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Review: Best battery cases for the iPhone 5

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:30 AM

Post your comments for Review: Best battery cases for the iPhone 5 here
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#2 User is offline   Z479 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:42 AM

@lexfri have you actually owned the mophie juice pack air or plus for the 5? I went thru 3 of each for the past several months and gave up on them. They DO NOT work for the 5. When switched on to charge the iPhones battery, it works for about 2 minutes then cycles off and on. The case gets very hot and the phone never gets charged up. It keeps vibrating as power is sent and disconnected. I contacted Mophie and kept getting replacements and they all did the same thing. Thought it was my phone, had that replaced, and the issue remained. Tried the case in a friends phone and it did the same thing. I got so tired of it so I tried other cases, so far the best being the Duracell pack with wireless charging. I haven't had one issue charging it, though I do miss the more protective casing from mophie.
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#3 User is offline   Z479 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:43 AM

FYI I had the mophie case for the 4S and loved it. Worked flawlessly for two years.
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#4 User is offline   tmoswift 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:45 AM

Z479 said:

When switched on to charge the iPhones battery, it works for about 2 minutes then cycles off and on. The case gets very hot and the phone never gets charged up. It keeps vibrating as power is sent and disconnected.


That'll happen to me sometimes too. I thought it was the "charge" switch being flakey. Switching the charge switch off and back on helped.

The mophie mute switch overlay sometimes won't catch the phone's switch, which made for a very embarrassing moment when I couldn't quickly mute my phone in a meeting.

Most of the time the mophie plus just works. It does get really hot when charging. I don't like to have it charging if the phone is in my pocket.
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#5 User is offline   lkylarry 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:09 AM

I had the Mophie Juice Pack Air for my iPhone 4 for about 2 1/2 years, and I've had it for the iPhone 5 since just after it came out.

The only problem I've had with either one's functionality was when the connector that you plug into to charge the Mophie broke on the pack for my iPhone 4. It was nearly a year after I had purchased it. I called Mophie prepared to try to fight for a replacement, but the guy apologized and asked for my address so he could send me a replacement.

The batteries do get quite warm when the phone is being charged, but I've always assumed that was the case with all battery packs, since you're layering one battery over the other.

Thanks for such a detailed review! I had no idea there were so many options out there.
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#6 User is offline   Z479 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

Comment was deleted...
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#7 User is offline   Z479 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

Sorry it just popped up lol
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#8 User is offline   Z479 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:30 AM

@tmoswift I did that and it worked temporarily, then it stopped charging the phone all together.
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#9 User is offline   kitko 

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  Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:37 PM

When you go out to where's no electricity, it will likely be rough.

Neither of those battery packs offer adequate protection - I'm using Griffin Survivor...

To get extra power, just pack one of external batteries - you can keep phone protected, charge it when needed from the external juice pack with way more capacity than your average battery case, and use your regular usb cable.

A side note - if you'rein the wild, chances are there's no 3G coverage, no wifi and BT, so switch that off.
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#10 User is offline   markomd 

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  Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:09 AM

I've been using the Lenmar for several months and it works PERFECTLY.

Excellent device despite what the reviewer wrote.
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#11 User is online   brmperc 

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  Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:26 AM

One thing to keep in mind with the Mophie cases: they don't sell to Amazon. So if you buy a case there, at least for the 5, it will be counterfeit. This happened to me, and then reviews started popping up on amazon by a lot of disappointed people. My "Mophie"stopped charging after about a day.
Tekserve, Best Buy, and iMore all seem to have the real thing.
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#12 User is offline   stoster40 

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  Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:44 AM

I bought the Mophie Air for my iPhone 5. I've had a couple of issues with it. First the adapter for the headphone jack failed 2 1/2 weeks after I started using it. I called Mophie and they sent a replacement. The replacement also failed in the same amount of time. Really 2 faulty adapters in a row? Was it a bad batch? No quality control? I didn't bother calling again.

So now I'm removing the bottom half of the case so I can plug in my headphones. I don't know if that is the cause of the second issue. The second issue is that the case does not alway seem to realize that both pieces are together. When I've tried charging my phone the case doesn't always start charging I have to push the pieces together very tightly or slightly twist it to get the case to start charging or to charge the case itself.

This doesn't happen all the time but enough where it's annoyance. When I get my next phone I doubt I'll be getting a Mophie case unless these issues are fixed.
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#13 User is offline   NBCGLX 

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  Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:43 AM

One battery case not covered in this review is the Maxboost Atomic Air. Oddly enough, I first learned of it through one of the revolving ads right here on Macworld. The case is slim, lightweight (as far as battery cases are concerned), comes in several color combinations, and (most importantly) it lives up to its claims. I've let my iPhone 5 battery run down to almost 0% and the Atomic Air will fully recharge the phone's battery in no time.

The Atomic Air is a two-piece hard case with a colorful trim strip that resembles a bumper case. There are button overlays for the sleep/wake button and the volume buttons. The mute rocker switch is (like many of the cases in this review) left to its own defenses and you have to access it through a recess in the case. A headphone jack adapter is included for use with headphones/peripherals that are larger than the Apple headphones plug. The case charges with an included micro USB cord through a jack unobtrusively integrated into the bottom of the case, where the battery status lights and the on/off switch are also located.

Overall I love this case and it has more than lived up to the manufacturer's claims. And the best part is, it's been on sale for months now for only $69.95, and Maxboost sells them through Amazon!
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#14 User is offline   bosco44 

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  Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:21 AM

I have been through 3 Mophie iPhone 5 cases already. The paint on them comes off within a few weeks and the bottom part literally falls apart. They are horrible. The company however keeps replacing them. so kudos to them for a least doing that, but how did they release this? Be cautious before buying one.....
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