Mophie Juice Pack Air (iPhone 5)

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The quest for my ideal charging case seems to be an ongoing adventure. For a while I used a Mophie charging case with an iPhone 4. It worked fine until the micro-USB port broke. After that I sent the case off for repair and switched to a wireless charging case. Eventually I ended up with an iPhone 5. A short time after receiving it I ordered another wireless charging case (Duracell Powermat PowerSnap Kit). The newer version also included a snap-on battery pack (that itself could be charged wirelessly).

The case worked OK but it felt clunky and when the battery was attached it was also heavy. Most of my issues with the case were relatively minor but as a whole it was somewhat awkward even though it functioned as advertised. One major annoyance is that a small piece at the base of the case had to be snapped off in order to sync the phone or charge it directly. I also became increasingly concerned that this particular piece would eventually break, thus rendering the entire kit useless until it could be replaced.

Recently I decided to try a Mophie Juice Pack Air with the iPhone 5. So far, I’m happy with it. I can’t say that it’s any lighter than the Powermat kit but at least the battery is always available and, more importantly, I can sync and charge the phone via the built-in micro-USB connection. Unlike the Powermat case, the Mophie case is far more sturdy. It also has a bottom section that separates but it’s a well formed piece that is not likely to break easily.

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It’s a great device though it has one significant flaw. When the battery charges the phone it will not stop charging once the phone reaches a full charge. Instead, it will continue to charge the phone, which can result in one using up the Mophie battery sooner than expected (or necessary).

A nice touch was the addition of a headphone extension cable.

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It may seem like a small thing but I’m already using this. Though the iPhone earbuds plugin just fine, a pair of larger headphones I recently purchased would not work with the case without it.

Updated 02/22/2014: I haven’t been able to sync the phone via the micro-USB connection. I’m not sure if the device is supposed to support this function, if there’s a problem with the battery pack, or perhaps there’s an issue with the cables I’ve tried.

Updated 07/06/2014: The battery still holds a good charge and so far the charging port hasn’t broken off.

Updated 12/31/2014: I’ve stopped using this charging case but only because my work phone was replaced with an iPhone 6. Up to that point it continued to work well and I did not have problems with the USB charging port, as I did with a similar case for an iPhone 4.

Powermat PBV01-001-US Travel Mat (Combo Pack)

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Earlier this week I decided to add another component to my Powermat system. This piece will probably stay at my office and travel with me when I go out of town.

I ordered a Powermat Travel Mat Combo Pack. It includes a folding Powermat charging station that can charge three devices at once. It also includes a Powercube kit with additional adapter tips and a Powermat portable battery pack (this is a smaller, cheaper battery that is different from the other device I recently purchased).

Pricing seems to vary. I paid about $30 for the entire kit. Overall, I really like this kit. It has some pros and cons that are worth mentioning.

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Powermat 2X (Powermat Wireless Charging Kit)

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One of the items I received for Christmas was another Powermat. The first kit I purchased can only charge my iPhone but this kit can charge two devices at the same time. It also includes a wireless charging adapter that can be used with nearly any USB device with the included adapter tips.

The kit is great and so far seems to work without any issues. Placement of the iPhone is a little different. The other charging kit is practically form-fitted so the case fits in easily. On the larger charging mat it takes slightly more work to place the iPhone properly but it doesn’t take long to get used to figuring out the proper alignment to charge.

It does suffer from the same issues the other Powermat has – annoyingly bright LEDs (to indicate charging) and the sounds that it makes when the mat begins to charge a device. Those issues aside it’s excellent. I like the convenience of not having to plug and unplug every time I want to charge – this should help prolong the life of the connectors for when I do need to charge with a cable.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this gift. One of the reasons I wanted it was so I could also charge my first-generation iPod nano, which it does. It’s also capable of charging my 3DS with the extended battery.

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iPhone 4 PowerMat Wireless Charging System

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I didn’t find any Black Friday deals that interested me. We just don’t care to fight the crowds for mediocre sales (or cheap equipment being sold at what I consider to be the most appropriate price). In the end, we didn’t hit up any stores until after 6 pm that Friday.

While going through Wal-Mart I did find one item that I ended up purchasing, though it was in the regular clearance isle. At a reduced price was an (unopened) iPhone 4 PowerMat Wireless Charging System. I’ve been considering the PowerMat system for a while but the prices usually put me off. I wasn’t going to assume it was a deal just because it was marked as a clearance item so I whipped out the iPhone and checked the current price on Amazon. The Amazon price was about $8 higher. The Wal-Mart price was $30, which seemed reasonable so I bought it.

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