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Battery Charger Cases - which is best?

philinpdx

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In case you're bummed about minimal battery life with the iphone 4 or 4s and wondering what you can do while waiting & hoping the apple comes out with a software update to help fix it, well, here's a proactive solution. Get a case with a built in battery-charger that has it's own rechargeable battery. A few years ago when I used the iphone 3gs I didn't know of something like this and resorted to using these funny things that you plug on the bottom of the phone that extended the length of the phone a few inches and never liked having to do that. Now with these cases there are some that are sleek enough that one necessarily even know that there is a extra battery there unless you told some.

So I've been researching a bit on cases that have built in battery-charging for the iphone 4 / iphone 4s phones and have found a few options. First of all, clearly not all cases are created equal in terms of extra battery life, some are bulkier etc. Case & Point: I initially bought an Energizer case that is kind of rubbery which is nice for the phone not to slide around so easily but I found it actually affects reception pretty dramatically if you're in an area that is already challenged reception. I actually had this experience with having no reception and driving a couple miles away from my house to make this important call. Later I realized that when I took the case off I had a bar or two and it worked just fine.

Now in terms of what's out there, there are a few models that seem most popular (marketing has something to do with this of course). The Morphie (Morphie Juice Pack Air), the Phone Suit Elite, and others. So far I've found that the Morphie seems to have generally less (only 1,400 mAh on of theirs) which gives about 70% of an additional charge. The Phone Suit Elite boasts a full extra charge and has "Quick Charge Technology which incorporates high speed (1 Amp / 5 Watt) charging which is awesome if you're battery is down almost all the way and you need a quick charge for more heavy usage.

My work (event organizing) requires that I'm on the phone A LOT and thus, I need to have a charged phone ready for lots of phone calls, sometimes traveling using GPS, lots of texting, using Siri now to find stuff etc. Although I'm about to maybe buy a Phone Suit Elite, I'm wondering if anyone knows of others that might even be better. That one is 2100 mAh which seems pretty good considering that their design is really pretty thin and sleek. It also allows for itunes synching and other normal things you'd do with a case. There are some cases that due to it's design don't allow for that. Some are all one piece and some like Phone Suit require you to slide the phone onto the bottom section (thus plugging your battery connected onto the charger of the case) and then sliding the top section over. The Energizer which I do like in terms of look & feel is all one rubbery piece. But as I mentioned about that one it does affect in some areas your reception and battery extension on that one is only 1200 mAh compared with 2100 mAh that the Phone Suit Elite gets. Please don't think I'm like a Phone Suit rep or anything, I stand nothing to gain and have no loyalty to their product but they seem a cut above from what I've seen.

There is one exception in terms of battery life charge time. I found one unit that had THE longest battery life out there. I have to search again to find it from my research a couple weeks ago but it had enough I think for 2 full charges. I only found it on one site and it was a 3rd party vendor from somewhere in Asia so I was a bit reluctant.

Another one that might be reliable though is Mili which has one with 3,000 mAh and the format of the case has only the bottom section (no covering for top part of phone at all). The back of the case is kind of bulky but when you need the juice what else are you going to do?

There are external chargers you could carry around which can hold a lot more juice if you really want to plug your iphone into an external unit that can be as big or bigger than the iphone itself.

So there's are a few of my findings and I'm really curious if anyone has found another iphone case with battery charger that could be better than the iphone suite elite in terms of battery life but also covering both the top and bottom of the phone. My preference would be if the texture of the outside of the case not be slippery plastic but perhaps some sort of rubber like texture that helps for gripping & not sliding all over the place. The reason for me mainly is because when I'm driving sometimes I put the phone on my lap or on the seat with the ear plugs for hands free and currently my phone slips & slides easily. I noticed the phone stays in one place with my Energizer case but I'd rather find a better unit in terms of charge time that has that same kind of grip.

