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Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5: Review and giveaway

This is going to one of the shortest TUAW accessory reviews you've seen in a while, but stick around -- there's a giveaway at the end of it. Mophie followed up on the release of the Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 (US$79.95) with the new Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 ($99.95). What's the difference, other than the name and the price? Read on for details.

Design

The Juice Pack Air follows in the footsteps of its predecessors for earlier iPhones by providing a lightweight, yet high capacity battery case. It provides a total of 1700 mAh of capacity compared to 1500 mAh for the Juice Pack Helium. Size-wise, the Juice Pack Air measures in at 2.60" x 5.54" x 0.63", slightly larger than the Juice Pack Helium at 2.49" x 5.49" x 0.59". The Air is also heavier, weighing 2.68 ounces compared to 2.44 ounces for the Helium.

What that little bit of extra size and weight for the Juice Pack Air gets you is a complete charge on an iPhone 5, while the Helium won't recharge the phone all the way to 100 percent.

As with the Juice Pack Helium, the Air uses a micro-USB charging cable rather than a pass-through Lightning adapter. Both cases include a pass-through audio jack cable, which isn't really needed with Apple-provided headsets but comes in handy when using third-party earbuds. There's one other big difference: if you were a fan of the red Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4/4S, you'll be happy to know that the iPhone 5 Air will be available later this week in a PRODUCT(RED) special version. That's the sexy case you see at the top of this review...

Functionality

Like the Juice Pack Helium and the earlier versions of the Air, the case is simple to install. It splits apart at about the lower third of the case, and you just slide your iPhone onto the Lightning connector and then into the top of the case. The charging and capacity LEDs are still on the back of the case, and the new Air adopts the sliding power switch of the Helium.

Fans of Mophie's previous products will find a lot to love with the new Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5, and the sleek lines and excellent construction of the case are sure to attract a lot of new friends for Mophie.

Conclusion

To finish off this short review, I'll recall the lines I wrote at the end of my review of the Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 last month -- "The company was a pioneer in battery cases for iPhones and has done six years of research and development in this field. That work shows in the clean lines of the Juice Pack Air and the efficient manner in which it keeps your iPhone 5 protected and powered."

Pros

  • Very well-built by a pioneer in iPhone battery cases
  • Easy to install and remove without tools
  • Case provides excellent protection while providing 100% more battery capacity than a standalone iPhone 5
  • PRODUCT(RED) model is available and looks great
  • Designed and tested to not interfere with phone reception

Cons

  • Adds weight and bulk to the iPhone 5, as do all battery cases

Who is it for?

  • iPhone 5 users who need protection and power in a single, well-designed case

Giveaway

We're giving away a brand new black Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 valued at $99.95 to one very lucky TUAW reader. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before March 24, 2013 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 valued at $99.95.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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