iPhone 4 Case Review: Mophie Juice Pack Air Snap Case for iPhone 4 Review Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Slim and light, form fitting, and now can dock without taking out the case.
What's Not: Top is unprotected.
Mophie Juice Pack Air is a slightly slimmer version of the Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone 4, though not by much, 0.03" slimmer. The biggest differences between the newly design Mophie Juice Pack Air snap case vs. the Juice Pack Plus case are the snap off bottom on the Juice Pack Air that allows you to use it with a docking station or audio system while with the Juice Pack Plus you will need to take off the case. The Juice Pack Air case also has lower battery capacity and runtime than the Juice Pack Plus and $20 cheaper in MSRP.
There are two versions of the Mophie Juice Pack Air currently, and the new ?Snap Case? version is only available at Apple stores both online and in retail. The new design allows you to take off the bottom part of the case, exposing the 30-pin connector along with the bottom of the iPhone 4 so that you may plug it in a docking station, an alarm clock or an audio speaker without having to take the phone out of the case. This is a super convenient feature for those who are using the mophie juice pack air as their daily protective case as well as an external battery pack. The new juice pack air snap case also leaves the top of the iPhone 4 mostly open, but the case does protect the top corners for structural support.
As a case, the mophie juice pack air snap case is protective with 2-tone metallic build that?s sturdy and hard. The case currently comes in black with a brushed aluminum band around the case. The built-in rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery is molded into the form fitting case for the iPhone 4. The mophie juice pack air has super soft surface on both inside and outside of the case and will not scratch your iPhone 4. Since both the top and bottom ends of the case are curved, you will need to take off the bottom snap part to slide one side of the iPhone 4 in the case, and then gently push the other side in. Use the same method to take the case off: free one side of the case from the iPhone 4 first to take it off. The case has a small ridge on the front, so when you put the phone face down, the case will touch the flat surface, not your iPhone 4?s display.
The bottom snap part of the new mophie juice air has a built-in 30-pin connector for the iPhone 4 to use the built-in battery power. Like with other Juice Pack battery cases, the Juice Pack Air has two sound holes on the front and four LED lights on the bottom of the case to indicate battery and charging levels. You can charge the case via the microUSB port on the bottom right and a power on/off button for the battery case lives on the bottom left.
The mophie juice pack air snap case has liberal cutouts for the side buttons, top buttons and port, and the rear camera. The cutout for the volume buttons and the silence button is long and should fit either the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 or the Verizon version. Buttons are easy to use thanks to the large cutout. The top of the iPhone 4 is exposed except for the corners, so the power button, audio jack and mic are all easily accessible. The rear camera cutout is also quite large, bigger than the one on the Juice Pack Plus, leaving the camera and the flash wide open for easy access.
The snap case design makes it easier to plug the iPhone 4 in a docking station or a speaker system without taking the phone out of the battery case. We tested it with some well designed docks like the Griffin dual docking system and some speakers that have a good space around the 30-pin connector, and we could plug in our iPhone 4 without taking it out of the juice pack air. The case still adds some thickness on the back of the iPhone 4 even with the snap off, so any dock or audio system with small or no extra space around the 30-pin connect won?t work with the juice pack air even with the snap off.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air Snap Case for iPhone 4 has a built-in 5V 0.5A battery that?s 1500mAh in capacity. It will charge your iPhone 4 from 0% - 50% with a full charge, and extend 3G talk time up to 6 hours. You can charge the battery pack with the included microUSB cable via either a computer or the iPhone 4?s AC charger. It takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge the battery pack, and the built-in LED indicates the battery level when you are charging it. Like with all Mophie Juice Pack batteries, the juice pack air has smart battery technology built-in. It takes less than an hour to dump all its power to your iPhone 4 thanks the fast charge technology, and it will protect your iPhone 4 from overcharging and short circuit. If you are using the phone while the battery pack is on, it will use the external battery power before going to the iPhone 4 battery. The 30-pin connector on the mophie juice pack air can pass through power and data simultaneously, so you can charge and sync at the same time. While the battery pack is intelligently enough to recognize full cycle charging version partial charging, the mophie juice air comes with a on/off button so that you can turn it off when your iPhone 4 doesn?t need charging.
Like with the mophie juice plus, the mophie juice air has a ?sound box? built into the bottom of the case. It lets the iPhone 4?s speaker sound out through two front sound holes, and the small sound box acts like a small amplifier. It actually works effectively, and the sound that comes out of the iPhone 4 speaker is louder and has more bass through the mophie juice air snap case.
Mophie made this juice pack air battery case with a new design that lets you dock your iPhone 4 without taking out of the case. It has all the nice features we?ve come to know about juice pack battery packs including slim form, intelligent battery, fast charging and more. It has more port access on top compared to the juice pack plus and is slightly thinner. If you are looking for an intense gaming day battery top off or emergency top off on a trip, the mophie juice air is a capable battery pack to take with. If you often need top off, then you can certainly make this your regular case with power built-in. For longer battery runtime, do check out the Juice Pack Plus that has 2000mAh capacity battery.