In my world, the iPhone 4 will last about four hours — a far cry from the kind of battery life I need to get through a day. Your results will be different.
Now, see how long your battery lasts. Can you get through a day? How about if you need to spend an hour on the phone? Can you play a game for an hour? Listen to two hours of music? Get a real sense of how long the battery is going to last using the phone the way you want to use it.
Once you know how long a fully charged iPhone battery will last (using the phone the way you want to use it) you can decide if you need an external battery pack.
For me, it was an easy decision. For my iPhone 3GS to my AT&T iPhone 4 to my current Verizon iPhone 4, I have used Mophie Juice Packs. The current model is the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. It's about $99 on Amazon. For a while I thought that the Mophie products were the best, and I have been touting them as an excellent solution for iPhone battery life extension. However, this last crop of Mophie Juice Packs has been very disappointing. The USB connector was not up to par, and the unit's multi-pin iPhone connector was poorly made and poorly fitted as well.
With its 2000 mAh power rating, the Mophie Juice Pack Plus claims to double your battery life. That may be true in a lab, but in practice I have not been able to verify that claim. My experience with my last three Mophie Juice Packs has included sporadic charging and generally suboptimal performance. Why did I keep buying them? I thought it was the only reputable solution. Quite obviously, I was wrong.
Just two weeks ago my Mophie Juice Pack started acting up and I went looking for another solution. As you can imagine there are a frighteningly large number of cheap, no-name external battery solutions for iPhones. Buyer beware.
uNu Power DX1700B
However, I did find one that was so much less expensive, it was worth a try. So, for $29 on amazon.com, I purchased the uNu Power DX-1700B. Catchy name, don't you think? As the name implies, it's a 1700 mAh external battery and it even comes with a screen protector.
I've had my new uNu Power DX1700B for almost two weeks now and it is awesome. It has actually doubled my iPhone 4 battery life, it looks good and — to my utter amazement; it seems better built than the Mophie Juice Pack that it replaced.
If you need an external battery for your iPhone 4 or new iPhone 4S, I can heartily recommend the uNu Power DX 1700B. For less than 1/3 the price of the similarly-featured Mophie product, you can literally buy three of them and still be ahead of the game.
As for Mophie? I hope they get their quality control together — and, I hope that they up the game, or lower the price.
So, though you've never heard of them, and they may not even be a real company, my new favorite external battery solution for iPhones comes from uNu. Like I said, for $29, it only has to work 1/3 as well the Mophie Juice Pack — the fact that it works better is a huge plus!
About the Author: Shelly Palmer is the host of "Digital Life with Shelly Palmer," a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world which can be seen on WNBC-TV's NY Nonstop Tuesdays at 10p Eastern and online, and the host of "MediaBytes," a daily news show that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and the President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy Awards). Mr. Palmer is the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press) and the upcoming, Get Digital: Reinventing Yourself and Your Career for the 21st Century Economy (2009, Lake House Press). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org For information visit www.shellypalmer.com