I’m a big fan of Mophie’s battery solutions for the iPhone. I’ve been using them since the iPhone 3GS. The battery/cases fit well and do the trick in terms of adding some life to the iPhone in a pinch. I don’t need them all the time as my work and play flow didn’t really exhaust the battery on the 3GS nor does it on the iPhone 4. But when I travel I like to have some extra juice available and I usually rely on Mophie’s batteries to do the trick.
I had picked up the Mophie Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 4 back when it was released and talked about it in this post. I was given the benefit of an early Christmas present when a friend gave me the newer Juice Pack Air Plus for the iPhone 4 last week. So, here’s a brief comparison.
Bottom line, while there are some cosmetic differences about the enclosure, it’s all about the Juice. From a size and weight comparison the two are virtually identical. The original Juice Pack Air has a metal like band that runs around the edge of the iPhone 4 and to access the controls (volume, on/off, etc..) there are cut outs with openings for you to stick your fingers into. With the Juice Pack Air Plus the cosmetic marketing approach is to position this as a softer case with Apple Bumper like qualities that offers greater protection from drops. Indeed, you’ll find Bumper like buttons for the volume controls and the on/off switch. The case does feel a bit softer and as to whether or not it offers more protection, well, common sense would dictate that it would. From an aesthetic point of view the original looks a bit sleeker and more in keeping with the iPhone 4’s design, but that’s a question of personal taste.
But like I said it is all about the battery life in terms of real distinctions. The original Juice Pack Air comes with a 1500 mAh battery while the Plus comes with 2000 mAh. The original sets you back $79.95, the Plus $99.95. In running the battery on the iPhone 4 down over the last few days I can say I did get a few more hours with the Plus. That’s not scientific by any means, and I had to work to test it out. So, I’d say if you use your iPhone intensively and are interested in one of these solutions, the Plus would offer you more battery life.
I’ll know better after a take this on the road for a couple of weeks here after Christmas, but from what I’ve seen so far, Mophie has lived up to the standards it has set for its products.