Alternative to iPhone 5 battery case?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by mkstewartesq@co, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. mkstewartesq@co macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Okay, because of the lightning port change, it's clear that iPhone battery cases for the 5 won't be out anytime soon.

    Last year, I used a Mophie juice pack on a trip to New York city and it was a lifesaver. Using the pack, I was able to take photos all day without needing a recharge.

    I have another trip to New York in the middle of October, and it's clear that true battery cases won't be out by that time. Given the poor life I am getting on my new iPhone battery, I obviously need some alternative, otherwise I won't be able to take pictures for more than four or five hours without needing a recharge. Does anyone have any ideas? The only thing I can really think of is buying one of those USB battery packs and keeping it in my camera bag with the lightning cable that came with my phone. However, that is going to be a real bear having to carry all that around, as well as giving up taking pictures for however long it takes to charge from the USB battery pack to the phone via the cable. There's also the little matter of having my iPhone attached to a cable attached to a USB battery pack as I am walking around the city.

    Does anyone have any better ideas? If I go with the USB battery charger pack, does anyone have any good recommendations?

  2. jpiszcz macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2010
    I have a similar dilemma.

    There's a bunch on amazon/ebay but Mophie also makes battery packs:

    Anyone have any experience with them, particular the 4000mah one or 2500mah one?
  3. msaftw macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    have you considered turning LTE off for the trip? Will double your battery life.
  4. mkstewartesq@co thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Well, I'm sure that would help, but I was only on 3G when I went to NYC last year, using an iPhone 4, and I needed the Mophie by late afternoon. So turning the LTE off will certainly keep the situation fom getting worse than it was last year, but I don't expect it to make it good enough to make some sort of battery supplemental unnecessary.

    Along the lines of the poster above, I was also thinking of a Mophie 30-pin battery pack, if I can get my hands on a lightning-30 pin adapter by then, so would also appreciate thoughts on that option as well.

  5. jaru0462 macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2012
  6. Armeniandave macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    San Diego
    I have the 4000mah one and it works great. I can get around three full charges on it. It's about the size of the phone and easy to take with you. When I go on scuba diving trips I always take it with me.
  7. Rob27 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    Mophie Chargers

    I have the 4000 and the larger 16000 with five USB ports for charging. Both work well so far and the 4000 is quite portable and light for what you get out of it.
  8. Jayohwhy macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    I'm going on a trip soon and was faced with the same dilemma as I previously had always carried around a mophie juice pack boost just in case.

    I purchased an extra lightning cable to carry in my purse (since i probably would need an extra if i wanted to usb charge from my work laptop) and this battery pack from amazon

    It arrives today. I thought the price was good, especially for 5200 mAh and it had pretty solid reviews. I'll update you on how it goes.
  9. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Powerstation Duo or Pro?

    I need to purchase an external battery this week as I'm going in a 5 day trip and I see that Amazon is offering the Mophie Powerstation Duo for $99.95 but I can buy the Powerstation pro for $58 and get two of them instead.

    I'll be chargin my wife;s iPhone 4S and my iPhone 5.

    My question is if two Pro at 4000 mAh will be better than the high output Duo 6000 mAh at 2.1 amps

    Also any experience with the New Trent or PowerGen products from Amazon? They look like they have much bigger batteries for exceptional price ($20-$30) But something is telling me those batteries will not hold like the Mophie one does.

    I'm ready to order any of the batteries to receive them in time for my trip.

    Thank you in advance for your answer.
  10. mkstewartesq@co thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Well, since no cases are out or have been announced since I started this thread, I just bought a Powerstation Mini (2000 mah) for use on my next trip at the end of this week. I power cycled it once and have been using it to test prior to my trip. Seems to be pretty good for what it does; it charges the battery at about 1% or so a minute, which is pretty fast. My understanding is that all of the Powerstation line of products charge the phone at approximately the same rate, so the products that you are proposing with double the battery size would not necessarily charge your phones any faster than the one I bought, but would rather charge the phones more times before the battery itself would need to be recharged.

    I know the higher end Mophies such as the ones you're proposing will also output at 2.1 Amps, which is necessary for charging an iPad. However, again just my understanding based on what I read, they will not charge the phones using the 2.1 amp setting but will rather charge the phones at the lower 1 amp that setting appropriate to the phone (the battery autodetects the required amperage for the device it is connected to.) So I don't believe someone should buy on the misunderstanding that the 2.1 amp output will mean that it will charge an iPhone more quickly than the other products in that line.

