Review: Mophie Juice Pack Reserve for iPhone 6/6s & Power Reserve 1X external battery

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2015
Battery maker Mophie's latest portable charging accessories are compact, convenient and durable, making them an easy recommendation for anyone looking to keep their iPhone juiced on the go.




The new Juice Pack Reserve, which retails for $59.95, is the most compact case Mophie has ever made. The company provided AppleInsider with a Juice Pack Reserve for this review, as well as the lightweight Mophie Power Reserve 1X, which retails for $34.95.

Both devices are sold precharged, which is especially helpful for anyone looking to grab a battery from a retail store and extend the use of their phone while out on the go.

Power Reserve 1X: simple and effective

The Mophie Power Reserve 1X is shaped like an old fashioned pack of gum, and features a USB out port that can be used to charge an iPhone or otherwise, as well as an LED power indicator to let the user know how much is left in the battery. It features a ruggedized exterior that makes it great for use on the go, and it is recharged via micro USB.




The Power Reserve 1X comes in five colors: black, white, blue, purple and pink. Our review unit was the dark purple shade.

Inside, it has a 2,600mAh battery. That should be enough to completely recharge the 1,715mAh battery in the iPhone 6s, or the slightly larger 1,810mAh battery in Apple's previous-generation iPhone 6. It's not quite enough, however, to double the battery of the larger Plus models, which are 2,750mAh for the 6s Plus, and 2,910mAh for the 6 Plus.




The battery works as advertised, and at $34.95, it's a competitively priced, convenient option for recharging your devices on the go. An easy recommendation.

Juice Pack Reserve: A great, small design

Things are a little more complex with the Mophie Juice Pack Reserve, which is a svelte case that not only recharges the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s via a Lightning plug, but also protects them. It comes in the same colors as the Power Reserve 1X, and we tested the black version with our black iPhone 6s.




Having already owned and used the Mophie Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 6 form factor for the past year, switching to the Power Reserve is a big change. The new case is much smaller and more comfortable, both in the pocket and in the hand.

Of course, that new size comes at a cost: The Mophie Juice Pack Reserve has an 1,840mAh battery capacity, which the company says is enough to provide an additional 60 percent extra battery uptime.




The Juice Pack Reserve, like other Mophie battery accessories, is recharged with micro USB, but the company's charge and sync capabilities allow data to pass through. That means a users can sync their iPhone 6 or 6s with a computer via a micro USB cable, while also charging the handset, if they so choose.

In addition, if the case and phone are plugged in together, the device will also intelligently recharge the iPhone first, before the case. The case can also be charged separately, without an iPhone connected.




Mophie's smaller form factor with the Juice Pack Reserve means the case adds just 0.3 inch of thickness to an iPhone. It really is an impressive design that feels great in the hand.

Finally, like other Mophie cases, the Reserve has passthrough buttons for volume and lock. There are also holes cut out for the mute switch, headphone jack, rear camera and flash, while a button and indicators on the back can be used to check battery level or initiate charging.




Choosing between the Juice Pack Reserve and Mophie's larger options will come down to your own usage and needs, of course. We think that most users will be content with the extra 60 percent uptime they'll get with the Reserve.

With both a Juice Pack Air and a Reserve in our possession, we found ourselves consistently opting for the Reserve model. The additional battery capacity was enough to keep our phone running over the course of a long day, and we appreciated the smaller design in both our hands and our pocket.

Conclusion

In the case of the Power Reserve 1X, anyone with a bag or purse will be happy with their $35 purchase. It's rugged and portable and it works --?just remember to bring your own Lightning cable.

If you don't have a bag, you need more uptime on your iPhone 6 or 6s, and you use a case to protect your handset, the Juice Pack Reserve is a great choice. Mophie's larger-capacity options are bulkier and less pocketable, and we feel the Reserve strikes the right balance between size and performance. It's our favorite battery case in Mophie's lineup.

Both are easy recommendations.

Score: 5 out of 5

Where to buy

The Mophie Juice Pack Reserve is priced at $59.95 and can be purchased from AppleInsider partners Amazon and Best Buy, as well as direct from Mophie. The Power Reserve 1X is $34.95 and is also available from Amazon, Best Buy and Mophie.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Why does Mophie continue to go with a USB port on an iOS accessory?

    And how does an accessory so-configured merit a 5 out of 5 stars rating?
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Thanks for the review, I've had my juice pack reserve on order since it was first announced (months ago), unfortunately only black models are currently available. My white case should arrive by mid-December.

    I've had great luck with the Mophie Juice Air on my iPhone 5s.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Hey AI, for equal performance vs. price craziness, you should review the Kate Spade purse with built in charger...

    https://www.katespade.com/products/everpurse-x-kate-spade-new-york-quentin-stripe-wristlet-pouch/8ARU1067.html




    Honestly, apart from the acknowledgement of the beauty of a case-shaped battery pack, i say spend almost 1/2 the money & get 5x the capacity with a "generic" (aka not overpriced) battery pack.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E

    $20 & 10,000 mAh
    i have been using it for over a year, and it is equalled only by my BatteryTender in terms of best battery-related-purchase ever.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Have the Juice Pack Air for my 5. It's bulky but I have to say it's an incredible case for protecting your phone. I've dropped it more times than I'd like to admit and on a few of those occasions I fully expected a shattered phone. Not a scratch. I'll be getting another one for sure when I upgrade next year.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    I got something looking exactly like that as a promotional gift from a vendor when I attended a buyers group meeting, useful looking item for those oops moments at the end of the day of traveling should it be necessary.... weighs close to nothing and packs a charge worth without burdening, as mentioned, the actual phone,with usually unnecessary weight and bulk.

    ETA: I'm another that would prefer the separate battery pack from any sort of case solution, though I guess for on the move use while the extended power is needed having the case just piggyback along might be convenient versus having to dangle a separate pack off the phone... have to say with my 6/6s Pluses that's all theoretical anyway so far with a year and more of use between the two.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    A five star rating is a rare thing in an AI review, as it should be, so it's bizarre to see one get awarded here for no apparent reason. Per this review, about the best thing you could say for these Mophie packs is that they work as advertised, but so what? That's no different from the glut of other battery packs on the market, MANY of which offer higher capacity in the same form factor at a lower price. To cite but one example: the RAVPower portable has 25% more capacity than the Power Reserve 1x and sells for one-third the price on Amazon. HELLO? (Oh, and the RAV has a smart chip to insure that charging is as fast as the device being charged will allow.)

    In addition, this reviewer made no attempt to verify the advertised capacity and output, which may not measure up to the claims, and offered no information about the source and quality of the battery used in these units. I happen to be in the market for a battery pack, but this "five star" review offers no real information that would sway me to purchase a Mophie. Quite the opposite, in fact, when I look at the price/performance ratio that's offered.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Bought a Mophie battery once...expensive and poor performance. Now I've got an Anker Astro with twice the capacity for $18. I guess if Mophie sent me one for free I'd be happy and write a something nice about it.
  • Reply 8 of 10

    The Apple website has started to offer the MiPow Smart Power Tube 3000 which looks similar to the Power Reserve 1X.  This has the added benefit of wirelessly connecting to the iPhone via JuiceSync to check how much battery is left. 

  • Reply 9 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,617member
    Garbage. I went through two of these in one year (in warranty) for the exact same problem. The USB port is so poorly made, it kept breaking after three months. Why do they continue making it that way and not use the far more durable lightning connector.

    Sorry. I have better things to do with my time than dealing with frustration and warranty claims. Get your act together Mophie.
Sign In or Register to comment.