Review: Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone - Macenstein

Review: Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone

I have a tendency to be a bit long-winded in my reviews, so I am rather excited to be reviewing the Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone, an accessory so simple, even I can’t go on too long (I think).

Mophie Juice Pack

The Juice Pack is essentially an extra battery pack for your iPhone which promises to drastically extend the amount of use you can get between charges, and in our tests, it delivered. Mophie claims the juice pack can add up to 250 of standby time, 8 hours of talk time, 24 hours of audio playback, 7 hours video playback, and 6 additional hours of internet usage – essentially doubling the iPhone’s built-in specs.

Mophie Juice Pack
Above:The Juice Pack is one of the few iPhone accessories I have found that actually compliments my lime green painted iPhone.


The Juice Pack comes in a lime green and black color scheme, and is one of the few iPhone accessories I have found that actually compliments my lime green painted iPhone. On the back of the Juice Pack is a charge status button and a series of 4 blue LEDs that indicate how full a charge it’s holding. When docked in the Juice Pack, the iPhone sits slightly elevated, allowing the microphone and speaker ports to be used. This unfortunately adds a bit of length to the iPhone, but nothing horrible. Where you will notice the difference is the weight. 3 oz. may not seem like a lot, but when the iPhone only weighs 4.8, it is noticeable. The Juice Pack holds the iPhone securely, so you don’t really have to worry too much about it accidentally falling out of the Juice Pack while on the go, although we would not recommend jogging with it.

You charge the Juice Pack via any standard iPhone cable, and you can actually charge both the Juice Pack and iPhone at the same time if the iPhone is docked. Mophie claims the Juice Pack employs some sort of smart circuitry that tells it to charge the iPhone first when charging, and drain the iPhone last when being used, and that was our experience. In fact, Mophie claims there is no reason why you wouldn’t keep your iPhone in the Juice Pack forever, although we can think of a couple.

Mophie Juice Pack
Above: The LEDs let you know roughly how much juice your Juice Pack is packing.

Testing the juice

I didn’t have time to test the 250 hours of standby time, so I devised a battery-draining torture test of my own. I turned up the iPhone’s brightness to its maximum setting, turned on the Wi-Fi, and began watching movies on the iPhone streamed from my home computer 15 miles away via Roxio’s Streamer. I was able to watch 3 hours and 8 minutes of video before the iPhone’s battery gave out. With the Juice Pack attached, I was able to get an additional 5 hours and 10 minutes of video, coming closer to tripling the battery life of the iPhone than merely doubling it. So color me impressed with the Juice Pack’s juice.

When connected to the Juice Pack, your iPhone’s battery indicator will change to the “charging” symbol, letting you know it is not running off its built-in battery. When the Juice Pack is drained, you will hear your iPhone make that “chirp” sound it makes when you connect it to a power source. This will happen a couple times as your iPhone decides whether or not it is still able to squeeze any juice from the Juice Pack. At this point you’ll want to either disconnect the iPhone or charge the Juice Pack to shut it up.

Mophie Juice Pack

I found one of my favorite things about using the Juice Pack was I was able to keep my iPhone’s brightness level set high, something I hardly ever do, without fear of draining my battery. It really makes you appreciate just how nice the iPhone’s screen is. I also liked the feeling of knowing that when traveling, even if I was not using the Juice Pack, I had an “extra”, charged battery in my laptop bag if I should need it.


Mophie claims there is no reason to ever take the iPhone out of the Juice Pack, and depending on your lifestyle, that might be the case. The rubberized back of the Juice Pack makes for a comfortable grip, and charging the Juice Pack is no harder than charging the iPhone. However, the Juice Pack does add size and weight to the iPhone, and makes it incompatible with virtually every iPhone case and accessory we’ve seen. The Juice Pack is not really a replacement for a true case, so you’ll still need to be careful. But these are minor gripes. In reality, I find the Juice Pack to be a brilliantly executed solution to Apple’s non-removable battery decision, and the only real drawback is the price. This is one of those situations where you are not so much debating whether or not the item is worth its $99 price tag, but more that you are annoyed you have to pay it. We’re still not sure why Apple decided to carry over the iPod’s battery scheme into the iPhone, but the lack of a user-swappable battery was a deal breaker for many people. The Juice Pack is the best-looking and most user-friendly solution to this problem we’ve seen.


The Juice Pack addresses one of the major complaints of the iPhone, namely the lack of a user-swappable battery. While the Juice Pack does add a bit of size and bulk to the iPhone, it is nothing unwieldy, and its ability to more than double your iPhone’s battery life while still maintaining a sleek, compact design makes it a must-have accessory for any serious traveler or iPhone “road warrior”.

Mophie’s Juice Pack for iPhone

Price: $99.95

Pros: More than doubles the battery life of your iPhone, smart charge circuitry, slim design keeps bulk to a minimum, comfortable in the hand

Cons: Still adds a bit of size and weight to the iPhone, cannot be used with any other iPhone accessories of cases.

