I like to live on the edge. I’ve always had an adventurous heart and that spirit hasn’t left me when it comes to traveling with my iPhone. I appreciate it as an amazing camera that goes with me everywhere and I respect it as a mobile communication device. I’m constantly using it. The only problem with this is that I don’t like to keep a case on my phone. Cases for the iPhone have really been hit and miss with me. I love the natural design of the iPhone and truly appreciate how Apple and its design team crafted the look and feel. With that said, I understand that protecting that $1,000+ glass work of art is a must and I see why nearly everyone puts their iPhones in some sort of case.
I really like the way the iPhone feels in my hand naturally. It’s easy to take in and out of pockets and I really love the ability to enjoy its sleek design and colors without being encumbered with a dull, bulky case. So, when I use a case, it has to be something special and there has to be a reason behind it. For example, when I go to CES, I want to have something to protect my phone and/or keep it charged. I want something that is dual-purpose. And fortunately, Mophie has released a case for the most modern iPhone models that not only provide an additional battery for the device, but also takes advantage wireless charging — the Mophie Juice Pack Access.
The Juice Pack Access is an updated version of the classic Juice Pack battery case from Mophie. This version provides users with the option to charge the case and phone inside wirelessly. The wireless charging feature allows you to maintain full access to the iPhone Lightning port. The case comes in four colors — black, gold, blue, and red. The case does provide high-impact protection for the iPhone. The internal rubberized support pads protect the phone from drops and falls and the raised corners prevent the screen from getting scratched or cracked. There are two ways to recharge the case — wireless or USB-C. The case is compatible with any Qi enabled charging pad (like the Mophie Charge Stream Pad+). You also have the option of plugging it into a power source using a USB-C cable. If the phone is locked inside the case, it will be charged first thanks to the Priority+ Charging technology.
- BATTERY CAPACITY: 2,200mAh
- COMPATIBILITY: iPhone Xs Max
- DIMENSIONS: 3.19 x 6.33 x 0.71 in (81.02 x 160.80 x 17.99mm)
- WEIGHT: 3.74oz (106g)
- WARRANTY: 2-year Warranty
- IN THE BOX: juice pack access battery case, USB-C cable, quick-start guide
Mophie has a really nice unboxing experience. When you pick up a box from Mophie, you will see easy-to-understand details of the product, a nice photo showing you what you are getting, and, inside the box, the first thing I saw was the case. Under the case was the instruction booklet and USB-C cable. Nothing more nothing less. It’s sometimes very refreshing to find a simple packaging experience without a lot of frills and that’s what you get with Mophie.
The Juice Pack Access is lightweight and not super bulky. I really love that the bottom of the case has open access to the Lightning port of the phone as well as its speakers. I also love the fact that the case charges using USB-C and not Micro USB. It’s easy to install the case on the iPhone XS Max. The top snaps off and you slide the phone into the body of the case. Then you snap the top back on. I never noticed my phone getting too warm inside the case and never had any issues handling the case either. The buttons were easy to depress and the phone operation was not inhibited by the case. I felt like the iPhone was well-protected while it was house in the Juice Pack, too.
As far as keeping the iPhone charged, I felt like the Juice Pack did a decent job. After running a test where the case was recharging the battery and not just acting as a power source as I describe below, I found the charging rate was approximately 0.43% per minute. This is fairly standard for a lot of power banks. One thing that was interesting about this particular test is that I thought I was starting with a full battery on the Juice Pack, but after doing some calculations, it seems that perhaps it was only operating with around 53% of its capacity. This is surprising considering the Juice Pack was showing 4 LEDs indicating a full charge. After 52 minutes of charging, the Juice Pack was only showing 3 LEDs and then after another 35 minutes, it was completely run down. This leads me to believe that there was less of a charge on the battery than indicated at the start of this test.
I do want to point out my master piece of advice when it comes to using a charging case. Start the day with the phone at 100% and turn the case on. That way you are running off of the battery case first and saving your phone battery until later in the day. After years of using cases like this I’ve found that if you try to recharge your phone’s battery, you end up blowing through the case’s battery really quickly. When I start the day with my iPhone and the case fully charged and then let the Mophie be the main source of power until it died, I get longer run time but that’s because the Juice Pack is not trying to charge the iPhone back up while using it. It’s simply powering the phone from it as if the iPhone was plugged into a power outlet. Once the case dies, the iPhone will be running normally from its own battery. If you know you will need the longest option available for power, that would be my way of getting the most juice from the case.
You can, of course, opt for using the battery case as an emergency power charger. With that in mind, I would recommend using the iPhone normally and switching on the case when your battery is around 20%. The battery in the case will run down quicker, but you’ll have a safe amount of power so that you don’t run out of battery at an inconvenient time.
I have seen where some users complain that the case is not getting them the power that it claims, but this is more than likely due to using the phone like a gaming system, social media beast, or whatever else that keeps you from setting the phone down. In my tests, if I simply set the phone down and allowed the case to power my iPhone back up it did what it would claim. This is why I mention using the case to keep the phone at full power than when it dies, the power source switches to the iPhone’s battery. It would allow you to keep your hands on the phone. Again use it as directed, I am just telling you the two ways I personally use the case.
When it came to charging the case wirelessly, I did have some issues initially. It seemed as though no matter what I did or how I placed the case onto a wireless charging pad, it wouldn’t initiate charging. I fought with the case and the chargers quite a bit, but I did finally find that “sweet” charging spot on the case and where it should lay on the wireless charger.
When I started having trouble with this feature, I turned to the FAQ section on Mophie’s website. This is what I found.
“When charging, make sure the center of the case is aligned over the center of the charging base. Wireless charging will automatically begin when the case is aligned on the charger.”
This did help me to find the place I should be using to ensure that the case was charging every time.
I feel Mophie really has a home run here with the Juice Pack Access. I have been using Mophie battery cases since day one — back when they released the first case for the iPhone. I have issues with lots of battery makers. Some I use because they have a decent reputation and haven’t had an issue thus far. But when it comes to Mophie, I just feel solid about the products they produce. I never feel like I’m holding a ticking time bomb. Trust me, I have seen some batteries get so hot you could cook eggs on them. With Mophie, they are a brand I trust and normally the first ones I recommend when it comes to charging accessories. This is an excellent iPhone wireless battery case. I could not have asked for a better option and I am always glad to see what Mophie comes out with next.