ve only had it just over 90 days. What a total waste of money if this thing is dead after only 3 months. Please let me know if there is something I’m missing or a trick to getting it back to accepting a charge.

  • Carlos

    I just experienced the same issue Mike mentions above. Mophie was working great for two months and now, suddenly, with no change in how I charge the phone or juice pack, the device will no longer take a charge.

    I plugged it into an outlet, surge protector and MacBook. Nothing. I’m moving on with the rest of my day off the shear luck that the device was at 75% capacity or so and my iPhone was at half. I’m now recharging my iPhone with the juice pack and by tomorrow who knows where I’ll stand.

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  • Jerry

    I just purchased the Mophie Juice 1800 mAh today. I charged it for about 2 hours before using it. When I got ready to use it I hooked it to the phone and nothing happened. The IPhone 3Gs 32 did not recognize it. When I pushed the green button on the back to check the charge no lights came on at all – even though earlier it had been fully charged. I plugged the Mophie back into the computer with a USB cord and all 4 lights came on showing it was fully charged. I immediately disconnected it and the button on the back now worked and showed a full charge. I hooked it to the phone and the phone then recognized it and it began charging. I used it for about 1/5 hours and it worked great. The phone was fully charged and the Mophie still showed 3 green lights. Now, about 4 hours later the button on the back of the Mophie didn’t work again, acting like it was dead. A quick connection with a computer USB cable immediately “woke up” the battery and it worked fine. Just a few minutes later, the button on the back showed nothing again. What’s up? Anyone else have this problem? I plan on charging it overnight and trying again tommorrow.

  • Cal

    As for a problem I had with the newer Juice Pack Air for 3G/3GS, it can not power my iPhone 3G under constant use with my baseball streaming app. The Juice Pack Air is useless for heavy draining streaming apps because it can’t keep up power with use and you just end up with two dead batteries simultaneously or you have to wait to recharge you iPhone with with what little Juice Pack Air charge is left before you can use your phone again. To try to solve this problem, I just purchased the previous model, the original Juice Pack, this month to again attempt to use it with my baseball radio streaming app and have already had a new problem.

    Having read a review that since the original Juice Pack (non Air version) doesn’t have the Air’s on/off switch (useless for my streaming needs), it has the benefit of “powering” the iPhone. I thought, great, I can connect the fully charged Juice Pack to my fully charged iPhone. This is supposed to allow me to “fully power” my iPhone and fully drain the Juice Pack battery FIRST. Then, after the Juice Pack battery completely drains then the fully charged iPhone battery can take over continued use from the now dead Juice Pack. Problem…. now as I’ve read here, my new Juice Pack intermittently just quits working completely! It just shuts off or goes dead. It can be fully charged with full led lights, be attached to the iPhone showing the iPhone “charging” icon or powered with the “power plug” icon and then just stop working! No charging, no power, and even worse no led light response when pressing the button on the back of the Juice Pack.

    As someone here mentioned, you have to plug the powered USB cable into the Juice Pack port to reset it and get it’s power and led lights working again. Again, this makes the device completely useless on the road under use. While this may be a manufacturing defect, now I have to get replaced just like the others who here mentioned having this problem.

    I know I read that the competing, (and still discontinued.. grumble.. grumble…) Incase Power Slider had some users frustrated with signal degradation but a friend of mine has owned two of the Incase Power Sliders and both of the darn things have had no problem charging his iPhone. Is that too much to ask for?

  • Steve C

    I have had my Juice Pack for a week and i’ve had exactly the same problems as described by Jerry. Charge from wall or laptop all is fine. Once plugged into my phone, Juice pack goes dead.
    Only way to wake it back up is to briefly connect the USB cable to Juice pack. Completely useless if i’m away from my laptop or a power socket for any time (the precise reason why i got the darn thing in the first place). nyone had any joy understanding the issue here?

  • sheila

    I cant seem to find this black witht the green on the inside mophie battery pack. I did see it on Amazon but it was out of stock. Do you know were I can purchase?

  • Tommy Wasserman

    WARNING FOR THIS PRODUCT! The UBS connection is very poorly made, so that it goes haywire very easily. I broke one, got a new on warranty, but that stopped working properly soon too.

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