On my plane home from the Consumer Electronics Show, I was fortunate enough to sit next to a distributer who is a partner of Mophie, maker of the popular iPhone battery case. Since the iPhone 5 was released, Mophie had been relatively quiet and coy about when its iPhone 5 battery case would be released and what the case would look like. Well, that question was answered as the gentleman sitting on the plane with me was using a Mophie case for his black iPhone 5.
Update: Mophie iPhone 5 Battery Case Available
Unfortunately, though, he did not allow me to take photos of the case, though he did let me play around with it and I can describe how it looks like.
Aesthetically, it is very similar to the iPhone 4/iPhone 4S Mophie, but it’s longer to accommodate the longer display of the iPhone 5. It’s also a lot slimmer and is said to deliver up to 75 percent extra juice to the iPhone 5. Those who weren’t able to last through an entire day without having to recharge their phones, according to the gentleman, can now last about a day to a day and a half.
It’s amazing how much slimmer and lighter the Mophie for the iPhone 5 feels compared to previous generation Mophie cases for the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4.
On the rear, you have the same soft-touch matte rubberized finish, which is nice to touch and adds some grip to the otherwise slippery iPhone. The case also has a spine going around its sides, similar to the iPhone 4/4S Mophie Juice Pack.
In terms of inserting the phone into the Mophie, there are two components. The larger component houses the battery and covers the op portion of the iPhone. You slide the top of the phone into this piece, and it covers roughly 3/4 of the iPhone’s top. Then, there’s a bottom component, which is about 1/4 of the length of the iPhone. This piece has a number of connectors. The first connector is the Lighting port connector, which slides in and makes contact with the iPhone. The other two pieces are located towards the back side of the case and are connector prongs that will come into contact with two slots on the rear top portion of the case where the battery is housed. These two connector pieces would make contact with the battery and deliver the charge down through the Lightning prong and into the iPhone through the Lightning port.
And whereas previous Mophie cases have a pass-through micro USB port so you can charge the case and charge and sync the iPhone with the case on, the new iPhone 5 case has the same port but on the bottom. It’s essentially similar to plugging a micro USB to Lightning port adapter sold by Apple and the pass through is now stacked on top of each other. In the past, the micro USB port was housed on the lower side of the Mophie. By moving this port to the bottom, Mophie is able to make the case slimmer.
It’s a very slim solution and sliding in the iPhone was easy.
There are also LED indicator lights and button–push the button and a number of LED lights will light up to show how much charge the battery case has. In the past, this was housed on the bottom spine of the phone. Now, the LED button and the LED charge indicator lights have been moved to the rear on the bottom piece that houses the battery prongs and the Lightning plug.
In terms of aesthetics, you do have a slightly longer lip/chin on the bottom of the case, as before, along with cutouts for the microphone and speaker. The speaker cutout helps to amplify and direct the sound forward, so that’s nice.
The only issue I may have with the Mophie case currently is that the cutout for the headphone port is a bit narrow. It should accommodate headphones, like the stock Apple ones inside the iPhone 5′s box fine, but those with a larger wire or larger plastic or rubber port connecting to the 3.5 mm headphone tip may not work the Mophie case.
The gentleman said that the case is expected to be available in the coming months, hinting at a Spring release date.