In an earlier posting Your Smartphone Battery Sucks I posted a guide that was more focused on Android phones rather than the iPhone. Here is an offering that can be good for the iPhone user. 50% of the time I carry around a modest sized external battery. It costs $25 and extends my phone battery time by about 1 times. If you are an iPhone user you are probably less cost sensitive than others. There is a new Mophie iPhone case that also has an extra battery built-in. This is Mophie’s 2nd case announced within a few weeks. The first one, the Helium, costs $80 while this new one Mophie Juice Pack Air costs $100. It is slimmer and has slightly more battery oomph than the original Helium.
If you want a cost justification you can say a cover costs $30-$40 and a battery would cost you around $35 (I’m estimating average prices) then that gets you to justify around $70. You can bridge the $30 gap with an integrated convenience argument (sort of a shampoo/conditioner in one – but wait that’s cheaper than the two right?). Anyway if you own an iPhone you probably don’t pay that much attention to cost so if it strikes your fancy pick one up and be carefree about your battery. I have to give a big edge to Apple engineering on battery life. iPhones are far superior to Android when it comes to battery life and efficiency.
If the iPhone costs are killing you than just grab a 2000 mAh external battery from Amazon and it will save you $65. The iPhone 5 uses a lightning connector. I find it very convenient for my battery which has a built-in micro usb connector. I can only imagine having to keep track of a separate lightning cable. It is hard to find a battery with built-in lightning connector and it would cost more so you’ll have to decide on that trade-off. One other point on battery size.
I look for batteries that give me no more than 1x charge of my phone. The reason is the trade-off between weight, size and available time. My philosophy is that the phone handles most of its charge on its own. About 15% of the time I find myself where I need to leave and the phone is not fully charged. My car has a charger but that may only give me 15 mins if the drive time is short. With the battery I have essentially a full charge for my meeting. The next scenario is I’m gone longer than I thought. I’m not in the car so charge is not available because the meeting goes long. This will occur another 15% of the time. Again a full charge and an extra full charge gives me an entire day’s worth of time so I’m covered. The last thing is that I want the battery smaller and lighter than my phone. I want it so that it is not noticed much more than my keys in my pocket. If I buy a 5600 mAh battery than I would definitely feel it every day all the time. It would be like carrying around a larger 2nd phone, ugh. So use this and decide for yourself your profile of usage and need vs cost. You can combine some of these if you like. Like have a large and a small battery.