Battery Case Showdown: Apple's Smart Case vs. Mophie's Juice Pack Access

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Right around the time that Apple debuted new Smart Battery cases designed for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, Mophie, a popular accessory maker, also introduced its Juice Pack Access battery cases for the new iPhones.

    In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with the Juice Pack Access to compare it to Apple's Smart Battery Case to see if it's a better option for those looking to extend their iPhone batteries.

    The cases are similar in weight and thickness, and both cases have a hump design with an area where the battery inside the case protrudes. The Juice Pack Access is also made from a smooth plastic while the Smart Battery Case is silicone, so those who don't like silicone may prefer the plastic.

    Like the Smart Battery Case, the Juice Pack Access allows Lightning accessories to be used because it leaves the Lightning port unobstructed. Prior cases used the Lightning port to supply power to the iPhone, but the new model uses Qi wireless charging exclusively.

    The Juice Pack Access charges the iPhone at the 5W wireless charging speed, which is a bit slow. Apple's solution, meanwhile, builds an extra Lightning port into the Smart Battery Case because Apple has access to tighter integrations.

    The benefit there is Lightning support with faster charging, though with a battery case, charging speed isn't a huge factor since it's meant to be used throughout the day, but it can be important if you're putting the battery case on in a situation where your battery is already nearly drained.

    You can charge the Juice Pack Access wirelessly on a Qi charger or through an included USB-C port, though those who don't already have USB-C devices and cables may find that cumbersome. Apple's Smart Battery Case charges either wirelessly or through the Lightning port, which is more convenient.

    There's a 2,200mAh battery in the Juice Pack Access for iPhone XS Max and a 2,000mAh battery in the cases for the XR and XS, while Apple's Smart Battery Case offers more power thanks to two 1,369mAh batteries in the device.

    For example, Mophie says the iPhone XS Max paired with the Juice Pack offers 31 hours of talk time, 16 hours of internet use, and 18 hours of video playback.

    The iPhone XS Max with the Smart Battery Case offers a total of 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of internet use, and 25 hours of video playback.

    In our testing, the Smart Battery Case lasted for a longer period of time than the Juice Pack, which is not surprising given that it offers a bit more power.

    The Smart Battery Case has the edge over Mophie's version when it comes to checking battery level. Because of the tight iOS integration, you can see your Smart Battery Case battery level on the Lock screen and in the Notification Center, with Apple offering exact charge numbers.

    There are four LEDs to indicate charge on the Juice Pack, but it's not nearly as granular. You also don't need to turn the Smart Battery Case on - it just works and is constantly supplying power to the iPhone when it's on the iPhone. You will need to make sure turn on the Juice Pack Access, which could be a benefit or a hassle depending on your perspective.

    Apple sells its Smart Battery Cases for the 2018 iPhones for $129 in Apple retail stores, third-party stores, and online. Mophie's Juice Pack Access, available from the Mophie website, is more affordable at $99, but it loses out on some bells and whistles you get with Apple's case.

    What do you think of the Juice Pack Access? Is the $29 savings worth it over Apple's Smart Battery Case? Let us know in the comments.

    Article Link: Battery Case Showdown: Apple's Smart Case vs. Mophie's Juice Pack Access
  2. sundog925 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 19, 2011
    I use the 7 SBC on my 8 and it works great.

    I just wish there was a way to turn off/on the charging rather than just discharging it automatically.
  3. martyjmclean macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2018
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    It’s a shame the Mophie case now looks like an Apple case, they looked better before.
  4. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    i like the ability to control when I want to charge my phone with the external battery... Also. no Apple battery case for iphone 7 or 8???

    I'm sticking with mophie
  5. fumi2014 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2014
    I watched this and the video on Appleinsider. The Apple Case is hands-down the best, in my opinion. On the Mophie, I don't like the detachable part at the top and the two sockets. And those stupid lights on the back. It's a messy solution. Plus, with the Apple case, you get the tight integration with iOS and how it manages power.
  6. yesterdaylight macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    One piece that is missing in your comparison - charging efficiency. Even if the Mophie and Apple products had the same battery capacity, the Apple case would still last longer given the Mophie's efficiency losses in wireless charging.
  7. sundog925 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 19, 2011
    i literally just said i use the iPhone 7 case on my 8 lol, you gotta read dude
  8. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
    I'm just curious, why do you need to control when the phone's battery is charging? I find it a lot more convenient with the Smart Battery Case for my iPhone 6S, where my phone's battery stays topped off all the time. Then at the end of the day, I've depleted the external battery and can take it off, while still having a fully charged internal battery.