I hope there is some good input on people's experience on this thread. For iphone users that really talk a lot on the phone and use their aps a lot and don't want to have to be plugged in all the time if you're on the go, I see no other choice but to take battery life issues 'into our own hands' so to speak with a battery case/charger like one of these.

Thanks
 
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philinpdx

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Here's another contender: NEW MUGEN 3000mAh POWER CASE which like the Mili - Power Pack 4 also has 3000mAh. Another one to consider with 3000mAh is the myCharge™ Portable Power Case 3000.

I'm super curious if folks out there have tried these and what results have been had. Obviously all of these add some bulk to the phone and are not as 'sleek' as the Phone Suit Elite but I just was reading that one of the draw backs of the Phone Suit Elite is the top cover can fairly easily come off if you're pulling it out of your pocket and apparently the unit ships with an extra top piece. The Mili case doesn't even have a top piece. The myCharge unit actually has a hinged top piece and 'snaps' into place after you've placed your iphone into its cradle.

These 3 units are probably for the heavier users like myself. Most folks would probably be happier with Phone Suite Elite or even Morphie or one of those units that only offer 1700 - 2100 mAh as that may be all the extra juice most will need if they charge it each night.

[h=1][/h]
 

Yarrenbool

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I had a look at the photos and specs on the PhoneSuit web site. It certainly looks sleek, one might even say elegant. I for one would really like to hear your comments on it if you go ahead and buy it.

I have previously used a Mugen battery/case-extender on an HP iPAQ 210. After a few years of very heavy use I have nothing but praise for it. However their case for the iPhone, from the photos on their site, just looks plain ugly. They do pack a lot of power though.
 
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philinpdx

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I had a look at the photos and specs on the PhoneSuit web site. It certainly looks sleek, one might even say elegant. I for one would really like to hear your comments on it if you go ahead and buy it.

I have previously used a Mugen battery/case-extender on an HP iPAQ 210. After a few years of very heavy use I have nothing but praise for it. However their case for the iPhone, from the photos on their site, just looks plain ugly. They do pack a lot of power though.

Yeah, finding the right balance of elegance vs having enough power can be a different formula depending on our needs. I'd love to have it all with a sleek & elegant case (something like Phone Suit) but still have the power. I've just resolved that it's quite possible that to get the level of extra battery charge that I need I might not be able to get a case that is very elegant.

I could live with that though... most probably couldn't. It does seem a shame to not have a nice looking phone when they're so expensive and awesome is it's functionality.

If I do get that model or whichever one(s) I get I'll post my experience here.
 
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philinpdx

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Maybe you can try this one Mipow Maca 2200 Color Power Case for iPhone 4 & 4S. Multiple color option,fashinonal design,elegent appearance. Easy to carry and easy to use. It is very useful for heavy phone users. However, if you need a portable charger,not limited to charger case,MiPow power tube 5500 should be your best choice. I have now using one. Really great.
View attachment 3554

Yeah this one looks pretty cool actually. It's comparable in battery life it seems with the Phone Suit Elite (2100mAh) as well as the New Trent Power Rock case IMP220B (2200 mAh) or the Boost Case Plus (2200 mAh).

You know when I break it down into Battery Life levels I'd say there are maybe 4 "classes" generally speaking. There's the "4th class" of minimal under 1500 mAh ones like Energizer 1201 (with only 1200 mAh) which are not even enough for another 50-60% extra charge. Then the 3rd tier ones that are probably the most popular and sold most often like the Morphies which are more like 1700 mAh and give around 70% or so extra battery. Lessor known is the 2nd class (2100-2200 mAh) class which Phone Suite is most popular now (potentially surpassing the Morphie maybe with their ads everywhere) and in that class are obviously those 3 listed above. These "2nd class" models when they get to 2100 or more are able to give a 100% plus a little more of a full charge and generally (it's subjective of course) are still able to be thin enough for many of us to feel likes it's not "too" bulky to carry around with the assurance of another full charge. The 1st class which is probably overkill and wayy to bulky for most are those with 3,000 mAh and give 2 full extra battery charges. I'm probably going to get one of these as an extreme backup if I'm going a full day and maybe into a 2nd day with heavy use. However, I'm starting to realize that my battery life on the 4s hasn't been totally terrible although I haven't been in my heaviest phases of usage since I've got my 4s a couple weeks ago.

