Charging my iPhone on the go – Mophie Juice Pack

I get crappy battery time out of my iPhone. Usually, it’s pretty much run down before I get to the end of the day. Other people seem to be having a similar experience. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s an iPhone 4 or 5 or 5S… it just runs down.

I mean, it’s not like I have unrealistic expectations right? For example, right now my iPhone is not plugged in but I’m using it as my personal hotspot to connect my Macbook to the internet wirelessly. I’ve also been skimming Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter while I’m noodling away on this post or generally procrastinating.

Oh… and I might cyberstalk my wife and kids on Find My Friends to see where they are at the moment so it’s drawing GPS data as well as doing all these other things. And I’ve got Viber and iMessages running in the background so I can message family and colleagues.

No wonder it starts to heat up…?

Anyway, last year I had the unpleasant experience of being stuck in a rental car in the middle of Christchurch in the middle of roadworks relying on my phones GPS via the TomTom navigation app at the end of the day with daylight disappearing and my battery on about 10%. And I need to drive about 35 mins out of the city to Rangiora for the next day’s training.

I had no map and it was rush hour. I had to wing it. I would switch the phone on for a minute and check my directions then switch it off and drive a bit further. I didn’t know the area at all so I was starting to feel anxious that my phone would die and I’d get lost. And probably die. Alone.

But it turned out OK. I found my way to my accommodation with a combination of dumb luck and GPS directions.

However, at that point I started looking at charging options. And recently I bought the shiny red gadget in the photo above.

It’s a Mophie Juice Pack PowerStation – Red. It looks really cool and fits in my pocket if necessary.  I can charge it up in advance and it’s supposed to carry around 3 to 4 charges for an iPhone. Size-wise, it’s slightly smaller than my iPhone 5S if I sit it on top of the phone.

I walked into Whangarei city centre tonight for dinner (you know… for fitness), and because I knew my phone was about to die, I took the Mophie along in my pocket.

Once I’d ordered the Fajitas at the local TexMex restaurant I was on about 25% battery. I plugged it in and by the time I left (after about an hour and a half) it was up to around 75% again.

So it’s not super fast, but it’s fast enough. I’m not convinced yet that it really does hold 4 charges, but even it it holds just one or two that is enough to get me through an emergency situation, where I need the GPS for example.

Also, I’m not planning on being in a disaster, but I know from a close friend who was in the first big Christchurch earthquake, that being able to charge a cell phone would have been very desirable (still no good if it’s buried in the rubble though…).

I really like the design of this gadget. And shiny red too… What I don’t like is that I need one cable for charging the Mophie and a different cable for then charging my iPhone. To charge up the Mophie you use a USB to Mini USB cable. Then to charge my iPhone I need to use the USB to Lightening connector cable.

I think a superior design would be to allow me to just reverse the one cable depending on what I was doing. That would mean the Mophie would need to include a lightening dock, which of course might mean problems from Apple.

Still… I’m happy over all. Can’t remember the price. Click the image below to see the latest on Amazon. Anything better out there? Let me know in the comments.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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