Mophie Juice Pack Air

The iPod/iPhone aftermarket is rife with cheap, me-too cases and other plastic, made-in-[insert 4th world country here]-with-child-labor do-dad manufacturers. I could put my first born through Harvard Law by auctioning off the mountain of (ahem) useless iAccessories we’ve accumulated here at HQ.

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Not so with Mophie which has been a pleasantly unexpected departure, offering a consistently high quality, excellent line of products. Our latest test model – the Mophie Juice Pack Air — a backup battery/hard case combo for the iPhone is no exception.

Mophie Juice Pack Air: iPhone 3G Hard Case/Battery
Available in black, white and purple


Construction is a simple, two-piece affair. You first slide the iPhone into the bottom piece until it snugs into place against the battery/data connection. You then slide the top “cap” on until the whole apparatus clicks neatly into place. Once in place, the iPhone and the Juice Pack Air can simultaneously be charged by plugging the included cable into any USB slot on your computer or the standard wall adapter included with the iPhone.

I rather like the piano black finish of our test unit. It blends seamlessly with the design and shape of the iPhone – enough so that it looks “stock”.

Battery Life

A convenient series of four battery indicator lights on the back of the unit are available at the touch of a button to ”¦ wait for it ”¦ indicate your remaining battery life.

And that battery life is generous indeed. According to Mophie (and my own mixed-use testing):

  • Standby Time: 270 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 4.5 hours (3G) / Up to 9 hours (2G)
  • Internet Use: Up to 4.5 hours (3G) / Up to 5.4 hours (Wi-Fi)
  • Audio Playback: Up to 20 hours
  • Video Playback: Up to 6 hours

These numbers virtually double the life of the iPhone’s internal battery. That’s more than enough juice to keep you quietly bobbing your head on the red eye from LA to London. Or, as is my peculiar wont, to share a six hour continuous loop of Afternoon Delight with my seatmates. Just to be a silly goose.

Mophie Juice Pack Air (Purple)
Even turns purple when held near your crotch!

I have two minor quibbles. Firstly, the piano black finish attracts fingerprints like nobody’s business. This is a bit of a running gripe I have with all similarly finished products. We’ve devised near-calorie free snack cakes and launched countless C-list celebrities into space. Can someone not invent a black, smudge-free iPhone accessory?

#2 (or “B” if you’re keeping track alphabetically): For lovers of the ultra-slim form factor the iPhone offers, the Juice Pack Air doubles its thickness. But if you, like me, were previously lugging around a 90’s era cell phone a la Michael Douglas in Wall Street, you won’t notice the difference. I’ve grown somewhat attached to the added heft though — it makes the whole package feel much more solid.

And hey, did I mention it doubles your battery life?

The Bottom Line

Overall, I highly recommend the Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone users who frequently travel. At $80, it ain’t cheap. But if you want a hard case/backup battery combo that actually works, spend the extra cash.

“Afternoon deliiiiii-iiiiight ”¦.”

Founding Editor
  1. It seems to cover the speaker and mic completely how are their performance. Did you get the holster how is it?

  2. @Dennis: It’s a bit tough to see but if you look closely in the top photo, there are two “cut-outs” to keep the speaker and microphone free. The Juice Pack Air doesn’t affect their performance at all.

    I absolutely love this little gadget and honestly have no major gripes about it whatsoever. I’ve been traveling with it for almost a month now and never leave home without it!

    I didn’t get the holster – never really been a fan of them.

  3. Hi Mike I bought mophie juice pack air, and I believe that this interferes with the reception frequency of the call, you have not noticed this problem?bye and thanks

  4. How accurate is the battery indicator?

    I’m onto my 2nd Juice pack, and when it hits two lights I have only 30 minutes left of battery power.

  5. I like this site. I will check it out regularly. I’m in RI (Newport) too. Also… it’s wont not want (“as is my peculiar want”).

  6. @Gabriele: Honestly I’ve noticed no difference in reception at all. I’ve never had a single dropped call and rarely am without reception anywhere (pre- and post-Mophie).

    @Vanamonde: That’s the one thing I’ve started to notice is a bit flaky. The battery indicator isn’t always accurate. Sometimes I’ll push the indicator button and it’ll reveal 2 lights; I’ll immediately push it again and it’ll reveal that it’s fully charged. Odd.

