Tag Archives: Mophie

Wed, July 8th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

The Continued Mophie Juice Pack Air Saga

More on Mophie Juice Pack Air. I got the replacement. It worked for a few days and then stopped charging the iPhone.

It would not synch to iTunes from the beginning. It has gone back to Mophie and they have declared it defective. They said they will send me another one. It has not yet arrived.

While I was waiting, I got my hands on another Juice Pack Air. It has worked for purposes of charging the iPhone for about a week without a problem. It has never allowed me to synch the iPhone to iTunes through the case. In order to synch the iPhone, I have had to remove it from the Juice Pack Air case and plug it directly into my computer.

I have also continued to notice some signal loss when the phone is in the case.

So, the bottom line appears to be that the Juice Pack Air starts out as a great idea, but execution remains tenuous. As a charging unit, I am quite happy with it.

The failure to synch is problematic though and the failure rate that I have experienced In terms of units simply not working makes me think it is not quite ready for prime time. One other suggestion for the folks at Mophie, using a hard shell plastic case with a smooth finish is not the best idea.

Some softer outside coating to give the phone better protection would help. It would also help to have something in the finish that gave the case some resistance to slipping out of the user’s hand. Finally, such a finish would extend the useful life of the case. The exterior on the original Mophie Juice Pack works better than that on the Juice Pack Air.

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Mon, June 22nd, 2009 by Graves and Allen

Partial Redemption for Mophie

A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience with the Mophie Juice Pack Air;  perhaps more accurately, I wrote about my experience with Mophie’s support and warranty service.  Since that post Mophie has somewhat redeemed itself as to its support and warranty service.  The jury remains out about the device, however.

Although Mophie’s support department never returned any of my telephone messages, several days after I wrote the last Mophie-related post, I received a call tag for the dead device.  I packaged the device up and gave it to the carrier.  Not quite a week later, I received an email telling me that Mophie had determined that my Juice Pack Air was defective and that they would ship me a replacement.  A week later I received the replacement white Mophie Juice Pack Air.  It appeared to be a brand new (as opposed to remanufactured) device.  Accoerdingly, while I do wish they had returned my phone call, I have no other substantial criticism of Mophie’s support or warranty service.

My testing of the Juice Pack Air has commenced anew as I have recently upgraded my iPhone to the Aple’s new iPhone 3Gs, operating on the new OS Version 3.

More on the testing later, as I remain concerned about the issue of signal blockage and have discovered that the new device will not talk to iTunes with my new phone and OS 3.0.

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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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