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Tag: Mophie Juice Pack Plus

In Search of Power

When going away on a camping trip, don’t forget to pack some portable power. Otherwise, your tech will quickly go dark…

When going away on a camping trip, don’t forget to pack some portable power. Otherwise, your tech will quickly go dark…

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I crave power. Pure power. And sustainable power.
Okay… not absolute power…
I’m just talking about the energy needed to power my lowly, but hungry tech.
(What did you think I meant?)

A big part of my story to date has been figuring out how to keep my iPhone going after it runs through a full charge.

And to be fair, my iPhone 6 Plus can get through a busy day on one charge. But I’m the kind of nervous tech guy who starts to worry once my smartphone dips below 20%.

So I typically want some extra juice nearby…
…just in case.
(My son used to prefer a juice box or two.)

Power Sticks
A couple of years back, I picked up an Innergie PocketCell, which is essentially a power stick the size of a pack of gum. It has 3,000mAh of power, which isn’t bad, because an iPhone 6 Plus requires 2915mAh for a full charge.
Today, I’m partial to Anker, which makes the PowerCore 10,000, packing a really big punch.
($24.99 on Amazon Prime)

Swag Power
And if you’re not into dropping any money on a power stick right now, you might be able to find one for free. They’re popular these days as giveaways… Though usually with less power.
(I came across one recently with 2600mAh.)

iPhone Case with Built-in Battery
Another good idea is to pick up a Mophie Juice Pack Plus, which is a smartphone case with a battery baked into it.
The 2,600 mAh model that wraps around the current iPhone 6 Plus costs $99.95.
(I had a Mophie for my old iPhone 4S, but I’ve held out so far with my 6 Plus due to size concerns.)

Preparing for the Family Camping Trip
All these cool power solutions go a long way towards feeding your smartphone the necessary extra energy it might need.

But then I had a new challenge.
Go where no Barrett has gone before…

  • Two nights of family camping.
    (Which meant three days away with my iPhone, camera, and my wife’s iPhone…and no power)

I needed to bring a more powerful and flexible solution to ensure I would stay on the grid….

Goal Zero Sherpa 50
Goal Zero makes a variety of portable, solar and battery-driven power solutions.
I came across the Sherpa 50 Power Pack at REI, a rare moment of brick and mortar shopping for me.

The Sherpa 50 carries 5200mAh of power, which isn’t quite as beefy as the newer Innergie. But the Sherpa is more flexible. And even though it’s not as slim as a stick of gum, it’s only 1.2 lbs and is smaller than your typical paperback book.

  • It’s got a USB port to plug in your iPhone
  • An onboard flashlight
  • A separate output to power laptops… its big selling point
    (Though not for Macs)
  • A 12v cable that powers a tent light… the ‘Light-A-Life 350’
    (Which came bundled in the REI box)
  • And a 100W AC inverter to charge up any other gear you may have
    (Also bundled in the REI box)

It goes for $179.95 on Amazon Prime.

Field Test
On our camping trip’s second night, I proudly broke out my new Sherpa 50. After sunset, I easily illuminated our tent with the Goal Zero light.

Goal Zero Light-A-Life 350 in Action







And as my family turned in for the night, I plugged in my iPhone to the Sherpa 50 and began charging it up from 36%.

Sherpa 50 in action







I turned off the light and felt ‘Tech Zen’ surge throughout my body.
And then I drifted off to sleep…

The next morning, I awoke and immediately turned to my iPhone.



I picked up my Sherpa 50.
(Yes, it had been fully charged.)
Perhaps it had somehow prematurely turned off.

It was totally dead.
Well, not entirely. The universal empty-battery signal still blinked momentarily when I pushed the power button.

Dead Sherpa 50 battery







After a couple hours of light and an 11% boost to my iPhone, my new Sherpa 50 had promptly failed me.
(It’s rated to charge a smartphone seven times!)

Innergie to the Rescue
As I realized my ‘dire’ predicament, I took three deep breaths and turned to my back up plan… My old Innergie PowerCell.

Innergie to the rescue







I attached it to my iPhone, and a little over an hour later; I was back to full charge.
(The Innergie was exhausted, but it had done its job.)

Then, I assigned my ‘swag’ power stick to rescue my wife’s limping iPhone battery.

By the time breakfast at the tent was finished, we were prepared to face the day with our tech.
(Good thing I had an extra camera battery… )

REI is Your Friend
REI is well known for standing by its products. That’s important, because I’ll be certainly returning my faulty Sherpa 50.

The good news is my family camping trip was a big success…. Even if I didn’t have all the power I thought I’d need.

