Mophie Juice Pack Connect review: Convenient clip-on phone charger
Attach the Mophie Juice Pack Connect to your iPhone to significantly increase the battery life. And replace it with a ring holder/stand when you want a slim handset again.
I put this clip-on battery system to the test. Here’s how it stood up.
Mophie Juice Pack Connect review
Previous versions of the Mophie Juice Pack were cases with built-in batteries. Each fit a single iPhone model. But the new version takes a different route.
It includes a slim anchor that’s glued to the handset. The 5,000 mAh power bank slides onto this when needed, recharging your handset while you’re using it. That gives the Mophie Juice Pack Connect much more flexibility than its predecessors, as it can be used with any handset that supports Qi wireless charging. And it’s easily switched between multiple devices.
And the ring holder/stand is a nice addition.
Hardware and design
The Mophie Juice Pack Connect starts with the anchor that sticks to the iPhone or Android. It can also be attached to a slim case. It’s very slender and lightweight — I hardly notice it’s there.
I attached it to an iPhone 12 in a slim Caudabe Veil case, as I wasn’t willing to commit to having the anchor permanently on my handset. Much to my surprise, the iPhone 12 will wirelessly receive power from any Qi charger right through the case and the anchor.
Mophie includes two anchors with this kit, so the battery can be shared between a pair of handsets. Or save one and put it on your next iPhone.
5000 mAh Battery
The battery itself is 4.1 inches by 2.7 in. by 0.6 in. (104mm x 69mm x 14mm). It weighs 4.6 ounces (0.3 lbs or 130g). That’s pocketable, but more than I want permanently attached to my iPhone.
The edges and corners are rounded, so the power bank is comfortable to hold. It comes only in black, with an unfortunate bright green accent.
The power bank that’s the heart of the Mophie Juice Pack Connect stays securely on the iPhone. It never slid off unexpectedly in all of my testing.
Press the power button on the back to start wireless charging. Press it again to stop charging. Three white LEDs next to this button give a reasonably accurate indication of the power remaining.
The battery can be recharged via a USB-C port on the bottom edge. But it also supports wireless recharging. It’s even possible to put your phone with the battery attached on a wireless charger, and both the handset and the external power bank will get replenished.
The USB-C port can also be used to recharge another device. Its 5,000 mAh can be used to give a boost to an iPad or even a MacBook.
A ring holder/stand is a popular phone add-on, and Mophie was smart to add one to its Mophie Juice Pack Connect. Just slide it onto the anchor to add a handle to your iPhone (or Android) so you’re less likely to drop it.
And it acts as a stand, propping up the screen so you can watch video or do FaceTime calls. It works best in landscape mode, but is useful in portrait mode too.
I really like that the ring holder/stand slides onto the anchor from any of the four sides, so the ring can face whichever direction is most convenient.
I tested the Mophie Juice Pack Connect with an iPhone 12. After 30 minutes with the battery clipped to the handset, the iPhone’s battery level had increased by 15%. After an hour, it was up 28%. That’s a typical rate for Qi wireless charging, which is slower than wired.
Draining the Juice Pack took over three hours, and it was able to replenish the handset battery by 91% in that time. That’s essentially a full charge, nearly doubling the useful life of the device.
Just remember that iPhones take in power more slowly as the battery level approaches 100%. Don’t ever expect to quickly jump from 90% to a full charge.
This accessory does not use Apple’s new MagSafe system, so it can’t charge an iPhone 12 at 15 watts. Instead, power flows at 7.5W.
Mophie Juice Pack Connect final thoughts
This clip-on battery is very handy. Mophie Juice Pack Connect is ready to juice up your iPhone while you’re using it, but you can leave it behind when you don’t need it. My iPhone 12 got a nearly full recharge from it.
The drawback is that this system requires an anchor to be glued to your phone. Or glued to a slender phone case. But the ring holder/stand makes this less onerous, as it’s useful almost all the time.
I understand that some people prefer the old Juice Packs that were built into iPhone cases. To me, a clip-on battery is a better option. I don’t have to put up with the bulk when I don’t need it.
The new Juice Pack Connect is available today on the website of Zagg, Mophie’s parent company. It costs $79.95.
A rival clip-on power bank system is the Xvida Magnetic Wireless Charging Case and Portable Battery Pack. It includes a case for the iPhone and 4000 mAh of power.
If you need more storage capacity and don’t care if it’s in clip-on form, consider the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL. It stores 8000 mAh, and includes a built-in Lightning cable. Or if you’d like a battery that’s also a fashion accessory, head for the Courant Carry.
Zagg provided Cult of Mac with review units for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.