I'm starting to think that maybe I could get away with getting and mostly using a '2nd class' tier case in terms of battery life with something like either the Mipow Maca 2200 like you suggested or the Phone Suit Elite. The intriguing thing for me about the Mipow that could be pretty sleek looking is the metallic kind of look. Seems solid and 'tech' looking. The only concern I have is the thing I don't like about my experience of the 4s without the case now.... it's SLIPS all over the place. Sometimes I'm driving and instead of having it in my pocket I put it on my lap of the seat in front of me or whatever I do with it, it invariably is going to slide somehow to the floor, in between the seats of whatever. Although the Energizer isn't the most attractive case (and it affected my RECEPTION in a HORRIBLE WAY), I DO like the kind of rubbery grip that it has and keeps the phone from sliding around. I actually don't mind and personally LIKE a little bit of the heavier solid bulk feeling as opposed to the thinner small sliding all over the phone 4s without a case feeling

If I could combine the grip and slight bulkiness with decent battery life 2100 mAh and above, with some sleekness of Phone Suit, Trent, or Mipow Maca then I'll probably be happy at the end of the day.

Oh, BTW, I watched someone review of the Phone Suit last night that gave me reason to pause on that one... it kind of looks sleek and crisp in some ways on the outside, but this reviewer showed first hand how the top smaller clip piece seems a bit flimsy in the way it connects with the phone sometimes and he showed that on one side it was kind of 'sticking out' and NOT FLUSH. Although it hadn't quite happened to him yet (partly cause he was being careful maybe) he said he really had a concern that at some point or another the top piece could CATCH on his pocket or something and 'break off' or something unpleasant. He speculated I think that is why Phone Suit Elite comes in the box with a 2nd top piece.

I wonder how the Mipow Maca or Trent or Boost Plus or another one the PowerSkin Protective Case (2100mAh) are in that area. Last considerations on those I mentioned before (and I wonder how real this consideration is): The Phone Suit boasts this 'fast charging' technology that maybe faster than most of the other case chargers out there. The other thought though is, that supposedly these cases are set up (or have the option at least) for the phone to be DIRECTLY getting it's power from the CASE FIRST which effectively means that your phone battery is constantly sitting on a full charge and "not being used" if the power for the phone is constantly drawing from the case (if you use less than one full charge from your case per day) then it's not drawing on the iphone battery. They may seem ignsignificant, but at least one base case manufacturer made the point that if that is what is happening on those days at least when you use less than one full battery case charge (so your iphone doesn't have to be run down to later recharge), then.... the point was made that you would actually be PRESERVING and LENGTHENING THE BATTERY LIFE of your iphone battery. They do say x number of charges with decent battery life and then it's supposed to go downhill after that right? Well, it would stand to reason then that if you're using the iphone batter much less by not having to each day drain and charge over and over that you'd be 'extending' your overall battery's life right?
 
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telrod11

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I bought this one for my 4, and have been pleased with it, other than the top, which breaks like mad, as you try to remove your phone from the case. (Solution is to push up on your phone from the bottom, forcing the top piece off - lesson learned after 2 cracked tops, and an episode of "superglueing")

Don't see a 4S case there yet, but this one has worked for me:

For only $22.05 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 1800mAh Backup Battery Case for AT&T iPhone 4 | iPhone iPod Back up External Battery and Charger
may not meet your requirements for power, but it sure beats being tethered to power.
 

