Newly released, Prong’s PWR case for the iPhone 5 & 5s models is a charger as well as a bumper-like case for your iPhone. In a ways similar to the Pocketplug (available online), the PWR case offers a bit of the same functionality, as well as a 1500mAh backup battery built in.
After listening to many backers from their original Kickstarter, the PWR looks to outperform itself, as well as the competition in a crowded battery pack market. Now featuring not only a battery pack, but a detachable plug, I was sold. I tested the case using an old iPhone 5s. When the case arrived it came with the normal things you would expect: Case, instruction manual, USB charging cable and a headphone adapter.
I noticed as soon as I grabbed the case, and noticed the hump on the back, I also noticed the battery showed one dot, which I assumed out of the gate it needed to be charged. But to test, I took my 5s with about 37% battery life and tried to see how much juice it could get from the case with that. After about 25 minutes the case finally died and I had about 52% battery life, which seems on par for 25 minutes of charging through a battery case.
Once the battery case died, I decided to charge it fully. Timing it starting at 2pm, to get it to a full charge, it took about two solid hours. Mind you, this is without the iPhone in it. With the iPhone included in the already depleted battery case, it took about 3 hours and 15 minutes to charge both completely. I did notice that the case would charge the phone first, and then followed up with the case, which was pretty good for those who wouldn’t mind leaving the case charging while walking around and using their phones. Leaving the battery portion in the wall was completely fine if left in the top portion of your outlets.
Walking about and using the actual bumper without the case was a bit different. Since the bottom of the PWR case is a little more narrow than the top portion, without the battery portion, the phone doesn’t seem as flush. The top of the bumper seems more sturdy, while the bottom has a rubber material which makes it feel unfinished and a bit odd to hold in the hand. Also there is no protection for the back of your phone, but you can easily solve that with a phone protector for $5 on Amazon.
I decided to go out on Friday night using my 5s and the Prong in unison, both fully charged. Since the battery case doesn’t actually turn on without a button press, it’s safe to use your phone and let the battery drain and when you get to about 30-40% to begin charging. I’m not really big on having to charge my phone unless I receive an alert saying 10% battery remaining, so after about four hours of consistent phone use on Instagram, taking pictures, checking Facebook, and playing words with friends at a local Hookah spot, my iPhone’s battery drained from 100 to about 55% in four hours. I left the bluetooth on, as well as wifi in order to get this result at 9pm.
I allowed a friend of mine who tends to text a little bit too much, and never lets his phone sleep, to use the case when his phone his 25% at 10pm. Naturally the phone charged, even with him using it. His phone went from 25% to about 70% in an hour.
My phone on the other hand ended up receiving that 10% alert, but at that point, the Prong was showing two of the five white bars, and I knew from earlier testing it would only charge about 25% more until it died. HERE’s where having the integrated wall adapter came into play.
I asked our friend Eddie who bartends at the bar we were at to charge my phone. His initial reaction was “do you have your cord?” Aha, if he only knew that I came prepared. I simply handed him my phone and he was able to plug my phone into the wall behind the bar and I could see it charging from my seat. Although since the case is not waterproof, and I feared one of the bottles may spill on the case, everything was fine.
Leaving the phone alone, I was back to socializing, and totally forgot about my phone. So did Eddie, he didn’t have to worry about an annoying white cord taking up space behind the bar, or having people ask “hey can you charge me up, too?”
About 1.5 hours later and a few more drinks, my phone was at 100%, and the PWR case had four solid bars. The case saved the night, TWICE. Now in my circumstance, I didn’t NEED to use the phone as much, but it certainly came in handy that night.
I’m almost certain anyone who travels a lot or simply is somewhere longer than they expect and you have a habit of impulsively checking your phone, this case is great for that. If you can get around the form factor being albeit bulkier than your iPhone, this is a GREAT case to use or have with you in the event you may need that extra juice.
What I Like: Fast charging, with or without phone in case; Additional headphone jack included for non-apple headphone users; Cheaper than Mophie Case for more battery life.
What Could Be Improved: Make a bit thinner; Make the actual phone bumper flush.
The PWR Case for the iPhone 5/5s is currently available at Prong’s Website starting at $99.95