Review of Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4

Mophie was one of the first companies to develop and market an external iPhone and iPod Touch battery with their Juice Pack line. They recently introduced their seventh generation product – the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4. This battery/case combines protection for the iPhone 4 from real world hazards along with supplying additional iPhone 4 usage time with the built in battery.

The Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4 is perfect for long journeys as it can nearly double the iPhone 4’s use time. Its 1500mAh battery is slightly bigger than the prior Juice Pack Air for iPhone 3G/3GS model. The battery uses Smart Battery Technology, which makes the juice pack battery drain first when used in conjunction with the iPhone 4.

According to Mophie, the Juice Pack Air provides up to an additional 6 hours on 3G, up to 12 hours on 2G, of Talk Time, 36 hours of Audio Playback, or 9 hours Video Playback. New features include Acoustic Sound Enhancement providing a richer sound stage and the soft-touch, rubberized finish on the external case.

Mophie addressed concerns with prior Juice Pack Air versions by making the case sturdier including the top portion of the case that tended to crack on prior models as I personally experience with my previous Juice Pack Air.


The Mophie Juice Pack Air arrives in a black cardboard package with the device pictured on the front. Stickers indicating the device is “Made for iPhone” certified and features a 1500 mAh capacity battery are also found. The back lists the features and specs of the Juice Pack Air in five different languages.

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The front cover flips up to reveal the Juice Pack Air through a clear plastic window. The inside cover lists more features of the battery case.

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Mophie kindly pre-charges the device, so it’s ready for use as soon as the iPhone 4 is inserted into the battery/case.

Inside the package we find the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4, USB cable for charge/sync and User’s Manual. The battery/case measures 5.07 in x 2.51 in x 0.68 in and weighs 2.5 ounces. It is available in one style – black and silver keeping with the iPhone 4 aesthetic. /p>

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The Juice Pack Air is primarily black with a silver band on the perimeter of the case. A black rubberized material covers the back of the case, which houses the 1500 mAh battery. Unlike most other cases the back of the Juice Pack Air does not have any branding. The rubbery material is designed to improve the grip of the Juice Pack Air.

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The case is composed of two halves – the lower part which houses the battery while the top is designed to lock the case onto the iPhone 4 and provide openings for the camera, power switch, volume buttons, mute switch and headphone jack.

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Although this top section is sturdier than the previous Juice Pack Air, it is still composed of plastic and can be prone to breakage if the top is squeezed too hard when removing it from the iPhone 4. To help prevent that damage Mophie did made this section slide off much easier than the prior version.

The bottom of the Juice Pack Air extends about a centimeter below the bottom half of the iPhone 4. Here we see an embossed Mophie logo along with two openings for the speakers. This area amplifies the sound of the iPhone 4 similar to the Pogo SoundClip.

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Below this area on the silver border are the charge indicator button and LED lights. At the left corner is the battery standby switch to turn the Juice Pack Air on or off depending on if you need additional power. At the opposite bottom right corner is a micro-USB connector for charging iPhone 4 and Juice Pack Air as well as syncing the phone with iTunes. This means the iPhone 4 does not need to be removed to use the phone to its full capacity.

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Specifications:

Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4

Get on-the-go power for the iPhone 4 in a light-weight and ultra-thin external rechargeable battery case. The mophie juice pack air™ is designed to virtually double the time you have to Rock, Talk, Surf and Send with your iPhone 4!

The juice pack air is a rechargeable external battery concealed inside of a protective form-fitting case for the iPhone 4. 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. Check out below what makes the new juice pack air so cool!

specifications
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 hours
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

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.

juice pack Legacy
With more than one million juice pack units sold to-date, mophie cases have been made
for every iPhone and iPod touch form factor since the devices’ debut and was the first-ever
“Works with iPhone” battery case. The juice pack air for the iPhone 4 provides the very
best of seven generations of product development and design.
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.
Efficient Electronics
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.
Quick Speed
500 milliamps fast charge technology, with an advanced battery for added safety,
as well as 1500 mAh capacity.
Soft-Touch Finish
Sleek design includes a new, soft-touch, rubberized finish and silver band that mirrors
the aesthetic of the iPhone itself.
Pass-through USB
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.

Price: $79.95


I have been using Mophie juice packs since their first black and green model and have been satisfied with their performance. The Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4 is no different. The battery took around three hours to fully charge.

I tested the Juice Pack Air with my iPhone 4 which I let hit the red mark of 20% charge remaining and then charged the phone with the battery pack. I was able to get the iPhone 4 back to 88% with mild use. That also took around three hours to charge as well. When using the battery fully charged I was able to get around 16-17 hours of use before it was drained and running off the iPhone 4’s battery. This is around 80% of the capacity of the native iPhone battery which usually last me around 20 hours.

The openings on the Juice Pack Air were deeper than most other cases that I have reviewed. I have longer fingers so I did not have too much of any issue access the phone controls, stubbier fingers may have some difficulty. In addition you may have trouble using wide style headphone jacks with the Mophie case in position.

The sound quality of the iPhone 4 was definitely improved while housed in the Juice Pack Air. We are not talking about replacing your speaker dock but an upgrade over the naked iPhone 4 speakers.

As a case the Juice Pack Air seems to provide the average style of protection as most hard shell cases. The front area is slightly elevated off the screen to provide some buffer when laying the iPhone 4 face down on a flat surface. The rubbery finish of the Juice Pack Air made it feel very secure in my hands. The texture is similar to the original Juice Pack which was skipped over with the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 3G.

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Conclusion:

Reading the comments after my review of the Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 3G/3GS I saw there were numerous issues with that version of the device. It looks like Mophie did try and address several of those complaints with this latest iPhone 4 version. I found this version to be the best Juice Pack Air to date.

Although the claims of virtually double the battery life is not entirely accurate 80% additional charge is still a pretty good yield. If you are a power iPhone 4 user or frequently traveling then the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4 should definitely be in your arsenal.

9

Pros:
+Functions as case
+And External Battery
+Built in power switch
+Charge indicator LEDs
+Improve iPhone 4 sound playback

Cons:
-Bulky
-Battery not as strong as the original Juice Pack
-Recessed button openings / headphone jack

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

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

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