Saturday, August 21, 2010

Aigo N2615 iPhone Battery Case Review

The Aigo N2615 is a case/battery combo along the lines of the Mophie Juice Pack Air. The Aigo does have some significant differences though. First off, the case is quite large. As big as the Mophie is, the Aigo is fully a third thicker. Additionally, the Aigo, unlike the Mophie, has a rubber/silicon wrap built into the the case. The result is a thick, solid feeling and easily grip-able battery case for the iPhone 3g/3gs. The other significant feature about this case is the power it contains. With its 1500mAH battery, the iPhone's run time is more than doubled, perhaps even tripled. If you travel often and are not able to plug in when needed, this capability could be of significant use. The case has some other features of note. It uses a mini-usb cable, not a micro one like the Mophie. The mini usb feels much more robust to me incidentally. Additionally, the case uses one piece construction, essentially a silicon case with a rigid battery built into the back. The back of the case is smooth, hard plastic btw. The edge of the case around the screen is raised by about 1mm. It isn't much but it does prevent the screen from resting on a flat surface when placed screen side down. Lastly, the case comes with a sort of prop rod for watching videos that is attached by suction. I haven't used this so I cannot comment as to how it works yet.

To use the case, charge it via the mini usb port and slide the switch to on as needed. The charging system seems to work like the Mophie. When charging, both case and phone charge at once. Pushing the battery logo/switch on the back causes a blue LED to flash around the switch showing the charge level.

All in all, the Aigo seems to be pretty well thought out. The mute control is a bit tricky to reach but the other controls are accessible through button extensions built into the rubber of the case. You don't need to fiddle with it to change the volume or power it on. The controls work properly. I haven't noticed much of a difference in speaker volume or call quality. If it decreases my signal strength btw, I haven't noticed it either.

I recommend this case if run time is a problem for you. It is pretty bulky for casual use but, especially if you are on the road a lot, it could be a terrific thing to have.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Otter box Defender follow up review

I got this case for my iPhone 3G a year and a half ago and I am continuing to use it with my 3GS today.

Put simply, if you want terrific protection for your iPhone, you want the Defender. I have dropped my phone on to a concrete surface from about five feet with no damage to either case or phone. I am reasonably certain that my phone would not have survived that fall otherwise.

The Defender does add considerable bulk to the sveldt iPhone. It still fits into my pants pocket though so it doesn't bother me much. The case is not water proof but the ports are protected by silicon flaps that should keep rain out at least.

If you really want your iPhone to last (and in this crappy economy, who wants to spend $ replacing a broken phone if you don't have too) or you have small children who like to play with your iPhone from time to time, you want this case. Nuff said.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Mophie Juice Pack Air follow up review

I've been using the Juice Pack since February 2010. It has not been my exclusive case during this time. I alternate between it an the Otter Box Defender. Still, I have put in enough time with the Mophie to draw some conclusions.

First off, I haven't experienced one of the more common complaints that I hear about the Juice Pack-signal degradation. I NYC, where I use the case most, I have not observed any change in signal strength with the Juice Pack on. For the record, this has been my observation with both the old and new Apple signal meter display.

I have also not picked up any scratches on my iPhone's back from the Mophie either. I could see how this could happen though. I you were to put the Juice Pack on while there was some sand or grit on either the phone or the case, a scratch would be easy to get. Wipe off the phone and case before putting them together and all should be well I think.

The exterior of the Juice Pack , at least the black one, is slippery. This issue bothered me enough that I bought some egrips to make the case more secure in hand. This has made a big difference in preventing drops in my opinion.

As for battery life, the Mophie has been performing flawlessly for me. It does roughly double my run time. Much appreciated indeed.

I was very concerned about the sturdiness of the Mophie. The top part, in particular, seems flimsy to me. Still, the case and phone did survive a fall from about 4 feet to a carpeted surface a few weeks back. I was genuinely afraid that my iPhone was a goner but there was no damage to either the case or the phone. Mind you, the Mophie is nowhere nearly as tough as an Otter Box but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be in this category either.

I can understand why some folks are reporting issues with the cable connector breaking. You do have to be careful when plugging the Mophie in. The area around the connector really could stand a redesign in my opinion. It is pretty tight right now and too much pressure at the wrong angle would probably break the cable connector.

In summary, the Juice Pack Air is a good compromise between size and power. It does make the phone somewhat thicker but the increased battery life is worth it in my opinion.

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