- What are the best external battery packs for the iPhone
- What do different iPhone external battery packs have to offer
- Which external iPhone battery pack should you buy?
If you want to extend the battery life of your iPhone you’ll be interested in an external battery pack (or iPhone battery case). Here we have 5 of the best iPhone battery packs for you to look at.
The iPhone is a miracle of engineering that cram a battery and screen into a small space that provides power to run for most of the day. We say “most” because the iPhone typically runs for around 7-10 hours, which is a working day but certainly not a full 24 hours. The iPhone battery life also depends a lot on what you’re doing in the day: if you spend a lot of time playing video, running intensive apps (especially games) or using the Maps app with GPS then you’ll soon find your battery running flat.
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Mophie Juice Pack Helium
The Mophie Juice Pack Helium combines a case with a battery. For this reason it is larger and heavier than standard iPhone cases. In fact, it made our phone 68g heavier, weighing in at 181g, compared to its usual 113g.
To test the Mophie Juice Pack Helium we ran down our battery to zero percent then charged it from a fully charged Helium. We started the charge at 12pm and by 13.41 it was at 64% with no juice to go any further.
Mophie claims that the battery can provide an additional 6 to 7 hours of life to the iPhone 5 (depending on whether you use 3G or WiFi). This adds to the 8-10 hours of the iPhone 5 built-in battery to provide between 14-17 hours of total usage time.
Read more: Mophie Juice Pack Helium review
Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5
The Mophie Juice Pack Air completely surrounds the rear and sides of an iPhone 5. The bottom part is removable and forms two pieces that clip together around the iPhone. Once clipped into place the iPhone 5 display and buttons are accessible, but the rest of the phone is neatly sealed in.
The case is essentially a large battery and we found that when it was attached to an iPhone 5 it charged up an iPhone from flat to 85%. This offers a lot of extra time to use the device. We ran a fully charged up iPhone 5 with a fully charged up Mophie Juice Pack Air for a whopping 38 hours and 35 minutes. This was in normal usage for us (e-mail, web use, apps and playing music). We tested out the Juice Pack Air on a road trip from London to Nottingham and the battery and found that the iPhone 5 alone ran out juice after 3 hours and 54 minutes. After charge we got another four hours of Sat-Nav usage from the iPhone 5. So you get roughly eight hours of Sat-Nav. The iPhone 5 only got us from London to Nottingham; the Mophie Juice Pack Air got us there and back again.
Read more: Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5 Review
OtterBox Defender with iON Intelligence
The Otterbox Defender with iON Intelligence is a battery case for the iPhone 4/4S with a number of unique features. It incorporates a built-in battery that doubles the amount of iPhone usage, and it works alongside an app that intelligently manages your remaining battery. Also, like most OtterBox Defender cases it offers remarkable protection
The iON Intelligence app provides a good estimate for when your battery life will run out. It also manages the battery in the case when in the background, intelligently seeding power from the case to the battery (it apparently kicks in around the 60 per cent mark).
It’s also quite an ugly case. We don’t mean it’s badly designed (it’s not – it’s great), it’s just that the combination of silicon and plastic make the iPhone 4 look like something that would be used by the military.
The PowerMonkey isn’t specifically designed for the iPhone – or the iPod for that matter – and it includes a collection of adaptors that can be used with a wide range of mobile phones and MP3 players from different manufacturers. It’s also the only charger in this group that includes a set of mains power adaptors for use in different countries. Of course, that means that you could end up carrying a small bagful of adaptors and plugs around with you, but at least you’ll be well prepared if you’re travelling abroad.
Read more: Powermonkey-classic V2
iBattz Mojo Refuel
iBattz makes the batteries in its cases removable, which is a clever design since it means you can carry more than one backup battery if you’re so inclined. With the Refuel, iBattz is stressing that the case’s battery is itself removable, and that you can hang on to more than one. This case consists of two pieces: a slim backing battery that connects to the Lightning port and a thin, interchangeable frame that pushes down around the front of the iPhone’s edges.
See: iBattz Mojo Refuel
Which is the best iPhone external battery pack?
There’s a good range of battery pack here to choose from, and each offers something slightly different. The Otterbox combines extra power with sturdy protection, so is pretty good if you work outdoors. The Powermonkey will charge a range of different devices, so is good if you also carry a lot of different devices. The iBattz Mojo Refuel is good if you’re going for a long distance because you can charge up multiple batteries. The overall crown still goes to Mophie though, which has the best all-rounders that combine a great looking case with extra power life. The Juice Pack Air provides a little more battery life than the Juice Pack Helium, but both are great additions to your iPhone.