Add more juice to your iPhone 5!
One of the largest complaints about the iPhone is that it doesn’t have a user replaceable battery and it has always been that way since the very first that was released in 2007. One solution is to have a separate battery pack and have it charge with the USB cable but there will be many occasions where that will be inconvenient. A much better alternative is the battery case and there are a handful of vendors that make these at a cheap price but they are often poorly designed and are very bulky.
Mophie has created battery cases for years, which are usually very lightweight and make your iPhone look and feel as least awkward as possible. I’ve been a fan of their Juice Pack cases since the iPhone 4 and 4S and the case for the iPhone 5 has been long overdue. Let’s see how the Mophie Juicepack Helium for the iPhone 5 fares over its predecessors.
The Helium has a 1500mah battery so it is inevitable that you are going to get some extra bulk on your sleek iPhone 5. The case is the thinnest and lightest Juice Pack avilable at .59-inches thick weighing at 2.4 ounces and 5.49-inches long which makes it sound a lot bigger and heavier. In my case (haha), I own both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Note II and the extra size and weight don’t bother me at all. The iPhone 5 with the Helium case is relatively similar to the larger Samsung phones.
The Juice Pack Helium also solves the problem of not having a more universal charging solution, which gives you pass through charging (meaning it will charge your iPhone and case) via a more standard Micro USB port which is definitely a perk in owning one of these cases.
Now what bothers me about the design is that the cut outs for accessing the Volume and Power buttons make it a little difficult to access than what you are used to without having the case but that was somewhat expected. However, the biggest issue here is the headphone jack at the bottom is so deeply recessed that Mophie had to include a 3.5mm extender to be able to plug in your own headphones. This could have been thought out a little better and throwing in the extender cable is nice but it seems more than an afterthought than anything. However, if you often use a Bluetooth headset then this isn’t an issue.
Mophie claims that the Helium adds 80% more battery life to your iPhone 5 and they are not too far off from the truth. I got about 5-6 hours of continuous use (this doesn’t include standby) and I did not have to plug the iPhone into a charger in the middle of the day to keep it going. In real world testing, I took it off the charger at 7:30AM and used it on a work day in my routine of making calls, sending emails, watching videos, messaging, Instagraming, and by 11:30PM, I had 35% battery life left which is much better than not having the Helium which would have died before 5:00PM in how I use my phone.
Although $79.99 might sound kind of pricy for an extra battery, it’s the best solution in adding more life to your iPhone especially those who rely on it heavily and are in situations where having a charger nearby is inconvenient. The cut outs for the Volume and Power are a bit hard to access and the overly recessed headphone jack is poor design choice. The slight extra weight might bother some people, but those who aren’t as frail and weak need not worry.