Incipio announced a new iPhone 6 battery case at CES earlier in January, with a huge 3,000mAh battery pack that would essentially double the life of the iPhone 6 and then some, but does the overall case impress?
iPhone battery cases have gained popularity over the last couple of years, with Mophie leading most of the way. The truth is, iPhone battery life sucks for most users. Some heavy iPhone users can’t get through an entire day on a reasonable charge, and they can’t get near an outlet to charge it up. This is where a battery case can come in handy. It allows you to essentially add double the battery life to the iPhone, as long as you’re okay with a thick and heavy case.
The OffGRID Express is reasonably priced at $80, especially since it comes with a 3,000mAh battery on the inside, beating out Mophie’s new Juice Pack Air by 250mAh and priced $20 less, making Incipio’s battery case a better buy on paper, but we’ll have to dig deeper to see if saving $20 and gaining a whole 250mAh is really worth it in the end.
Incipio’s new iPhone 6 case rocks a matte black finish that isn’t anything amazing, but it’s sleek and simple, which many users will appreciate. In fact, the matte finish gives the case a quality look and feel, which is something that I can’t say with Mophie’s glossy plastic battery cases, which make them look like cheap toys.
However, I’d have to say that Mophie’s cases are probably a bit more well-built overall than Incipio’s OffGRID Express. The plastic of the Incipio case creaks quite a bit, making it feel cheaper, and it’s also way harder to insert an iPhone 6 into.
To install an iPhone 6 inside of the OffGRID Express, the case comes apart around the edges, with the bumper-like piece clipping in and out of the battery part. Unclipping it is kind of a pain in the butt and even snapping it back into place takes a bit of effort, simply because the clips can be very stubborn at times.
However, the overall design of the OffGRID Express has improved over previous models. The biggest improvements are the buttons that cover up the power button and volume buttons. They have a nice chrome finish and are a lot easier to press down. They actually feel way more natural to press down.
The only downside to battery cases is that the headphone jack requires an extender, since the bottom of the battery case covers it up. Luckily Incipio includes an extender in the package, allowing you to plug in headphones. However, if you’re like me, you use Bluetooth, so having access to the headphone jack isn’t an issue.
As for how the battery performs on the OffGRID Express, its 3,000mAh capacity makes it one of the highest-capacity iPhone 6 cases available, with only Tylt’s Energi case beating it out with a 3,200mAh capacity and the Mophie Juice Pack Plus cramming in 3,300mAh for $120. Still, if you’re looking for a high-capacity option, Incipio is a brand to consider.
That larger capacity charged my iPhone 6 from about 3% to 100% in just under two hours, and it still had about 15% to 20% of battery juice left. As for charging up the OffGRID’s battery itself using the included microUSB cable, it took about four hours to charge it from close-to-being-dead state to completely full. That’s a long time, but nothing out of the ordinary. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you need to charge it up to 100%.
In the end, $80 for the OffGRID Express is a great price. The only thing I really hate about it is the installation process for putting your iPhone 6 in the case, but that’s really only something you’ll do once and be done with. Would I recommend it over Mophie’s new Juice Pack cases? It depends on your preferences. For me, the toggle on/off switch on the Mophie cases are more disirable to me, but if you’re looking to spend as little money as possible, the $80 for the OffGRID Express is a good way to go.