Mili Power Spring 4

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Outrigger, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #1
    For those of you that are looking for a battery case for the iPhone 4, there aren't too many choices out right now. The only other battery case out is the Exogear Exolife which is a 1500mah capacity, however, it won't be available until Sept 30th as per their web site.

    This is just a short overview and it isn't a full blown review since I've just had it since yesterday.

    The iPhone 4 in my opinion has great battery life, probably one of the most impressive especially for what it does. However, I do feel that if I'm using data intensive apps like Beejive or playing a lot of games, the battery will be drained relatively quickly. I like to have more than half battery left at the end of my work day, so that if I do decide to go out later, I wouldn't have to worry about charging before going out.

    I was very interested in the one offered by Exogear, but heard issues such as only charging the phone up to 70%, getting very hot at the bottom while charging. I also don't like that its a two part design where you have to use an included bumper to secure the phone to the case, so I took a pass on the preorder and waited until the Power Spring 4 from Mili which has a 1600mah capacity and will more than recharge your phone from 0 to 100% with some juice left.

    Since I only have the phone's cam right now, I'm unable to post pictures with the phone in the case so I'll do my best to describe how it looks.

    EDIT: I have updated with the phone inside the case, those 2 pictures are NOT mine, but for illustration purposes.


    [​IMG]
    This is probably one of the most stylish battery cases I have seen. You can tell Mili tried to model the case after the iPhone 4 with its silver trim so they look like they go hand in hand.

    [​IMG]
    Its a one piece design with all the openings for the ports and everything and every button is easily accessible without difficulty.

    [​IMG]
    I also noticed that although the speaker hold is kind of small, they actually amplifies sound when you put the phone on speakerphone. I believe since there is a small distance between the actual phone speaker and the case hole, that small "tunnel" is what amplifies the sound so that's a definite plus since I still don't think the phone speakerphone is loud enough.

    [​IMG]
    The entire unit is made from plastic, and feels solid with no give anywhere.

    [​IMG]
    You basically pull the front put downward, slide the phone in until the it connects with the 30 pin connector and close the top til it clicks in place. There is no felt or any soft material inside the case, so its pretty much the same smooth plastic as the outside. As you can see, the sides have this "channel" so the plastic touches the top and bottom of the phone's metal band when you slide the phone in. It does NOT make any contacts with the band's side so you don't have to worry about it scratching the metal unlike other cases. Also, the case does not provide a lip around the screen, such that when you put the phone face down, the screen will be making full contact with the surface. I have a PS antiglare and its accompanying shield for the back and there are no bubbles or scratches to the phone's back and they fit perfectly.

    New photos: Not mine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since I have only been using this since last night, I can't tell you the performance just yet so I will detail what I have noticed.

    The phone and case stays extremely cool during charging to the point where I had to check to make sure that it really was charging.

    It does add bulk so for those that don't like your phones big, you need not apply, but all battery cases will add bulk. This particular one will roughly double the thickness of the phone, but since the iPhone 4 is thin to begin with, its not thick at all and the extra juice is more than worth the thickness. It is slightly thicker than the Exogear at 18 mm vs. 14.9 mm. The reason is because its slightly shorter than the Exogear at 124 mm vs. 129.5 mm and the extra 100mah.

    I really do like this case and it is more comfortable to hold since there are no sharp angles and the slight thickness helps as well.

    Now, its not all roses, there are negatives as well.

    Because the case is thick, the cam/flash cutout is deep, and it will have the flash glare. Its slight, but it is there. So if you take pics often with flash on, do not buy this case.

    You charge the phone by inserting your phone in the case and press a button on the lower right side, but unlike the Exogear, there is no on/off button so once you press that button or plug the mini USB cable to charge, the case will charge the phone regardless if the phone is at 100% battery. The only way to turn the battery off is by sliding the phone out for a few seconds. This exclusion of an on off button is a huge oversight to me and may be a deal breaker to some. However, your phone's battery will not be damaged by being continuously charged. Its just like leaving it on the charger overnight. What I don't like is that it will deplete the case's battery first and then the phone's as opposed to the other way around.

