Live without fear of your Galaxy S4 running out of juice with the Power Case 4,500 mAh Extended Battery Cover.
Ask pretty much any Android user on the block what one of the most important features a phone has to offer, and you’re likely to get the same response — battery life. Sure, those fancy CPU chips and brilliantly vivid displays are nice, but they won’t last long if your battery isn’t powerful enough to serve its purpose. And while manufacturers are slowly coming around and putting bigger and more efficient batteries into their devices, there’s still a lot of room for improvement — even when you’re packing a Samsung Galaxy S4, with its 2,600 mAh stock battery.
Plain and simple, if you spend a lot of time with your screen on, you’re going to need to recharge sooner than you would with it off, and what good is having one of the year’s hottest smartphones, if you can’t even get some use out of it? The Power Case 4,500 mAh Extended Battery Cover gives you exactly what you need — enough juice to make it through the entire day (and then some), even with heavy usage.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
5.7 x 2.87 x 0.59 inches
Weight – 88g
Charge time – 6-8 hours
The case’s cover consists of a vinyl-like material and bears the Galaxy S4 logo, centered at the bottom. Similar to the official S Case Flip Cover, there is a display window on the cover that, when closed, shows the time and date, your battery status, and any awaiting notifications you may have. The display activates by opening the cover, or even slightly raising it off of the phone’s screen. There is a tiny magnet inside of the front cover, right under the display window, that tells the phone when the cover opens and closes. There is also an opening in the cover for the phone’s earpiece speaker, so you can hear through it with the cover closed.
The material wraps completely around the cover panel, so the inside has the same vinyl-like feel as the outside. This adds some protection, although not as much as a traditional screen protector will. The downfall of owning the white Galaxy S4 and the white Power Case to match: that vinyl material loves to attract dirt, and doesn’t like to clean easily. After only a few days of using the case, my cover is already starting to get pretty noticeably dirty — I can only imagine how it will look after a year or so.
On the inside of the case, there is a power button on the bottom right-hand corner that switches charging on and off. When turned on, you can track the case’s remaining battery life with the four small blue LED lights, centered at the bottom of the case. To the left of that, there’s a small speaker that the case redirects your phone’s audio through, there’s also another speaker outlet on the back of the case, towards the bottom on the left-hand side. The Power Case does a pretty good job of redirecting audio through its speakers. I will say they don’t sound quite as good as those inside of the Galaxy S4, but they do sound decent enough to get the job done.
At the top of the case, there is a small section that slides up, allowing you to insert the Galaxy S4 into the case and plug it into the Micro USB charging port facing up at the bottom of the inside of the case. Once “installed”, you slide the top piece back down to fully secure your phone within the case. The volume buttons are easily accessible on the left of the phone, as is the power button on the right. The top of the case is open, leaving the IR blaster and headphone jack completely accessible, and you can plug headphones into the jack without having to apply any pressure.
On the back of the case, the camera and flash are both exposed, and gain a bit of extra protection thanks to the case’s bulk adding width to the back of the phone. There is also a kickstand for propping the phone up while watching videos, listening to music, or whatever else you may want to have it standing up for. As I mentioned before, there’s also a speaker at the bottom of the case around back.
The Power Case charges at 0.8 amps, which is slightly less than half of what the S4′s wall charger juices up at (a full 2 amps), and just a bit quicker than the official Wireless Charging Kit (0.65 amps). With almost double the Galaxy S4′s battery capacity on board (the S4 is 2,600 mAh, the Power Case is 4,500 mAh), there’s nearly enough to charge the phone completely twice, which is more than enough to get you through the day until you’re somewhere you can recharge everything.
Speaking of recharging, the Power Case can either be charged separately, or with the phone installed. To charge the case, you simply connect the Micro USB cable with the case and plug it into the wall. The LED indicators will flash, indicating the amount of charge the battery is currently sitting at. To charge your phone, with it cradled in the Power Case, you press the power button on the case (lower right-hand side on the front), and you’ll see the charging icon displayed on your Android device. To charge both the case and your phone, press the switch key on the bottom right, the phone charges first. Press the switch again to stop the phone charging priority.
Final thoughts and rating:
Do you need a Power Case for you Galaxy S4? That’s up to you, of course. If you’re a busy body who is always out and about, the answer to that question is probably yes. If you don’t stray from home, or at least from an electricity outlet often, you probably won’t need one, but it never hurts to have one around for when you do need it. When you’re out camping for the weekend, or running around at a big tech convention, you’ll be glad you have the extra juice. Just remember, it does effectively turn your phone into a brick thanks to the weight of the extended battery.
The price here is just as impressive as the product itself. You can snag a Power Case for your S4 for only $36.00, plus $3.00 for shipping over at shop.brando.com. At that price, it’s really hard to pass up on this one.
Rating: 4/5 — Only because it adds so much weight to the device. I totally don’t mind the trade-off for having so much extra battery at my disposal, but I know some of you will.