If there is one constant in life, it is that portable electronics don’t ever have enough battery life. With each new product we get new features that beg for more power, so regardless of what the manufacturers do to extend battery life … our usage always seems to keep up! Enter Mophie, a company that has had great success making iPhone battery cases for several years. Now they are branching out with their first non-iPhone case, for the hot-selling Samsung Galaxy SIII. Mophie sent me one to check out – let’s take a look!
Get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy S III with the mophie juice pack®. This durable, ultra-thin case houses a rechargeable battery that virtually doubles your time to rock, talk, surf and send. Enjoy up to 32 extra hours of audio, 8 extra hours of video playback, or 9 extra hours of web browsing without compromising any of your phone’s features.
As one of the thinnest S III battery cases on the market, the juice pack was created with you in mind. It provides a comfortable, ergonomic design while fully protecting your phone and a toggle switch allows you to charge only when you need it. It’s also completely S Beam and NFC compatible, so don’t worry about us getting in the way of sharing with your friends.
When I got the Mophie JuicePack, I had three immediate questions: ease of use, bulkiness, and battery life. Well, I would also have had concerns about appearance, but the Mophie looks almost identical to the Galaxy S3, making the real question whether the size is a concern.
Let’s take a look at each of my concerns:
The Mophie Juice Pack is a simple two-piece unit that has a small join point about a quarter of the way down from the top. The unit comes apart easily, and then you simply slide your Galaxy S III into the Juice pack where it mates up with the micro-USB connector.
Then you slide the top over your Galaxy S III and mate it into the bottom. The mating point includes joining up the entire back around the camera area for extra stability.
Once installed, you still have access to all of the functionality of the Galaxy SIII – the Juice Pack provides buttons for the power, volume up & down, as well as access to the micro-USB port, microphones and 3.5mm jack. The home button is uncovered, as is the speaker. And as noted, the camera, LED flash and rear speaker are all uncovered.
Size & Weight & Price
As noted in the video, by feel the Juice Pack weighs almost as much as the Galaxy SIII. In reality the SIII weighs 4.69oz and the Juice Pack weighs 3.5oz so they are not the same – but the combined unit weighs in at over 8oz! That is pretty hefty for a phone at this point – more than my ‘brick’ Droid 4 by 25%.
As for size, I would say that Mophie did the best they could in bringing a battery pack to a thin device like the Galaxy SIII – but it adds considerable bulk to an otherwise svelte frame. For me, it was the difference between being pocketable and NOT being pocketable. For my wife, she puts the Galaxy S III in her bag anyway, so it made no difference.
The price for the Mophie JuicePack is $99.95, which is the same as the JuicePack Pro for the iPhone and delivers about the same charge as that accesory. This makes it a relatively expensive accessory, but one justified by the design, build quality, attention to retaining the original device design ethic, and of course the core functionality of doubling your battery life.
Boasting a 2300 mAh battery, the Juice Pack bests the 2100mAh built into the Galaxy S III – so it should deliver ~100% added battery life.
We tested this out on my wife – she was using the Galaxy S III and getting 1.5-2 days battery from the system, but would always be dead by the end of the second day (i.e. not including the evening). At first we just attached the Juice Pack and had it switched on all the time, which definitely extended the battery to at least 3 days. But we had a hard time getting much more accurate read than that.
So we fully charged both the Galaxy S III and the Juice Pack, put the Juice Pack in standby mode, and ran down the battery in ~1.5 days. Then we switched on the Juice Pack, and were able to use the Galaxy S III for three FULL days, just charging again overnight. We repeated this process three times, with similar results each time.
Based on that small sample, the Mophie Juice Pack delivered on the promise of ~100% additional battery life.
The balance between size, weight and battery life is a constant struggle for mobile device developers. But with the availability of accessories like the Mophie Juice Pack suddenly you can have your gorgeous thin device and then add on some bulk for double the battery life when needed. In that way it is the perfect compromise – and Galaxy S III users should be thrilled to have an option that allows them to get up to three days of life from their device … and certainly more than one day of even the heaviest usage.
The only issue we had was that my wife found that the lip of the case near the ear speaker at the top messed up her ability to properly place the device to hear the other person on the phone. I have found that the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II are both rather finicky about positioning relative to your ear, so the added lip certainly wouldn’t help.
At almost $100 the Mophie Juice Pack isn’t the cheapest accessory available, but it delivers on the same promise Mophie has done for years: tremendous extension of battery life in an only somewhat obtrusive package. And if you have the critical need to extend your device battery life, neither the price nor the added weight and bulk will matter.
Here is my hands-on video of the Mophie JuicePack for Galaxy S III:
Review: Mophie JuicePack for Samsung Galaxy S III
Where to Buy: Mophie.com
What I Like: Solid design; great battery life extension; easy to install and remove.
What Needs Improvement: Can be diffficult to hear correctly based on lip extending out near speaker.
Source: Publisher provided review sample
Thanks to US Cellular for the use of the Samsung Galaxy S III for this review!