As a mobile power user, I’m constantly draining my iPhone 5’s battery, often finding myself recharging multiple times each day. While this is less of an issue when I’m at the office, this poses a huge challenge whilst traveling away from home and especially overseas.[For a review of some great non-charging iPhone 5 cases: Click Here]
I’ve recently reviewed a number of charging solutions, some that are iPhone 5 specific, and some that can be used for multiple devices. Additionally, there are a whole new crop of solar powered mobile charging solutions that I did not review for this post. (There were also one or two devices that did not properly work and I’ve left them off this review) (See below for images)
- Mophie Juice Pack Helium – iPhone 5 Battery Case – $79.95
- Icanonic Elite – iPhone 5 Battery Case – $49.95
- New Trent Easypak 5V/3A built-in Cable Charger – External Battery – $39.95
- Photive iPhone 5 Portable Battery Charger with Built in Lightning Cable – External Battery for iPhone 5 – $29.95
- New Trent Travelpak+ – External Battery – $42.79
I have mixed feelings towards the battery cases (Mophie & Icanonic). On one hand they provide the convenience of both protecting the device and charging simultaneously, making it easy to grab the phone and go, no matter the current battery status. On the downside, I find that their ability to full charge the device, when the phone is below 10% battery life, is limited, and if it does, the case is left completely dead. Also, the iPhone 5 is already an elongated phone, and the battery cases add additional inches to the bottom of the case, making it much larger to carry, not to mention the heat they give off whilst charging in your hand or pocket. The other downside to these cases: they charge a different cable than the iPhone 5 cable. Annoying to carry both. Overall, I like the convenience they offer, as they basically double your battery life and protect your phone simultaneously.
The New Trent devices are thicker and heavier than the others, but boy, do they pack some juice. They both have 2 USB slots, where you could insert any USB cord to charge your favorite devices, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and literally anything else that is USB charged. The versatility of being able to charge multiple devices at once, including one of the aforementioned cases and phones, makes it a great backup to keep in your travel bag. The main difference between them is the Travelpak+ plugs into the wall directly, and the Easypak needs a cord to charge.
The Photive device is a slim battery just supporting the iPhone 5, with a built in lightening cable. It’s light weight, can charge a bit more than the battery cases, and the cheapest option of the bunch, but can only charge lightening cable devices (iPhone 5 and the new iPads at the moment).
If there are devices that you’ve used that I didn’t review, please comment below and let us know what you use to charge up!