Posts Tagged Battery Pack

Mophie Juice Pack Pro Review

Developer: mophie
Price: $129.95
Device Reviewed With: iPhone 4

Usability Rating: ★★★☆☆
Integration with iPad/iPhone Rating: ★★★½☆
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-Use Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The Mophie Juice Pack PRO is a big, rubberized, super protective case that provides military-grade sand and dust protection, light splash and rain protection, and impact protection in a huge, can-barely-fit-in-a-pocket case that includes its own belt clip.

I’ve long been a fan of the Mophie line of products, enjoying their minimalist design and higher-end battery charge capabilities in an integrated case. The Juice Pack Pro also promises 150 percent extra battery charge, but what that number refers to is not clear, as I got about as much extra charge from the Juice Pack PRO during my testing as I do from my original Juice Pack Plus. Both need to be recharged after about one to one and a half full iPhone 4 battery charges with regular usage.

The Juice Pack Pro does seem pretty sturdy, though. The ports are covered with heavy duty rubber, which also acts as a shock or drop protector. The included belt clip is sturdy, and the encased iPhone snaps into it solidly, without a worry that it’ll drop out in the out of doors. The entire case snaps around the iPhone 4 or 4S like an Otterbox, a competing rugged case that does not include a battery pack. With a case this rugged, though, I kind of expect much more water-proofing, a lack that mophie actually has to point out in the included manual. If they have to point it out, it’s an obvious lack.

I took the case camping with me and it did very well, though I would love to have had an extra iPhone charge for my last day. Some lint and dirt did get under the top screen protector plastic, therefore getting stuck between it and the iPhone screen proper. In addition, the extra plastic film takes some getting used to and did hamper easy selection of icons at times.

Ultimately, whether a purchase is warranted will come down to preference. If there’s a need for a rugged, solidly built iPhone case that includes a battery pack, the Mophie Juice Pack Pro is the way to go. The case is too big for everyday use, however, and the battery pack doesn’t provide any more life than the $30 less expensive Juice Pack Plus (these names are confusing!). The case is extremely difficult to take off and on, so once the iPhone is in, it’s staying there.

cradle_mainpageDual Electronics has updated their site promising that the XGPS300 Navigation Cradle for the iPod Touch, originally expected in November ’09, will be shipping later this February. The cradle offers GPS support for all models of the iPod Touch and comes bundled with a Windshield Mount kit and the NavAtlas App all for the price of $179.99. While some critics have taken aim at the price point claiming it to be too steep for a consumer who might as well buy a dedicated standalone GPS unit, there are some features of this that might make the expense a little easier to swallow.

Adding significant value to the deal is the battery pack portion of the cradle which can be switched on and off as necessary. Whether it be to keep the GPS from draining all of the touch’s power or simply as a power boost to keep the it kicking, the XGPS300 is capable of doubling its battery life. Battery pack cases alone usually cost between $60-$100, not to mention that this also means you’re not tethered to your car. Unlike many other standalone GPS units, which get all of their power from the cigarette lighter, this one can be taken hiking, biking, swimming…well maybe not swimming, but you get the idea.

Continue reading GPS for an iPod Touch, Coming in February »

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