  7. There is no doubt that the mophie air juice pack interferes with reception in marginal areas. In great barrington ma in a marginal area my friend had identical phone, 3Gs and he had reception and I did not. I took off the battery pack and then I had one bar. Battery back on, no service. When I travel on the Mass Pike from boston to Lee Ma, same thing,lots of dropped calls with battery pack, none with naked phone. also cord may be causing iphone to disconnect itself while synching,

  8. this is my second juice pack for my iphone 3gs. i have gotten messages about this device does not support the iphone on my phone screen. i charge up the juice pack and it doesnt back up my phone and it loses its charge quickly. this is the second juice pack i have bought that has done this its frustrating because i like the case a lot i just wish it would work. am i doing something wrong or what?

  9. I have had my air jack since August 1 2009. Already the air jack is not charging. It seems as tho the micro USB port on the air jack is loose. Has anyone else had this problem?

  10. My jack port came loose, and won’t charge anymore. I am so happy with the Mophie that I’ll buy one again.

    I am planning to contact the company in hopes of getting a replacement or a discount if I buy another one.

    I’d be WAY happy if the charge port was the mini usb instead of the micro.

    Overall, this battery is a must and I cannot own an iPhone without it! Love it.

  11. I too had to send in my Mophie to have the jack port fixed as it came loose and won’t charge anymore. My first inclination that something was starting to wrong was when I would receive the message that this device does not support the iphone on my phone screen. Shortly thereafter I noticed the jack port seemed loose and eventually it would not charge. Mophie replaced the air jack. I am concerned as I only had the Airjack since September and already the jack port is loose. I wonder how much use I will get out of the air jack before it gets loose again.

    Overall I realy like this battery, but I am not sure if I would buy another if I have problems with the jack port coming loose for a second time.

    Will see.

  12. I purchased a juicepack in July 09, port as of last night is loose and now will not charge, rrrr. Is this a reoccurring problem?

  13. Why amI getting the following warning”This accessory is not made to work with the iphone. Charging is not supported with this accessory”. I just received my replacement mophie juice pack air after sending it in to have the jack port repaired as it became loose and would not charge. Do I need to send this one back too?

  14. I purchased a juice pack air and used it for a little over 2 weeks. with a full charge, the pack extends the iphone’s battery life by about 4 hours standby. It’s nowhere close to the 270 hours they advertise. I’ll be exchanging this for another one. Hopefully, the replacement will work better.

  15. Charges Well Below Manufacturers Claim!, December 26, 2009
    By chaznet (Seattle, WA USA) – See all my reviews

    The website for the product, as well as the box, states that it’ll double the life of your iPhone’s battery. I’m suprised it’s legal to print that on the box — it doesn’t even charge it halfway.

    I got it for my 3GS and found the case seemed to be losing it’s charge quickly. As I would have it on at the same time as the iPhone it was hard to tell for sure. I tried a test, I charged the Mophie Juice Pack Air for 12 hours and let my iPhone run down to a 10% charge; then I turned off the iPhone and placed it in the Juice Pack and turned on the charging function of the case. I waited for it to completely discharge into the iPhone, when none of the 4 LED indicators lit up. Took the iPhone out and powered it up, it showed a 54% charge.

    So if it started with 10% and the case brought it up to 54%, that means it did a 44% charge. Hardly worth the premium price.

  16. The micro USB port of the Juice Pack Air is a serious problem. This is so flimsy that if you happen to knock a plugged in iPhone/Juice Pack off your nightstand and it lands on the plug, the Juice Pack is toast. It will no longer charge. I will not purchase another Juice Pack until they go back to the mini USB or standard iPhone jack. All of those people who cannot charge your Juice Pack Air now know why. Poor engineering.

  17. My juice pack is now not charging because of a loose port. I charge both the phone and juice pack together each night and in the am keep teh juice pack in standby. When the iphone gets low, I flip the switch but the juicepack seems to run out quickly. It does carry me far enough to be OK until night which is an improvement over the iphone on it’s own where I run out in teh middle of the day but now it is useless because of the loose jack.

  18. Juice pack connector loose, not able to charge, took it off now using the standard cable to charge, got the messages too, not supported, wondering what support will say on Monday, it was purchased July so it lasted 8 months or when charging every other day it was able to be plugged in about 100 times and then that was it. Done, so it costs about a buck a plug in. Ouch !!

  19. My wife and I both purchased the Juice Pack in April 2010. Mine wouldn’t hold a charge after only the 4th day, so I took it back to the Apple store, where they gladly swapped it out for me, now the new one that I have won’t charge with my phone. I can keep it in the case and charge it with the mini-usb, and it will charge my phone, but not the Juice Pack…Very frustrating. Mophie said I can ship it to them and they will evaluate it and then let me know what they will do for me, but in the meantime…..for$80 a piece, they should send a replacement and take this one back no problem. In the meantime, my wife’s is working perfectly (but I do agree it is nowhere near the two times of life of an iphone battery), highly overstated.

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