    For those that like to use over the ear cans with big 3.5mm plugs, it most likely will not fit due to the 3.5mm cut out not being big enough. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD595 and I had to pull the top part back to use it, but the good thing is that you don't have to remove the phone from the case itself if need to use certain cans. Most earphone plugs will fit with no problem.

    The only other thing I didn't like design wise other than the cam/flash cutout would be the top. I would've much preferred if the entire top was enclosed with cut outs rather than how it is now.

    I'll continue to test out the battery to see if its close to its promised capacity and report back.

    Its on sale now for $80, but you can get it for cheaper on Ebay although some are reporting no stock til 2nd week of Sept.
     
  2. SaintsMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    Thanks for the great review! I have one on order that should be here in a few days. Keep us posted on the performance.
     
  3. Outrigger thread starter macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #3
    well... sadly, I'm going to return it today after only 1 full day of usage. When my phone was depleted down to about 5% I pushed the button to start the charge. The case was fully charged and has not been used at all. When my phone got up to 70%, the case was dead. From my understanding, the iphone has a 1400mah battery capacity, and the mili has 1600mah. My only conclusion is that the actual capacity does not equal to claimed number. I can live with the other shortfalls such as flash issue, headphone jack and no way to stop the charging other than the disconnect the phone from the case, but this is one thing I can't tolerate. These things aren't cheap and if I can't even get a full charge, its useless to me.
     
  4. SaintsMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Really! That is a bummer. So, the best it would get to was 70%?
     
  5. Outrigger thread starter macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #5
    Yup. Actually, Mophie will be coming out with their case for the ip4 starting next week. And it looks sexy as hell. Best looking one out there.
     
  6. chanerz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #6
    so mili and exogear's claimed battery life is bogus. wait for mophie!
     
  7. BustAGroove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    Area Code 626
    #7
    Thanks for the thorough review. Do you have any images of the Mophie iPhone 4 case w/battery?
     
  8. Outrigger thread starter macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
  9. jasondono macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    How long did it take to get to 70% and how much were you using the phone while it was charging?

    Got mine yesterday. After charging overnight, I put my iPhone in this morning. The hinged top is not very secure. If you touch it at all, it disengages. It doesn't swing free, but has about an eighth of an inch wiggle. Pretty sure this is going back Tuesday, but I'll try it over the weekend.
     
  10. Outrigger thread starter macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #10
    I just left it over night. Phone wasn't being used. Normally if I charge it fully before heading to bed, its still at 100% when I wake up about 7 hours later. And you're right about the top part. It isn't the most secure hinge either.
     
  11. SaintsMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11
    Mine just came in.
    I will give it a shot over the weekend as well.
     
  12. jasondono macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #12
    Update

    The hinge would not fully engage after only five ours of use.
    Around the same time, the phone started charging even though I did not initiate it nor did the led indicator show that it was on. I let it charge 17% then took it out of the case. Later I got another 50% charge before the case quit, so a total of about 70% on the first charge. There's no way of knowing whether the case was fully charged though, because 4 lights means 75-100%, if I remember the poorly written user's manual correctly.

    Definitely returning it Tuesday.
     
  13. SaintsMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    After using it over the weekend, I have decided that I like it and will keep it.

    To test the charging capability, I ran the iPhone completely down to the point that it shut down. I then put the power spring on and it charged the phone up to 75% with me using it only for phone and a few texts.

    The hinge is tricky and takes a few tries to get it to lock it place.

    The phone feel solid with the power spring on it and it does add a little bulk but not too much.
     
  14. Outrigger thread starter macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #14
    The problem is that the battery should at least give the phone a 100% charge since its capacity is supposedly bigger than the phone's.
     

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