Tag Archives: iPhone 3G

Sun, May 31st, 2009 by Graves and Allen

Mophie Juice Pack Air – Caveat Emptor

I waited with anticipation for the release of the Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 3G case and supplemental rechargeable battery.  Well, Mophie finally released it and it sells for $79.95.  For those of you who, like me, have wished for longer battery life between charges for your iPhone 3G, I have good and bad news for you.

The good news is that the Juice Pack Air, which comes in white, black or (of all colors) purple, will add considerable life between charges to your iPhone 3G.  It adds some bulk (size and weight), but not so much as to make you unhappy to trade that off against the additional usage time between charges.  While Mophie could have produced it with a bit more care to ensuring that the top and bottom matched up more closely, that too comes within reasonable levels of tolerance.

The bad news is that the case appears to impair signal transmission and reception as, when I had the case on the phone dropped calls that it should not have.  I dropped far more calls with the case on than with the case off.

The case charges through a micro USB port.  I have no issue with that as many devices charge using micro USB ports these days and it synched up just fine with iTunes using the micro USB connection.  Unfortunately, rather than mounting the charging port flush with the surface of the case, Mophie’s designers chose to carve a notch out of the case and recess the port. They made the notch relatively small.   As a result many (maybe most) micro USB plugs will not fit into the notch.  Accordingly, you need to carry the micro USB plug that comes with it (or another equally slim-housed plug), which kind of defeats the purpose of the use of a common port that should allow for one cord to charge many devices.

My experience with the Juice Pack Air prove short-lived, however.  About a week after I got it, the recessed micro-USB port broke and prevented me from charging the device.  I do not know if it was because of the recessed port or some other reason.  I do know that I have a number of devices that use the micro USB port connection and have not had any of them break except this one.  All the others have the port mounted flush to the surface of the device.

The worst news, however, is that my efforts to contact customer service to follow up on getting this repaired and on other matters have proven fruitless.  I tried telephoning, making sure to call during their work ours and got voice mail each time.  While their machine took my messages, I have not receive any return phone calls or emails (I left phone number and email information in the message).  I also tried contacting the company for warranty service/customer service through their web site.  Shortly after the posts I received confirmation of the receipt and a notice that they assigned a case number.  The email said someone would get in touch with me soon.  So far, however, I have heard nothing further.

I am not sure what caused the failure of the USB port, but I noticed on the Apple web site that I was not the only one to experience that problem.  I also notice in other reviews of the Juice Pack Air on the Apple web site that others noticed the drop off in handling of calls with the case on the phone.

Normally, I do not like to write negative reviews and generally choose only things I like to write about.  This device promises to be so useful that I thought I should share my experience with others contemplating acquiring one, so that they could make an informed decision.

Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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Tue, May 27th, 2008 by Graves and Allen


In a scene from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof“, the Jews of Anatefka understanding that Judaism has a blessing for everything ask the Rabbi “Is there a proper blessing for the Czar?” He pauses and then chants: “May God bless and keep the Czar… far away from us!” Although the spelling and the meaning may differ, the principal is the same. ‘Keep the SAR far away from us’.

“SAR”, an acronym for Specific Absorption Rate, relates to the body’s absorption of radiation emanating from a mobile phone. Intermittently, we hear frenzied concerns that cell phones cause brain cancer. Studies to date have proven largely inconclusive. Accordingly, I have not found them convincing one way or the other. Remember, however, that the cell phone has only recently become a part of the daily routine of such a large portion of humanity. We will know a lot more in 30 years, but by then, many of us may already have suffered irreparable damage. Don’t forget that people did not consider cigarettes dangerous to health for a very long time. While I intend to monitor the results of future studies, prudence suggests implementing some precautions in how we use our cell phones. bronchitis cipro

In the US, the FCC imposes a SAR limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram (”W/kg“) over a volume of 1 gram of tissue. Europe uses a standard of 2W/kg averaged over 10 grams of tissue. Many phones have come out first in Europe and then later in the US.

For some time, people have purchased unlocked GSM phones in Europe and brought them back to the US. If you wish to reduce exposure to SAR, you may want to wait until new models come out here.

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The theoretical danger comes from the fact that basically, the RF waves ”cook“ tissue by heating it. While use of the cell phone held up to your ear for short periods of time may pose a minor risk, logic dictates that, if the risk exists, the longer you hold the phone by your ear, the more likely that brain tissue near the ear will suffer heat damage. Does this mean that we should all dump our cell phones or that the Surgeon General should require a warning printed on the back of the phone? Probably not, but, common sense suggests that we should exercise some caution. RF waves dissipate over distance. The farther that we keep the phone from our body, the less likely that it will cause any problem for us. Using the phone’s speakerphone and keeping the phone on a desk or table when you talk offers one way of reducing exposure. As Bluetooth uses a lower power, it poses a smaller risk and, therefore, using a Bluetooth headset and keeping the phone in a brief case seems prudent. A wired headset does not generate radiation, but generally results in keeping the phone closer to our bodies.

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Selecting a phone with a lower SAR also should reduce the risk of exposure. CNET has a nifty chart showing the 10 highest and l0 lowest SAR rated cell phones in the US and also providing information about other phones on a lookup basis. You can access the CNET chart at http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-radiation-levels/?tag=lnav. I found it somewhat surprising that there appears little consistency within manufacturers and that some of the highest SAR phones had siblings in the lowest category. depakote numbness

Battle for Haditha movies According to CNET, the representatives in the highest category include several Motorola phones, one from Samsung and two versions of the Blackberry Curve.

The 10 lowest included phones from Motorola (two iterations of the Motorola Razr the Razr V3x and Razr2 V8), five phones from Samsung and two from Nokia. The Palm Centro models ranged from 0.74 to 1.35 W/kg, while the Treo models ranged from 1.26 to 1.5 W/kg. The original Apple iPhone came in at 0.974 W/kg and the iPhone 3G rates a 1.38 W/kg. Memory size appears to have no impact on the ratings. The Blackberry Pearl models lists at 1.22 to 1.48 W/kg.

Copyright 2008, Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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