Mophie's new charging case costs $30 less than Apple's version and looks so much more streamlined
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- The Mophie Powerstation XL external battery is one of my most essential items, but it's admittedly a hassle to carry. I found a great solution with another Mophie product.
- The Mophie Juice Pack Access is the brand's newest charging case available for the latest generation of iPhones X, Xs, Xs Max, and Xr. It uses wireless charging to give and receive a charge, so it works completely independent of the lightning port.
- At $99.99, the Mophie Juice Pack Access is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to buying a good case and separate external battery. It's also cheaper and better-looking than Apple's $129 battery case.
In more ways than I'm willing to count, smartphones have become the center of our lives.
Okay, maybe I'll count. Our phones are much more than telephones; they're the modern version of carrying around an MP3 player, daily newspaper, your favorite books, car navigation system, digital camera, and a bunch of other things all in one. Without them, most people would be literally and figuratively lost in this world - and that's why a "low battery" notification is usually more alarming than those annoying emergency blasts for flash floods and amber alerts.
Luckily, external batteries have saved us from fiendishly looking for wall outlets to get a few minutes worth of juice while on the go, and Mophie is much to thank for that. But with the convenience of external batteries also comes the hassle of having to carry around that one extra item all day.
Don't get me wrong, I still swear by my Mophie Powerstation XL because I can depend on it to keep my phone charged for days at a time, but when I'm not carrying a bag, it can be a burden to stuff into my pocket or juggle between my hands.
The Juice Pack Access (currently $99.99 at Best Buy) is Mophie's newest battery case for the latest generation of iPhones (the X, Xs, Xs Max, and Xr). Combining the protection of traditional phone case and the charging convenience of an external battery, the Juice Pack Access features a slip-in design that ensures your phone stays secure and a built-in 2,200mAh battery for a streamlined design.
I think that wireless charging is one of the best modern smartphone features and settling for a case that completely eliminates that function can be a hard pill to swallow. Fortunately, the Juice Pack Access is built around that technology.
How it works
You can charge the case via the USB-C port at the bottom or with a wireless charger. Regardless of how you decide to charge the device, Priority+ Charging will send power to your iPhone before charging the case itself. When you're ready to use the case, just hold the power button on the back for four seconds and it'll begin charging your phone.
It essentially acts as a wireless charger itself, so it works completely independent of the lightning port. That means you can charge your phone via the case and still have access to the lightning port to listen to music with wired headphones.
Its durability as a phone case
In terms of serving as a case, I was more than happy with the protection it provided. I accidentally left my phone on my lap while getting out of my car and it went flying. The case suffered a few small gashes, but it still gives and takes a charge as it should and my phone itself was completely fine. For what it's worth, that same accident completely annihilated the screen on one of my previous iPhones with what I thought was a good case.
It's worth noting that the finish of the case shows imperfections very clearly, so if you have oily or sticky hands, it'll transfer. That might annoy some people, but I regularly wipe my phone and case off anyway (and you should too), so it wasn't a big deal for me.
The bottom line
While the Juice Pack Access Case isn't the only charging case available, I'd argue that it's the best. Apple's version is $30 more and in my opinion, has a less flattering design with the bulging battery on the back. Granted, the Juice Pack Access sticks out a little too, but it's definitely more streamlined.
Considering that an external battery will cost you about $60 (I paid $70 for my Powerstation XL) and a decent protective iPhone case is about $40, I found the Juice Pack Access Case to be a valuable and inexpensive accessory at $100.
The iPhone Xs Max is rated at 25 hours of battery life, but with the case, I had about 31. The extra six hours was more than enough to get me through the rest of the day or at least to someplace where I could charge my phone. Even if you're a daredevil that waits until you're on 1% to start charging your phone, the extra power can be a lifesaver.
If you're tired forcing yourself to limit your phone usage and still end up with a dead battery, pick up the Mophie Juice Pack Access and never go without a charge again.
Mophie Juice Pack Access Wireless Charging Battery Case, $99.99, available for iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, and XR
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