REVIEW: PhoneSuit Flex iPhone battery
Yep, another battery review – I just can’t help myself. Thanks to my Clash of Clans addiction, I can no longer make it through the day on a single iPhone charge, and I need to have some sort of extra juice with me at all times. However PhoneSuit’s new Flex charger for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s with the lightning connector is different than most for a couple reasons.
First, it’s a battery pack, not a case. This means you can use the same Flex to charge an iPhone 5 as to charge an iPad mini Thanks to the Flex’s 1 amp output), which to my mind makes it uniquely versatile, as I have kids who are almost as addicted to their iDevices as I am. Secondly, while most iPhone cases I’ve tested claim to give a full 100% charge, yet invariably come up around 85% of that, the Flex’s 2600 mAh battery has consistently ben able to give me between 120%-140% of a charge, starting from a completely drained iPhone 5. Many other battery cases either cannot jump a completely dead iPhone at ALL, or they take 10 minutes to generate enough charge to give you the “chirp”.
Secondly, the thing is extremely well-made and feels great. Constructed from what feels like a nice blend of anodized aluminum and plastic, the fairly compact Flex slides easily in and out of your pocket and is downright fun to hold (for a gadget, at least. Although this might be a sign of how geeky I am). There is a snap-on cap which gives the Flex a sort of tear-drop profile, and keeps the lightning connector safe when in your pocket, as well as keeping it from scratching any other devices you may carry.
The Flex charges via an included mini USB cable, and aside from a power button (which serves double duty as a charge light indicator) there’s not much else to it.
The Flex’s unique form has many positives, but also a few negatives. Luckily for the most part, they are minor. First, The Flex will fit on your iPhone even if your iPhone has a case. Well, CERTAIN cases. The Flex makes a fairly tight connection, so your average silicon case or slim case should work fine, but I test an Otterbox hard case and the Flex’s lightning connector could not fit. Secondly, and slightly more important for me, is that when the Flex is attached, thanks to Apple moving the iPhone 5′s headphone jack to the bottom of the device, there is no way to attach an audio cable or pair of headphones with the Flex attached. I like to listen to music pretty much all day, so having to take a break for an hour or two while charging is a little annoying. I suppose if I had a bluetooth speaker or set of bluetooth headphones this would not be a problem. Neither of these issues is ultimately a big deal, but they’re worth mentioning.
I love iPhone battery packs, and I’ve seen so many that I find the PhoneSuit Flex‘s somewhat unique design and quality build a refreshing break from the norm. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the external pack design over an “always on” case design but I find the advantages outweigh any issues. The versatility of the external pack and the fact that it can be used to charge ANY iDevice with a lightning connector (not just the one model you bought it for) make the Flex a very “Flex”able choice for your portable charging needs (see what I did there?).
Pros: Wonderful design and feel, Can be used on any iDevice with a lightning connector, provides more than a full iPhone 5 charge
Cons: Blocks audio port, not compatible with bulky cases