14 Responses to “Review: Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone”
  1. On the bottom photo, those little swoops of empty space seem kind of goofy. I understand the need to have your logo somewhere, but that seems like a waste of space.

  2. Newton,
    Those swoops are meant to allow for the iPhone’s speaker/microphone to still work, not merely to show off the logo.
    -The Doc

  3. Operator207 says:

    We know why the battery is non user replaceable. Its a few factors. Its an iPod, none are user replaceable in any iPod line. Second is space. They made it as small as possible. If they had put doors, and a battery connector that was sturdy enough for you to slap a battery in, you have to increase the size of the unit to fit the plug, and back tray for the battery, and reinforcements for the door “jam” the body has so the door fits sung.

    Adding all that, you add weight, and bulk. Something Apple is trying not to add.

    People may want the removable battery, but for Apple to do that, they would have had to sacrifice the form factor they wanted. (thin and light).
    Personally, I have no problems with the non removable battery. For my usage, it goes for 2 days without recharge, and by the time the battery even starts to fail, I will probably have iPhone v2.0.

  4. ma77 says:

    where did you get your phone painted?

  5. Ma77,
    I got it done by colrware.

    -The Doc

  6. Nick says:


    I wanted to add to this that mStation/Mophie is a great company! My juicepack came with a defective “coating” – the satin finish began peeling off on day one. When i called them to address this, they said they were aware of the problem (a bad manufacturing run) and immediately sent me a replacement.

    Besides that, the thing does what it’s supposed to, namely extend my iPhone’s usability (if only i could get the camera working again).

  7. Peter says:

    1 day after i used my juice pack for the first time my iphone 3G died !!! Has this happened to anyone else ? The juice pack appears so cool and I was so excited. Now I am scared to attach it to the replaced unit. I guess I dont have to fear too much, if it dies again Apple will probably give me another free replacement. My phone is only three months old. After using the juice pack the phone seemed like it had shorted out. It would start up and shut down on its own, run very slow, and eventually even with a restore was malfunctioning.

  8. Aksotar says:

    I have had TERRIBLE…let me repeat TERRIBLE service from Mophie…
    after ordering my 3G pack I received an email from Mophie saying one of their employes had mixed up customer info…
    I IMMEDIATELY emailed Mophie asking exactly what was compromised… 2 months later I have yet to receive an answer..
    after receiving my juice pack it lasted a week and then I could feel something sliding around inside.. the battery I am guessing… and the lights don’t seem to blink in any order or for any reason (minimal instructions came in the box)
    I have emailed Mophie and once again.. no reply…
    I am contacting VISA and lodging a complaint, I hope VISA pulls their account…
    this is a nice product but the PISS POOR customer service makes me regret ever doing buisness with them…

  9. George says:

    A DEFECTIVE, GARBAGE PRODUCT AND COMPANY. DO NOT BUY. Repeated attempts to communicate with Mophie about a whole range of issues about this incompetent product receives only a meaningless form letter reply that shows that no one has actually read my letters. It’s even impossible to register the product, so there’s no warranty. They are stealing the customers’ money with a product that is designed to fall apart immediately, and not perform the function it claims. This is FRAUD.

  10. Steve says:

    I’m disappointed in this product. I got mine through Amazon. The instructions say to charge it for eight hours before first use, but after 12 hours on the charger it was still only showing half-charged. I returned the pack and got another in exchange. The second one charged up but after using it for one day it was completely dead, and after charging it overnight it’s still completely dead – no charge at all. This one is going back for a refund.

  11. uumode says:

    I only half buy the Apple didn’t make the battery user replaceable to keep the size down. ITC Touch HD with a much bigger screen still manages to stay compact, and that does have a battery hatch. I’d rather have a slight increase in size for this feature than have to resort to bolting on back packs which are ultimately LARGER (and uglier) than if it was originally designed in! Also when the battery starts loosing charge, some people may get cold turkey if they have to wait 5 days for an authorised Apple battery replacement. (Though I understand there are some third party do it yourself kits)

    If I travel light and leave my netbook and 3G at home, I can only get 3/4 through the day on the iPhone before the battery runs out, at the moment I have to take a spare phone incase I lose coms, but am looking at getting some reserve power for the iPhone… (hence me landing on this page)

  12. Alyson says:

    After 1 week of normally being carried in my bag (inside a soft cover sans iPhone) the top piece of plastic on the right side near the power switch broke and it’s the skinny part by the switch that cracked off– ridiculous poor design- the hard plastc/leather cover I have has a wider opening and is a much bettter design.

  13. Scott says:

    Well Mophie isnt living up to their claims of Juice Pack Airs ! I have tried numerous ones returning after returning & have yet to find one that charges up to 100%. Not sure what exactly is going on here but dont write false claims of doubling your charge if you barely get 60% out of these batteries. Its a shame the idea was good but the product is far beneath their claims.

  14. LowJack says:

    I picked up an external battery called the Primo at Phonesuit. It works great as a backup when I’m running low on iPhone power. The price is low at $35. This is one of the smallest backups I’ve seen.Here is the link: iPhone Battery Pack.

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