Power banks might be so common and boring these days, but there was a time when people thought they were more trouble than they were worth. Having to fumble around for a battery pack and cable to quickly plug in a phone may sound like too much of a hassle, so mophie, one of the oldest players in this game, came up with an alternative solution a long, long time ago. The battery case was the answer to that problem, making the iPhone “wear” its extra battery at all times. That design, however, hasn’t been seen for years, making you think battery cases have gone extinct. That was almost the case, pardon the pun, until the recent announcement that the mophie Juice Pack is making a comeback, but apparently only for three out of four iPhone 15 models.
Designer: mophie (ZAGG)
When you first hear about it, battery cases sound like the best of both worlds. You get an extra battery to make sure your phone never runs empty, but you also don’t have to juggle with a separate pack like with a normal power bank. That’s theoretically true until you realize just how much that extra power will cost you in other aspects. Especially when you consider that batteries from five years ago were pretty thick despite having low capacities.
With significant improvements in this area, mophie thought it was time to bring its juice pack back to life, offering a battery case for the current generation of iPhones. The basic concept remains the same, with the battery “hiding” inside the sizable case that wraps around the iPhone like a very thick bumper. Of course, it also functions as a protective case, so that rugged and bulky appearance isn’t without its merits.
Like in previous iterations of the juice pack, there are LED dots on the back to indicate just how much charge the case has left. It also supports passthrough USB-C charging, so you don’t have to worry about having to remove the case just to charge the iPhone itself. That said, given the thickness that the battery adds to the back, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that it also prevents any sort of MagSafe functionality from working.
The mophie Juice Packs will go for $99.95 for all three iPhone models, though there are different capacities, starting at 2,400 mAh. The iPhone 15 Plus is notably missing from the list, apparently because mophie didn’t want to waste resources on a model that isn’t even selling well. Then again, it remains to be seen how many iPhone users will be willing to bulk up their phones and lose MagSafe compatibility at the same time just for the convenience of not having to plug in a power bank.