No matter how much we love our iPhones, their feeble battery life has probably left most of us mumbling not so nice things about them.
Blink and they can go from a 100 percent charge to 60 percent.
I can’t wait for the iPhone 6, but am wondering if Apple will be able to do any better with what’s likely to be a bigger screen that gobbles power.
There are things we can do to extend battery life. You know the drill:
Set screen brightness lower.
Turn off push delivery of email.
Turn off automatic app updates.
Shut down unnecessary apps running in the background.
Put it in a brown paper bag, swing it around your head and cackle like a chicken.
In many—if not most—cases, those things aren’t enough, so we look to devices that extend battery life. I’ve done all those things.
Still, one morning this week my iPhone 5 battery went from 100 percent charged at 7:30 a.m. to 60 percent at 10 a.m. Then I turned on the phone’s hot spot and it was down to 20 percent by 11 a.m.
When the not so nice words start to flow that early in the day, there’s a real problem.
A friend recently asked me about the recent flurry of $20 and $30 gadgets that claim to provide miraculous relief.
A variety of car chargers are available in the $25 to $50 range, and they help if you drive a lot during the day.
Don’t waste your money, however, on cheap pocket and key chain type chargers. I’ve tried a dozen of them and they’re of little use unless you need just enough power for brief emergency use.
The only thing I’ve found that makes a real difference is the Mophie Juice Pack case—and they don’t come cheap.
I bought a Mophie Juice Pack Plus ($119) case for my iPhone 5 early this year, which the company says extends battery life up to 120 percent. It hurt to plunk down over $100 for a backup battery for a cell phone, but I was ecstatic with the results. Suddenly my iPhone, which had been conking out after five hours, was good to go for a day and a half. When your iPhone battery runs down, flip a small switch on the back of the Mophie and it recharges fully.
Other Mophies range from about $80 to $180 for the new Mophie Space Pack that provides your phone an extra 32 GB of storage in addition to backup power. The Space Pack’s syncing feature allows users to sync home and phone photo storage, offload photos from your phone on the go, and then download them into your computer.
Mophie also makes similar cases for Samsung Galaxy S line and HTC One phones and portable power stations for smartphones, tablets and USB devices.
Beware of counterfeits and knockoffs when buying online. It’s best to buy a Mophie in a bricks-and-mortar store for that reason.
What I’ve found is that while the Mophie is a great product for a few months, there are lemons that wear out quickly. I bought one for my wife and one for myself. I had to return mine at about the four-month mark because it simply conked out. And I’ve heard similar complaints.
I took mine back to the AT&T store in Southpoint II, and it was replaced without hesitation. However, I’ve been told that such returns are rare and that many sales people who sell iPhones use Mophie cases.
My second Mophie is still going strong after four months, and my wife’s is working well as she heads into month No. 8.
Mophie doesn’t claim it provides a 100 percent battery boost every time, saying “a variety of factors” determine how much extra time it provides. And the company says to expect the case to stop recharging completely at about 500 full recharge cycles, which for most might be around two years.
My biggest gripe with the Mophie is that you need to use the included headphone jack extender to listen to music, and it’s small enough to be easily misplaced.
But that’s a small complaint indeed.
Just keep your receipt when you buy your Mophie. You won’t regret the investment. And your love-hate relationship with your iPhone will lean far more toward warm, tingly feelings.
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