Whenever I see that red battery indicator that tells me my phone is down to its last 10%, I panic.
That's because, like most people, I use my phone for basically everything — checking work email, directions, listening to music, and of course, communicating.
While keeping your phone charged sounds easy — it isn't. How many times have you found yourself scrambling for a charger because you had forgotten to plug your phone in the night before?
Mophie, among other accessory makers, aims to make this a non-issue for smartphone users. Earlier this year it announced a new version of its Juice Pack case for the iPhone 6 Plus. The Juice Pack is exactly what it sounds like — it's a case with a built-in battery. There's a lightning charger tucked into the bottom of the case that slides into your iPhone as you secure it into the shell.
The Mophie Juice Pack essentially doubled my iPhone's battery life, but there are some trade-offs that are worth considering before you spend $100.
How it worked
In terms of sheer performance, the Mophie Juice Pack worked well. I unplugged my phone on Saturday afternoon, and it lasted all the way through to Monday night. That's about three days of battery life, whereas my iPhone 6 Plus usually lasts for about a day and a half on a single charge.
The Mophie Juice Pack fully charged my phone in about an hour and a half when it was down to 20%. Although that may sound like a long time, keep in mind the Juice Pack isn't meant to be used like a regular charger. Ideally, you're using it as a case and only switching it on when you need a little boost.
I got one full charge cycle out of the Juice Pack before I had to charge it again.
If you're planning to use the Mophie Juice Pack, you'll have to be willing to sacrifice some portability. The Juice Pack, like many other battery cases, adds a significant amount of bulk to your phone.
You'll definitely have to get used to how different your phone feels when using the case. It made the iPhone 6 Plus feel massive, although I was still able to use it with one hand. Other Business Insider staffers that stopped by my desk were surprised at how large the case looked and felt. If you typically keep your phone in your pocket, this could prove to be a problem. The back is also a bit slick, which could make it hard to grasp.
Again, this is an issue that's not specific to Mophie's cases — if you need longer battery life, you'll have to be willing to put up with carrying a larger device.
The best thing about the way the Juice Pack is designed is that it's super easy to get the phone in and out of the case. The top of the case snaps off so that you can slide the phone in or out without having to pry at it.
The Mophie Juice Pack has a cutout for the headphone jack, but it's difficult to fit the cable into the slot since the opening in the case is so far away from the actual port. I have a pair of headphones with an L-shaped jack, and I couldn't even fit it in.
Should you buy it?
If your phone is always running out of battery and you're never near an outlet, the Mophie Juice Pack is a worthwhile choice. Although the Mophie Juicepack is bulky, it's still a bit slimmer and more attractive than most offerings in its price range.