Review: Mophie’s Juice Pack Access Case Gives Your iPhone 11’s Already Great Battery Life a Modest Boost
Mophie is known for its smartphone battery cases, which provide you with a way to keep an iPhone battery topped off while not having to worry about carrying around a large portable USB battery. Continuing this trend, Mophie recently launched Juice Pack Access cases for the the latest iPhones: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
I’ve had a chance to check out the Juice Pack Access case for my iPhone 11 Pro Max for the past few weeks, and if you’ve ever used an iPhone battery case you’ll know what to expect. The Juice Pack Access cases use wireless charging to fuel up your iPhone in lieu of the traditional Lightning connector.
The Juice Pack Access case snaps apart in two pieces like previous Mophie cases, allowing you to slide your iPhone 11 Pro Max into the bottom of the case and then slide the top portion of the case over your iPhone. Assembly is as easy as ever, but the seam between the two pieces of the case is still visible.
Apple’s Smart Battery Case for iPhone X (left), Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone XS (middle), and Mophie Juice Pack Access for iPhone 11 Pro Max (right)
On the bottom rear of the case you’ll find a button that activates the case and tells you how much charge is left in it with Mophie’s traditional 4-LED system. While sufficient, this remains one of my least favorite aspect of Mophie’s cases, mainly due to how little actual information you’re given about the case’s charge level. You can go from 4 LEDs to 2 with no indication of how fast the battery dropped between the two or how much is left until it’s dead, making it hard to really tell how much battery is left in the case, and to an extent, how much is left for your iPhone.
Instead of direct Lightning charging through a built-in Lightning connector inside of a "chin" on the case’s bottom (seen on the Juice Pack Air line), Juice Pack Access cases are entirely open at the bottom and lack a chin. Mophie is able to do this by using wireless charging, so you can not only charge the case and your iPhone by placing them on a Qi-compatible mat, but when out and about the Juice Pack Access itself is wirelessly charging your iPhone.
The Juice Pack Access case for the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 2,200 mAh battery, which is slightly over half the size of the battery of the iPhone 11 Pro Max at 3,900 mAh. As a note, the Juice Pack Access cases for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro both have 2,000 mAh batteries, compared to 3,100 mAh and 3,046 mAh batteries in each respective iPhone. This means that the Mophie cases for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro might prove to be slightly more beneficial than the iPhone 11 Pro Max thanks to the smaller iPhone batteries.
In testing, when I would activate the Mophie case and my iPhone had about 10 percent of battery remaining, I would get my iPhone back up to between 30 and 50 percent (very much depending on how heavy my iPhone usage was during that time). Meanwhile, if I activated the Mophie case first thing in the morning, it kept my iPhone topped off at 100 percent for about five hours.
This aligns with the intended purpose of the case, which is only meant to provide you with a small amount of battery to get you to the end of the day, not fully refill your iPhone 11. As Mophie says on its website, "The juice pack access battery is not designed to charge the phone up to 100% when empty. Rather, it is meant to provide a quick top off to help you get you through your day until you can reach a wireless charging pad or charging outlet."
Because of the already stellar battery of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Mophie’s Juice Pack Access case ended up feeling somewhat unnecessary most days. When I let my iPhone 11 Pro Max die before I activated the case, it took two full days to kill the smartphone with regular, light usage. It was a nice benefit to squeeze out a few more hours from my iPhone, but far from necessary for my personal use.
Due to the small benefit provided by the case, I’m not sure that I’m willing to live with its downsides. This Mophie case adds a noticeable heft to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, resulting in a device that’s more unruly to handle when texting or checking email, and more cumbersome to carry around in a pocket. When it’s charging it also gets quite warm, which Mophie says is normal (and is typical of wireless charging).
Wireless charging in the Juice Pack Access line also comes with pros and cons. While the overall design of the Juice Pack Access is sleeker thanks to the lack of a chin (and direct access to the Lightning port is nice), wireless charging is aimed more at trickle charging your iPhone over long periods of time. This makes it perfect for placing your iPhone on a Qi mat at night, but less than ideal when you’re looking to get a big burst of battery on your iPhone in the middle of a workday.
Mophie’s Juice Pack Access case is as sturdy and well-designed as any of the company’s previous accessories, and for someone looking to own an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max that can truly become a 3 day-long battery powerhouse, it gets the job done.
But, for anyone happy with the battery life of their fresh iPhone 11, an $80 battery case is entirely unnecessary.
How to Buy
Mophie’s Juice Pack Access Case for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max can be purchased on Zagg.com for $79.95. With the MacRumors exclusive promo code RUMORS20, you can get the cases at a 20 percent discount for $63.96. They’re available in Black, Blush Pink, and (Product)Red.
Note: Mophie provided MacRumors with one Juice Pack Access Case in Black for the purposes of this review, and no other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
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November 19, 2019 at 09:04PM