Monday, February 07, 2011

Cell phone cases that recharge the battery are worth a look

Nowadays, we use our cell phones for much more than making calls, and one of the biggest things is playing games.

Only a lot of heavy duty gaming can suck up your battery pretty quickly. That’s why, as a heavy cell phone gamer, I was excited to test three phone cases for iPhone 4 that actually can recharge the phone and extend your battery life. There are similar cases available for other cell phone models.

The first was the Case-Mate fuel lite. It’s $59.99 or $99.99 depending on the size battery you chose. Case Mate says the $100 version, with the bigger battery, can add up to nine additional hours of talk time to the iPhone 4 and up to seven additional hours of internet use and up to 10 additional hours of video playback. These kinds of times were consistent on all three cases.

I couldn’t go through the iPhone battery and the Case-Mate backup, even while watching movies, playing games, making long calls -- basically doing all the heavy lifting I could do.

The case is comfortable, soft and very much like the industry best Otterbox cases I’ve tried for this product. The Case-Mate is a big case and will add considerable size and bulk to the thin device (think Otterbox “Defender” series).

The Case-Mate, like the other two cases, allows you to use a mini USB cable instead of the Apple white charging cable. The mini-USB is a standard port used by lots of devices, so if you do need to charge up at the office, one of your co-workers is more likely to have that cable. Better, the Case-Mate passes iTunes and in-car iPod through the cable.

And lack of that feature was my only complaint about the Energizer "Energi To Go" cases. I tested one for the iPhone 3 and 3GS that was hard plastic and only covered the lower 2/3rds of the phone. It did the job but was not pretty at all. The iPhone 4 case ($69.99) was silicon, slim and absolutely elegant. It’s easy to toggle between using the battery or not, but it doesn’t pass through iTunes or in-car iPod through the mini-USB cable.

It’s a minor annoyance I guess, to slip the phone out of the case to mate with iTunes or listen to your songs in the car, but that’s why it’s No. 2 in this review.
The best charging case was the Mophie Juice Pack air ($79.95). It passes iTunes/iPod like the Case-Mate and it’s thin like the Energizer. It feels good in the hand.

A toggle button on the lower left, makes it easy to switch between charge modes, and you can press a button of the bottom to see how much charge is left in the case. I ran the iPhone battery to zero and the Mophie charged it back to 80 percent. When I drained the iPhone battery to 20 or 25 percent, the Mophie would get it back to 100 percent easily.

This is your gold medal winner from a group of three strong challengers. If I were a heavy iPhone user, I’d definitely grab one of these.


sally said...

wow great idea..

Charge by Case..

Unique ipad cases said...

This is my first time I heard about Cell phone case that can recharge battery, for sure many people become curious about this case.

alfred said...

Pouches are cell phone covers in which the cell phone slides into a pouch. Cell phone pouches are functional, attractive, and are available in various colors, shapes, and designs. These are great for those who want to have their phone by their side but don't want to alter the phone itself