I rely on battery packs for days when I’m out of the office a lot, and from the ones I’ve tried, the Mophie Juice Pack was ideal for me. I didn’t want something too bulky, a solar one, or have something dangling out of my port (powermonkey).
I’ve used the Juice Pack Air on iPhone 4 and since using a 5, I wanted to get one as soon as I could because it became a necessity. The difference with the Helium and Air is that the Helium is thinner and gives you up to 80% more battery; whereas the Air gives up to 100% (which is what I used to get with the 4). According to Mophie, you should get 100% on at least 500 full cycles (not partial cycles).
My first choice wasn’t available at the Apple Store, so I went for the Helium. I appreciate that its lighter (this wasn’t my concern because I prefer the Air) and that I get 80% more juice out of it. I used my phone a lot when travelling and was out all day, so it came really handy by late afternoon/early evening. Once you put the battery case on, you flip the little switch and it starts charging. I’m not concerned about getting 80% battery because as a whole, the battery on the 5 lasts longer than the 4 (I’m not updating to iOS 6.1.3 yet though, based on complaints I’ve read). So whatever charge I get at late afternoon is enough to get me through the evening, before getting home.
To charge the juice pack, you can do it either via USB or a compatible plug (like the ones you get in the box with your iPhone). Once it starts charging, you will see the LED lights at the back of the case blink, which turns off after 30 seconds. If at a later stage you want to see how far it has charged, you can press the button to the left of the LEDs. Each LED that lights up indicates a quarter.
A new addition to the Juice Pack is an extension to the audio jack, so you can make use of earphones while your phone charges. Its a nice add-on but I doubt I’ll be making much use of it.
The Mophie Juice Pack has always been my personal choice when it comes to battery boosting packs. If you are looking for something similar without the bulk, then this is the best one you will find. Also, it’s the first iPhone 5 battery pack to hit the market – so not sure what options have been available since.
I paid around R700 for it at the Apple Store in New York and I know it will be coming to South Africa soon. If you cannot wait, Have2Have is selling imported ones.