Sunday, 15 June 2014

Fruity Picks #4 - Expower Battery Case for iPhone 5/5s

I'm back on the road a the moment and I've noticed that my iPhone 5 battery is getting a lot more hammer than it's used to. It hasn't yet given up the ghost during the course of the day, but it isn't far off (perhaps I should cut back on the 12 hour days!).

I've not used a battery extender since my first iPhone, the iPhone 3G (I used a Mophie Juice Pack Air), but it did the trick and I decided to pursue a similar course with the iPhone 5. I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money but obviously wanted something reasonably reliable. In the end, I went for the Expower 2200Mah Rechargeable Extended Backup Battery Case for iPhone 5s/5 from Amazon.

This is a two piece case with an in-built battery and little pull-out stand. The case is a black rubberised material and weights in at just under 80g and adds about 1cm to the length of the phone and just a couple of millimetres to the width and depth. It does make the phone feel chunkier but adds a reassuring feeling of protection from the rubberised covering.

All the iPhone features remain accessible once the battery pack is in place although the lightning connector is shifted over to the bottom right of the case rather than its normal central position. This is only a problem if you have a dock set up to match the phone and don't want to remove the case before docking.

The Expower case charges with a normal lightening connector and charges the battery and phone simultaneously. Pressing the small silver button on the front of the case starts the battery, and a series of little blue LEDs gives you a visual indicator of what's going on.  I haven't done any timings yet but it doesn't appear to take an unreasonable amount of time to fully recharge the system.

During the week, I'm up at 5:45am and on the way to work by 6:15am. I find that by 13:00 the phone has been down to about 65%. This is when I kick the extra battery in and in about 30 minutes I'm back to a full charge, which then lasts for most of the rest of the day, by which time I can get back to a mains charger.

I'm very impressed with the Expower. It's sturdy, reliable, and mine cost £9.99 (with an extra £4.41 P&P - it's not available through Amazon Prime). I even bought a second Smart Wallet to stick on the back!

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