Mophie Juice Pack Air
The Mophie Juice Pack Air combines a sleek profile, protective casing, solid charging performance, and a thumbs up certification of “Made for iPhone” from the Apple mother ship. Sure, it’s at the upper end in terms of price, but this is the battery pack that we would most likely use on a regular basis on our iPhone.
Retail price: $79.95
Ease of Set-Up
The Mophie Juice Pack Air comes with a USB-micro cable (the kind with a teeny tiny plug), and serves as a pass through so users can sync an iPhone to a computer without undocking the iPhone from the Juice Pack Air. Kudos to Mophie for writing a user’s manual in clear, readable English (which surprisingly makes them the exception, and not the rule).
The Juice Pack Air has four blue indicator lights on the back of the device. Pressing a small button immediately to the left of the indicator lights activates them, revealing the remaining charge level (4 illuminated lights means between 100% and 75% charge remaining, 3 illuminated lights means between 75% and 50% charge remaining, etc.).
Note that the Mophie is unique in having two separate pieces that slide together. The bottom piece contains all of the working parts – the top piece just completes the protective casing. Both cases fit snugly around the iPhone, and we never had a problem with either piece sliding off.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is the battery extender that best maintains the iPhone’s slim design profile. At a feathery 2.3 ounces (as tested), the Juice Pack Air was the second lightest iPhone battery pack in our comparison test. It is also the thinnest device we reviewed, and only slightly increases the dimensions of the iPhone when it’s on (adding 0.4″ in length, 0.2″ in width and 0.27″ in depth).
The Juice Pack Air is a runaway winner in the style contest. Its slender profile and professional fit and finish complement the sleek lines of the iPhone. For the fashion-conscious, it also comes in four different colors (black, white, purple and red). We awarded bonus points because the Juice Pack Air is the only unit we tested that completely surrounds all four corners of the iPhone and thus serves double duty as a hard shell protective casing.
Battery Life / Usage Impressions
The Mophie Juice Pack Air finished a solid second in our performance testing, which was a pleasant surprise given how lightweight it is. For details on our performance testing methodology, see our description of “How We Test.”
- At 1200 mAh (milliamp hours), the Mophie Juice Pack Air has the smallest capacity of the batteries we tested.
- In our “real world” test on the golf course, we averaged 66% battery life remaining after a round (putting it in second place), which is more than enough juice to last through the rest of the day without needing an emergency recharge.
- The Juice Pack Air even fared well in our “recharge” test (again, placing second among a group of competitors that were larger and heavier) – the average level to which it would recharge a completely drained iPhone was 63% (which typically took about 2.5 hours).
- The device is made of smooth plastic, which makes it easy to slip in and out of your pocket. This is particularly handy for quick access on the golf course.
With a retail price of $79.95, the Mophie Juice Pack Air was one of the most expensive devices that we tested. Having said that (yes, we saw the Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld riff on that phrase in the most recent season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), we liked the way it looked, felt, and performed. In addition, the Juice Pack Air is certified by Apple as “Made for iPhone”, which should give you some comfort that your phone won’t blow up when you plug it in to the device. This is one of those times when a few extra dollars is well spent.