Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hardware Review: Mophie Juice Pack Reserve

Mophie’s Juice Pack Reserve gives you a few extra ounces of courage, or in this case battery, to top off your day, but lacks the power and flexibility to be a reliable external battery charger.

Although it’s the size is somewhat large at 1.60 in x 3.15 in x 0.63 in it only contains 1000mAh of battery power. That’s inconsistent with its size. Batteries with higher capacity come in a smaller size and I really expect more from such a large device.

This external charger has a unique feature I found quite annoying. It has a retractable dock connector which makes for easy travel but for difficult use. The connector wouldn’t stay in place. It would come out while carrying and would fall out of the iPhone during use. This is simply poor design that lacks the real world testing that would have shown what a terrible idea this was. A locking mechanism (most retractable pens have this) would have gone a long way to improve this product.

It does have two interesting pluses. First it has a carabiner keychain to attach to a purse or laptop bag. Additionally it has a handy-dandy flashlight, but its power was meager at best. Good for finding a lock in the dark and not much more.

Most users of external battery chargers would be best off with another product, but if you don’t mind the retractable connector and need a small boost of power you can carry on a keychain or attach to a bag then this product might be a good choice. Otherwise move on to either another Mophie product or a external charger from someone else.

Pros: flashlight and carabiner keychain
Cons: meager capacity and flashlight, awkward connector

2 out of 10