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