    The one I bought is very light and will easily fit in my pocket so I can charge on the go. All in all, I certainly would have preferred a case for charging but this is a decent substitute for what I needed at this point in time.

  11. dwa2011 macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2011
    Northwest Atlanta
    Just for future reference, I have had success with newtrent. They have good battery packs and I have had no problems with any of them. I highly recommend them.
  12. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    How many charges?

    Thank you for your answer, can you tell me how many iPhone charges you'll get with one full charge of the Powerstation mini?
  13. mkstewartesq@co thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    I'd guess about 1.5 to 2 full charges. Not more than that. It has four LEDs indicating capacity (4 LEDs lit means the battery on the Mini is fully charged) -yesterday I charged my iPhone 5 to full from 50% and the Mini had 3 out of 4 LEDs still lit when I was done.

  14. jpiszcz macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2010
    What made you choose the mini over the power station? Would travelling with a powerstaton (4000mah) or greater (6000mah) be like carrying a brick in your pocket?
  15. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010

    Thank you, that was my thought too about the size, the mini looks really nice but the 4000 mAh will probably give you 4 charges?

    I'm also looking at the New Trent iCarrier 12000 mAh, they claim to fully charge the iPhone 6 time but it is a little bigger and it looks like you can only charge it with their wall adapter instead of a microusb to usb and plug that into your iPhone charger.
  16. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    Yes I keep LTE turned off most of the time because AT&T HSPA is good enough for me. And saves a lot of battery life.
  17. mkstewartesq@co thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Here's my thinking on why I got the Mini:

    1. I wanted something as small as possible, as I will be carrying it in my pocket as I am going around NYC during the day. I will literally have my phone attached to the Mophie via the USB cable for some time during the day to charge. That being said, I was shocked at how light the Mini is - much lighter than I would expect - so I doubt that the regular Powerstation would be all that much heavier such as it would be a "brick" to carry around.

    2. Based on how I used my Mophie battery case last year (which was really only good for charging the phone completely once or so per cycle), I killed my phone battery about half way through the day (taking pictures) and used the battery case to keep it going for the rest of the day until I got back to my hotel. At night, I charged the battery case and phone to full again. Since I was already used to having to charge the battery case each night, I figure I would charge the Mini each night as well. Given that, I didn't see a need for a battery that could go for longer without charging as I was going to charge it each night anyhow, so the 2000 mAH Mini seemed to be the right choice in order to ensure keeping the form factor as small as possible.


    (edit - another reason - through not heavy, the Mini is quite a bit smaller than the iPhone, while the Powerstation (regular) is about the same size as the iPhone but a bit thicker. Just personal preference, but I didn't want to have TWO iPhone-sized objects stuffed into pockets. So, the Mini is a bit easier to carry around, though not necessarily because of any advantage in weight - more an advantage in size.
  18. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Mini or Powerstation?

    Yes, looking at the reviews I love the form factor of the Mini, I've had the Juice Plus case on my 4S on trips to Disney and by mid afternoon after heavily using the phone I always turned on and got back to the hotel around midnight with about 50% of total battery left.

    Right now the Powerstation 4000 mAh is $58 on Amazon so I guess it does not make sense to get the Mini for the same price when I could get double the battery unless the physical size is a big issue to carry around.
  19. SunnyFL macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Anyone know anything about the Meridian iPhone 5 Rechargeable Extended Battery Case?
  20. mkstewartesq@co thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Only that, last I heard, it wasn't due for release until late December.

  21. estoydadude macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2012
    It is painful to have a bunch of staff you have to carry around just to make the phone stay alive.
    Have you heard about any cases with swappable batteries?
    Here is what I am using now:
    I have an iPhone 4s and I am working on the field as an organizer for a lot of events in the California bay area, saw this brand called "UNU" in the BFD 2012 and got one of their swappable case, later when they have this new charging dock and I thought that was good so I got it. I do have to say it is very useful, I don't want to compare it with other cases but the swappable batteries option is very good, because I can have a few more spare batteries in my pocket as I go, and I don't need to recharge anything if i have them.
    Saw it on their site that they will have the case very soon, heard it might come out later this month?
    I think you can check them out if interested.
  22. ohmygoodness macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2013
  23. 3rdiguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2012
    I use Just Mobile Gum Plus (5,200mAh) and got it for $75. I use a lightning to micro USB adapter and it works fine

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