Most helpful positive review
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Good Way to Have Battery Backup
on December 29, 2012
This item is an iPhone 4/4S compatible charger and battery that's in the shape of a thicker, substantial case. Of course, being an actual charger/battery contributes to the 3 oz. weight of the case (my iPhone 4S weighs 4 3/4 oz. as reference). The case comes with a micro usb cord, but you'll need to use your own plug adapter for the wall socket (like the one your iPhone came with)
The Appearance and Design
The case is made of a high quality, "grippy" feeling material that does not hold fingerprints and is matte. The Energizer label is stamped in the front/bottom of case in a slightly shinier font, which can be seen mainly in certain angles in the light. There is a 30 pin male connector at the inside bottom of the case, into which the iPhone docks when the cover is fully in place around the phone. A micro usb port is on the outer side, bottom right of the case, and the regular iPhone charging pin port is inaccessible. Effectively, the charging case converts your iPhone from needing the proprietary Apple connector to the more prevalent (well, at least i have more of these laying around) micro usb. This would not be a great feature, however, if you have a lot of accessories using the Apple proprietary plug. On the outer side, bottom left of the case is the case's own on-off switch, which allows you to determine if and when you will access the case's backup battery power. The other 3 "cut-outs" in the case include the area where you plug in an earpiece, the camera lens, and the ringtone mute switch. The volume controls and power buttons are covered, but engraved on the case (work well pressing through the case). The back of the case is tapered in an angle to better fit your hand, and it feels good to hold the case. The front "lip" covering the rim around the front of your iPhone is not as high or pronounced as on other plain cases i've used, so i can see that if you dropped your iPhone on its front, there could be more potential to get a scratch or crack. Still, i'm glad it's not too pronounced, since the case is fairly bulky already, due to it's other functions. On the outer side bottom of the case, there are up to 4 subtle, internal, and blue-colored circular lights that show the charge of the case itself, but only appear when you plug the case in.
The instructions say that the case is pre-charged and ready to use out of the box, however, you'll probably need to charge it first, as I found when i tried to charge my phone with the case upon receiving the unit. I placed my iPhone in the case, slid the case's on/off switch to the on-position, and the iPhone started charging from the 51% level that I had left. I saw that the bottom of the case showed one blue light, blinking, indicating a low battery level for the case. At 8 minutes, I saw the phone wake-up and stop charging, no blue light on the bottom of the case, and the phone had charged to 64%- pretty quick, i'd say. I plugged the case (with my iPhone in it), to the included micro usb and a wall plug, and the phone resumed charging and the case had 1 blue light blinking again. The instructions indicate that when plugged in this way, the iPhone will charge first, and then the case will charge- in sequence, not at the same time. The following lists my first charging attempt- sorry if the times are a bit random- i checked sporadically.
0 minutes- 51% phone charging from new, out-of-box case w/o plug-in
8 minutes later, phone at 64%, no charge left on case (no blue light)
plug in case with phone to wall socket
30 minutes - phone 84%, one blue light blinking on case
45 minutes- phone 93%, one blue light blinking on case
2 hours- phone 100%, one solid blue light, second blue light blinking on case
3 hrs 10 min- phone 100$, 2 solid blue lights, third blue light blinking on case
overnight, and about 8 hrs later, phone at 100%, 4 solid blue lights.
At this point, i turned off the case's on-off switch, to ensure i could have the full case/battery back-up power available (only about 85% of the iPhone's full charge is available in the case/battery according to the packaging info). It's still holding 4 solid blue lights after 12 hours.
The case charged my phone really well, fairly quickly, and i'm happy to have the extra power available without carrying other charging devices. The extra weight of the case is outweighed (ugg) by the benefits, and it's a nice looking case cover to boot.
tip: i also tried to remove the phone from the case as another reviewer had tried, and was able to extract the phone (not too hard to do once you get the hang of it) from the case by lifting the top lip on the front of the case, and pressing with a pencil eraser on the camera lens (there's a cut out) to push the phone forward. From there, i pulled it off the docking. It's probably not great to press on the camera lens part, but it's a working way to remove the phone- just fyi.