    And Apple does make a Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 7 and 8, just not the plus models.
  9. stevenisHAUNTED macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2007
    My biggest complaint and why I went with Mophie over Apple is the fact that Apple doesn't have a case for the iPhone X. It's meant for the newer iPhones even though the X and XS have the same dimensions the speaker/microphone is blocked if you were to use the case on the X. To add insult to injury you'll get a message stating this accessory isn't supported. o_O
  10. mrow macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2009
    Can we stop quoting mAh figures and start using the Wh figures? mAh is misleading when voltage isn’t taken into consideration.
  11. mrow macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2009
    Why doesn’t Mophie support lightning charging in their cases though? I don’t get it. Apple has supported this for years and there a million cases on Amazon that support lighting charging for the battery. It’s infuriating for the amount they charge for their cases.
  12. Loismustdie1 macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2015
  13. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Yeah, why?
  14. Amacfa macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    One looks like a cheap thick battery case, the other looks like a nice Apple silicon case with a tumor. Both look hideous, but the Apple case is much more aesthetically pleasing, easier to take off, feels nice. Better battery and tight OS integration.

    It’s a no brainer
  15. rjp1 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2015
    The Apple case works just fine for iPhone X/Xs. There is no "unsupported" message on the X. I've been using it since a few days after it came out with no problem.
  16. afir93 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2018
    May I ask why you prefer such an on/off-button for the battery case? Is there any situation where you want the phone's battery to completely deplete while the battery case still holds a charge? Personally I can't think of any situation where I'd find that useful, quite the opposite – having to micromanage one additional device and make sure that it's actually turned on each day just seems like an additional hassle.
  17. Spartan Weaver macrumors newbie

    Spartan Weaver

    Jan 15, 2019
    I have the battery case from apple for the Max, it works great and helped me survive a full day away from power at the super bowl (while taking lots of photos and 4K video!). The only thing I never liked about the silicone is how nasty the case will look after some usage, like I have dipped my hands in a oil that is tough to take off. The Mophie looks nice, but I think I grew to liking the apple case (even though I hated the weight addition on day 1).
  18. mrow macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2009
    It does make the Max damn heavy. With the case on it almost weighs as much as an iPad.
  19. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Apple SBC FTW... The OS integration is tops. Just put your phone in it and don't worry about it. Also, not setting off iCloud backups when connected like the Mophie
  20. izyreal macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    As a person that has tried many battery cases, I've finally given up trying. The Apple battery case is worth the price.
  21. fumi2014 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2014
    I've been using the Apple case for about three weeks and love it. Okay, it's a bit heavy and not exactly aesthetically pleasing but it means I can now sometimes go four days in between charging (I usually switch it to Power Save overnight and disable cellular - both through the control panel) and with the 30W USB-C Charger, it juices up both the case and phone at the same time - both hitting about 95% after only an hour.

    I also love the tight iOS integration and there are no silly lights (that don't give granular measurements) on the back. The Apple case also completely covers the bottom and yet Apple's tolerances are so good that the speaker grilles line up absolutely perfectly. The black silicon also feels good with a nice firm grip. Apple's solution is simple and elegant. It manages everything for you, no on/off button or other such nonsense.

    If you want a smart battery case, Apple's is by far the best option (IMO).
  22. TonnyM macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2017
  23. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    The Mophie case doesn't look very well designed around the camera.

    I like my new Apple Smart Battery Case. The phone is a bit hard to get out of the case, though.
  24. powerboy123 macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2015
    My mophie is clunky and dropped it and the battery got fatter??.. man.. the Apple case is very soft and nice,hides dirt and is snug. hate the mophie 2part case, feels like 2004- what happen to that company?
  25. CosmicRichy macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2015
    The only thing I worry about with my XR Smart Battrey Case is how long it’s going to hold up for. I’m draining all the way down to 0% in about a day with medium/heavy use and I’m not charging again until my iPhone is at least 40% and that takes another 24hours of usage.

    Since this is now my main case I’ve opted to leave it on permanently until Apple decides to make a silicone case for the XR then I’ll be able to easily swap between the two on the fly.

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