Perhaps that’s just Mother Nature reminding me that technology can’t always tame the wild. And also that 47% should be plenty enough to get through your day in the great outdoors…

Message received.

Brother, Can You Spare a Battery to Power my Phone Call?

Is this what your smartphone’s battery icon displays at 3:30pm? You really need help from a Mophie battery case.

Is this what your smartphone’s battery icon displays at 2:55pm? You really need help from a Mophie battery case.

Red Alert!
Smartphone batteries can’t get you though your day anymore.
Everybody out there seems to need a battery with more ‘mAh’ capacity.
(‘milliamp hour’)

Whenever someone shows up for a meeting with me,
the first comment I often get after “Hello!” is
“Can I plug in my phone somewhere?”

Worse yet, they often ask if I can loan them my iPhone charger for a quick hit.
It feels like they’re bumming a digital cigarette off me.
Now, I’m their personal power refueling station?!

Your Smartphone is Hungry!
This isn’t a new problem, but it seems to be getting worse.

Once upon a time, I could get through two days on one iPhone charge.
Then, as I discovered more apps to use, I wasn’t so sure.
So I made it a point to juice up every night.

Now with iOS 7, my little partner seems even hungrier.
I watch its battery percentage icon drain away throughout the day, and I often have to ration my afternoon email check-ins to keep the phone alive until I make it home.

And I don’t really consider myself a power user…

Better Keep that Smartphone in your Pocket
I think the good news is it’s okay to admit you can’t get through your day without a little extra juice…
I’ve always felt I was somehow hiding this deep, dark secret that I couldn’t keep my phone going all day long.

But there’s really no shame in it.
You’re not some sort of malcontent who can’t control your impulses to overuse your smartphone.
(If you are… sorry for calling you out!)

Sure, there are ways to cut back on the power drain:

  • Close unused apps
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if your not using them
  • Don’t check your email with a poor signal
    (That makes your phone work harder.)

But the truth today seems to be that smartphone batteries just can’t keep up with the normal drain that’s put on them.

So until that problem improves, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands.

You Need Some Portable Power
Last year, I got the tiny Innergie PocketCell for my iPhone to help keep it alive on the road with me.

This elegant $60 white ‘stick’ is small enough to slip into your back pocket and is great as a portable power back-up solution for lots of your hungry digital devices.  The one big downside is you always have to carry it around with you.

Plus, it’s cumbersome to set up your little digital MASH unit in the wild and execute a power transfusion whenever your smartphone runs low.

Feed your Digital Beast!
So I finally decided it was time to get with the program and upgrade to an augmented and elegant onboard battery solution…

Unfortunately, smartphone manufacturers don’t offer this tech through their own brands.  (That would suggest their technologies are somehow lacking.)

The added juice you need comes hidden in the bodies of
third-party smartphone battery cases.

And the good news is… There’s a lot of choice out there for you.

Size Doesn’t Matter
Sure, battery cases will inevitably make your smartphone’s footprint a bit larger.
But today, that’s not so much of an issue.
In fact, if anything, bigger is better.
iPhone users are drooling over all the larger screens out there.
Have you seen the size of these Phablets?
They’re huge!

So a little extra heft is really not a deal breaker anymore…

Mighty Mophie to the Rescue
A digitally enlightened friend of mine has happily used
the Mophie Juice Pack Plus.
So instead of going through my usual painstaking research before pulling the trigger on a battery case, I quickly settled on the Mophie.


Call me impulsive.
Or maybe it’s just the time of year, where you don’t have a lot of spare time to brood over the perfect power accessory for your smartphone.
(If you do, you should know that Mophie also offers a couple other design flavors.)

All my right-brain decision-making aside, Mophie is still highly regarded.

It’s Going to Cost You
Of course there’s a catch…
Convenient battery back up from Mophie doesn’t come cheap:

  • $100 to fuel the 4/4s
  • $120 for the 5/5S
  • $100 if you’ve got the Samsung Galaxy S4

But can you really put a price on having enough power to get you through your day?  Mophie claims to almost double the runtime of your iPhone.

Discovering a Great Last-Minute Tech Gift
What choice do we flawed, digitally dependent humans really have?

  • If you’re going to get caught on a few long phone calls throughout the day
  • If you like to stream a little Hulu video or watch part of a movie you downloaded from iTunes
  • If you pay a fair amount of attention to your email
  • And if you don’t want to plot your day based on where you can plug in

…You really need one of these battery cases.

And who wants to spend this time of year worrying about your power limitations?  Open up your brain space for more important concerns.

Time is running out and you don’t have all your presents yet!?
If only it was easy to find a great last-minute tech gift.
Wait a minute!

Got to run…

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