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The iBattz Mojo Refuel attempts to beat Mophie at its own game

If you're not happy with the battery life of your iPhone, you have two options: an external battery booster that you plug in only when you need it, or a battery case that remains strapped to your device and can be activated whenever you need some extra juice. The iBattz Mojo Refuel falls into the latter category, which is pretty thoroughly dominated by Mophie and its Juice Pack line, but the Mojo performs quite admirably and for a significantly cheaper price.

Specs

Dimensions: 140 x 63 x 15.7 mm

Weight: 75 g (2.6 oz.)

Capacity: 2200 mAh

Price: US$74.95

Design

The Mojo Refuel consists of two parts: a back section that houses the battery and features a small LED strip battery indicator, and an outer ring that clips into the back and secures the iPhone in place. There is a single button on the side of the pack that both activates the charging feature and shows how much spare power it has left.

The pack itself is a matte, textured plastic that feels great and keeps the device from being slippery, while the outer ring has a glossy finish with small, indented lightning bolts that give grip on the sides. There are cutouts for the power button, volume buttons and sliding lock, as well as a hole for the audio jack. Because of how deep and narrow the audio jack hole is, the unit comes with a long, thin adapter that makes plugging in your headphones a lot easier.

When the case is equipped, you can say goodbye to your Apple Lightning cables; the Mojo Refuel recharges using micro-USB, and the pack will recharge the phone itself before charging its battery backup.

Functionality

Using the Mojo Refuel is pretty straightforward: Once your phone is close to dying, simply pushing the pack's activation button recharges the device. That's it!

In my testing, I typically got at least one full recharge out of the device, even during extensive outdoor activity in sub-zero weather. Recharging was relatively quick, though I did experience some issues with getting the device to charge my phone immediately when both the extra battery and the phone were completely dead. The pack had a tendency to just recharge itself when the phone was near death, and required a few re-plugs before it started charging the phone. I couldn't pinpoint a cause, as it all seemed pretty random.

The other issue I had was that after about a week of use, the outer ring that secures the iPhone in place developed a bit of a wiggle. A bit of give was noticeable when squeezing the sides of the ring, which didn't affect the functionality of the battery, but might bother some users strictly from a quality standpoint.

Conclusion

As a spare-battery solution, the iBattz Mojo Refuel is solid. It can be finicky at times, but nothing that leads to long-term frustration. The fit-and-finish was good for the most part, with only the slightly loose outer ring leading to any concern. After several months of use, it might become more of an issue. For about three-fourths the cost of a Mophie case, it's definitely a consideration if you're looking to save a few bucks.

Rating: 3 out of a possible 4 stars

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