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Mophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 5 hands-on, plus a giveaway

Finally we've received the third in the Mophie Juice Pack trilogy. First, it was the slender and lightweight Juice Pack Helium (US$79.95). Next, it was the classic Juice Pack Air ($99.95). Now Mophie has filled out the Juice Pack family with the ultra-big-capacity Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 5 ($119.95).

Design

Like the two other Juice Packs, the Juice Pack Plus has a two-piece design; an upper sleeve containing the battery that your iPhone 5 slides into, and a bottom portion that contains speaker channels, the charging connector, and a set of LEDs to tell you how much juice is in the pack.

As you'd expect from a battery case with a 2,100 mAh capacity (compared to 1,400 mAh for the Helium and 1,700 mAh for the Air), the Plus is thicker than the other kids in the family. The Helium is .59 inches thick, the Air is .63 inches thick, and the Plus a full .70 inches thick. Surprising, the Plus is no heavier than the Air -- both weigh in at 2.68 ounces.

One difference with the Juice Pack Plus and Air from the Helium is the addition of an outer rubberized band around the perimeter of the pack to provide extra drop protection. The Juice Pack Plus comes in black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED red. Charging is done through an included USB to micro-USB cable.

Functionality

The iPhone 5's internal battery has a capacity of 1,440 mAh, so a Juice Pack Helium won't even top one off. Not so with the Juice Pack Plus, which will give you a full charge and then almost 46 percent of a second charge. That's a lot of battery life -- up to 12 more hours of Internet surfing on a Wi-Fi network.

As with all Mophie products, the fit and finish of the Juice Pack Plus is excellent. As with the previous models of Juice Pack for iPhone 5, my only complaint is that the company didn't build in a pass-through for the headphone jack. Instead, you can either push the standard Apple headphone connector deep into the "pipe" to connect, or use the included dangly adapter cable. The latter choice seems like a design afterthought.

Conclusion

The Juice Pack Plus has the highest capacity of any of Mophie's Juice Pack series for the iPhone 5, and with no extra weight penalty over the Juice Pack Air, it's definitely worth considering if you have the need for hours of extra battery capacity.

Pros

  • Extremely well built, with a fit and finish that is second to none
  • 2,100 mAh capacity will recharge an iPhone 5 almost one-and-a-half times
  • Easy to install and remove without tools
  • Design and tested to not interfere with phone reception
  • (PRODUCT)RED model is available

Cons

  • Adds weight and bulk to the iPhone 5, as do all extended 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 one brand new black Mophie Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone valued at US$119.95 to a 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 June 10, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a black Mophie Juice Pack Plus valued at $119.95
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.


Categories

Accessories iPhone

Finally we've received the third in the Mophie Juice Pack trilogy. First, it was the slender and lightweight Juice Pack Helium...