The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s are great phones, but both can use a boost in the battery department. Instead of carrying around your Lightning cable and looking for a charge at the nearby coffee shop, you can opt for a battery case like the $99 Mophie Juice Pack Air. The attractive Juice Pack Air charges, syncs, and protects your iPhone, while adding considerably less bulk than many competing battery cases. That said, our Editors’ Choice remains the Boostcase, for its unique hybrid design that lets you pop the battery off when not in use. This lets you enjoy a much slimmer profile on your phone when you don’t need the extra power.
Design and Protection
The Juice Pack Air measures 6.1 by 2.8 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.5 ounces. For comparison, the Mophie Juice Pack Plus adds a bit more bulk, measuring in at 6.13 by 2.93 by 0.66 inches (HWD) and 3.9 ounces. The Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case add even more, at 6.06 by 2.95 by 0.69 inches (HWD) and 4.48 ounces. Meanwhile, the Editors’ Choice Boostcase comes in at 6.06 by 2.71 by 0.70 inches (HWD) and exactly 4 ounces. That case is fairly bulky when the battery is in, but when you pop it out, it weighs just 0.64 ounces.
I reviewed the (RED) model of the Juice Pack Air case, which looks sleek but attracts smudges like a magnet. A number of additional colors are available, including black, green, purple, and pink. The case is made of smooth plastic, which can feel a bit slippery to the touch. It’s definitely a step above the naked iPhone in terms of handling, but I prefer a more rubbery matte finish for a stronger grip, like the Boostcase offers.
Once inside the Juice Pack Air, the iPhone feels safe and sturdy. A slightly raised bezel around the edge of the case helps ensure the phone’s screen won’t crack when dropped to the ground, and rubber pads are used on the inside to help absorb impacts. It’s offers a good amount of protection, though not quite as much as the military-ratedOtterBox Resurgence.
Layout and Features
The Juice Pack Air includes openings for your iPhone’s camera and headphone jack, the latter of which requires the use of an included headphone cable extender if you want to use wired headphones. There is no Lightning port on the bottom; in its place, there’s a micro USB port that charges the case and your iPhone simultaneously. It also lets you sync your phone using the included micro USB cable.
The case’s pass-through buttons sit atop your iPhone’s mute switch, power button, and volume rocker. Like other Mophie cases, they feature just the right amount of feedback and reward you with a satisfying click when you press them. Flip the case over and you’ll see four small battery indicator LEDs near the bottom. They sit between a shallow power button on the left and an on/off switch on the right, both of which directly control the case. The switch feels redundant, since the power button is all you need to activate the case’s battery on other Mophie units.
Placing your iPhone inside the Juice Pack Air is easy. You just need to separate the top of the case from the bottom with a bit of pressure, slip the iPhone into the bottom section until the internal Lightning connector meets the phone, then replace the top cap. Removing the iPhone from the case is just as simple.
Battery and Conclusions
The Juice Pack Air uses a 2,750mAh battery that, according to Mophie, adds more than 100 percent extra battery life to your iPhone. In our battery rundown test, the Juice Pack Air added 3 hours and 52 minutes to an iPhone 6s streaming a continuous YouTube video over LTE before the 20-percent battery notification appeared. That’s a good result, and should effectively double the iPhone’s battery life (4 hours and 21 minutes) if left to run for the additional 20 percent.
For comparison, the 2,700mAh Boostcase added 4 hours and 5 minutes, and the 3,300mAh Juice Pack Plus added 4 hours and 53 minutes. As far as pure battery life results go, the 4,200mAh Power Infinity Case is the winner, adding 6 hours and 48 minutes of battery life.
If you want a sleek, attractive case that doubles the life of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is a great option. It doubles the battery life of your device, and looks good while doing so. That said, the Boostcase remains our Editors’ Choice for its detchable design, allowing you to ditch the battery when you don’t need it. If you want even more battery life, you’ll need a bulkier case like the Juice Pack Plus or the Power Infinity. And if the amount of powere offered by a case won’t cut it, the 10,000mAh uNU Superpak is an external battery that can add up to 12 hours to your iPhone.