scotiez

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Ever since i started using smart phones i have used an extended battery. Everyone knows smart phones are not easy on battery life. You mentioned the Mophie Juice pack air, Mophie makes another battery/case which came out about a year ago, The Mophie Juice pack plus, It has the capacity of 2000mAh and has a much nicer set up then the Air. The Iphone still slides in the top and a top piece slides in to close the case, but the difference is instead of cut outs like the Air has for your buttons the Mophie juice pack plus has buttons made into the case just like the ones on the IPhone and makes it very easy to operate instead of having to dig your fingers into a cut out to change the volume or hit the sleep wake button. The only cut out is for the slider volume off and on switch. The buttons work very nice, you would not even tell this is a case if you didn't already know it. The 2000 mAh battery fully charges your iphone from a complete discharge, you can sync your iphone with it installed in the mophie and recharge both the phone and case at the same time. I usually just plug mine in at night when i go to bed and let it charge while i am sleeping. I have a full charge on both when i wake up. I can go 2 or 3 days between plugging it in and recharging. I don't really need the mophie to get through the day but it sure is nice to have that extra battery power for when you need it. The sound also seams to be enhanced with the redirecting of the speaker and mic to the front of the case instead of being at the bottom of the phone. The thickness of the plus compaired to the air is about the same. Not really much of a difference in it at all. Sure the case makes the phone itself about twice as thick, but i am used to thick phones after having extended batterys in most of my previous phones. The mophie also has a button on the bottom for checking the charge in the case with 4 led lites, each lite for 25% battery, so if all 4 lite up you have 100% charge in your case. The Feel of the mophie juice pack plus is solid and feels of high quality. Some battery/cases feel cheap and feel like they would break as soon as it slips out of your hands and hits the floor, not the mophie juice pack plus. Also the Mophie does not effect the signal in any way. I have checked this out all over the city, I have never lost any bars from having it inside the case. I am speaking pretty highly of this battery/case cause i think very few has the quality and design of this one. If for some reason this case ever gets distroyed i will buy another to replace it.
 
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philinpdx

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Well, so far I've gone ahead and got one of the 2 cases I'm looking to get. I got the Mili 3000 mAh for the backup to make sure I never run out of power and I'm still trying to decide on my nicer less bulky but still with a goodly amount of power. I'm thinking I need something that is still at least 2000 mAh and after Scotiez testimonial of the Morphie Juice pack plus I'm going to take a second look at that one. I didn't realize their cool sounding buttons in their design. I was thinking more like the Phone Suit Elite or Mipow Maca 2200 but then last night on another forum someone turned me onto a whole other paradigm for cases which is one with 'removable' batteries. It's call the iBattz case with a removable battery pack. It comes with 2 batteries each holding only 1500 mAh but that totals 3000 and one of the points his review mentions is that there have been some Morphie or other cases that maybe have shorter battery life so with that removable case option you can just buy more nokia replaceable batteries like that fairly cheaply. Then the other option is still one of those solar cases that boast 2400 mAh and the solar panel that also charges about 30 min of talk time every hour if you're out & about with some sunshine. I've seen those pretty cheap at one about $30 as well.

I guess part of it now is getting down to design functionality and how it looks & feels. I'm going to look more into the iBattz case and try and get a sense of the feel of it but probably will end up going with Phone Suit or Morphie at the end of the day for the main case I use.

I wish there was a store I could just go into and where I could pick these things up, hold in my hand and really check it out myself.
 

Donato

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I had a look at the photos and specs on the PhoneSuit web site. It certainly looks sleek, one might even say elegant. I for one would really like to hear your comments on it if you go ahead and buy it.

I have previously used a Mugen battery/case-extender on an HP iPAQ 210. After a few years of very heavy use I have nothing but praise for it. However their case for the iPhone, from the photos on their site, just looks plain ugly. They do pack a lot of power though.
I had the Phonesuit Elite for my iPhone 4s and it only last a day before it just stopped working. I sent it back for a refund and now I am hunting for different model. JM2C.
 

Supahrob

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I have the Unu DX - it's essentially a knock-off of the Phone Suit, for about half the price. I like it very much and would happily recommend it.

Take care,
Rob
 

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