When it comes to our gadgets, there’s never enough juice, right? Battery life is probably one of the most important features on a mobile device. Although good progress has been made in battery life over the past few years, a rough day at work, or an exciting trip can be quite taxing on the battery of any smartphone. The iPhone might not have a replaceable battery, but it has options.

Among those, you can find the Mophie Juice Pack Air, and the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. They have essentially the same purpose: to extend the iPhone 4’s battery life (don’t miss our iPhone 4 Review). The Pack Air version has a 1500mAh capacity by itself, which is similar to what most smartphones have. The “Plus” version has a 2000mAh integrated battery. As you can guess, the Plus version is slightly bigger too.

mophie-juice-pack battery case

They are very simple to use: both act as an iPhone 4 case (or jacket if you want), that will both protect and charge the device at the same time. There’s also an ON/OFF switch that controls if the juice flows from the case to the iPhone: that way, if you want to use the Juice Pack as a “reserve”, you can. Once switched “on”, your iPhone thinks that it is connected to a power source. Simple, no? (Note that because the iPhone thinks that it is connected to a power source, it might not go to sleep to save power – keep an eye on that)

The design is pretty neat, but you have the photo gallery, so check it out and decide if you like the design (drop a comment to share your opinion). Also, it fixes the antennagate issue of the iPhone 4 [that seems to have been (more or less) fixed on the Verizon iPhone)].

mophie-juice-pack thickness

I’ll have to admit that I would not use it on a daily basis because I tend to use my phone mainly to check emails, and I don’t do stuff that is super-taxing to the battery, so I can get by a normal day very easily. However, when I go to places like CES or other shows, I tend to use my iPhone 4 a lot more. Whether I’m sending more emails, checking on news items, or posting directly from the phone, the battery life becomes a concern — especially if the network is bogged down (try sending, re-try….)

For me, that’s when something like the Juice Pack is really handy. Usually, our team carries external (big) USB-enabled batteries (like the HyperMac, now called HyperJuice), but it’s nice to have something that you can keep in your pocket (at least you can feel the vibrations when someone calls!). Juice Pack simply turns your slick iPhone 4 into a bigger phone… with a huge battery.

On a busy CES day (7am to 9pm) I used about 100% of the Mophie Juice Pack Air battery, plus 30% of the iPhone 4 internal battery. I still have a lot of margin, but again, I don’t call a lot.

If you wonder, both packs are using a micro-USB port which can be used to charge and sync. There is a 4-level battery indicator at the bottom, and both cases are very sturdy against shocks on the sides and in the back.

The Juice Packs are not cheap ($79.95 and $99.95, about 2.5x the price of internal batteries), so that’s really up to you to decide if it is worth it. Price aside, this is probably the most practical, hassle-free solution for heavy users.

Links: Juice Pack Air and Juice Pack Plus

Filed in Apple >Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about .

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