mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X – Review

I have been expecting this case for well over nine months now and finally, it has arrived.

In the past, mophie has released their Juice Pack battery case for new iPhones within three months or so of the newest iPhone’s launch. The iPhone X Juice Pack launch went a little different.

A year later, it is finally available. You may see posts that say that mophie released a product that is already discontinued, and yes, while this is true, this battery case will also fit your new iPhone Xs. So it’s not for nothing. Let’s check this thing out.

Size

I will come right out and say it, this is the best size battery case that I have used on the iPhone X/Xs. It is slimmer than any I have used before and fits in the hand perfectly. I can’t promise that it is the slimmest case on the market but compared to those that I have used, it is a welcoming size in the battery case world.

Performance

This case has a 1,720 mAh battery capacity. What that means is that it should charge your iPhone X around 63% and your iPhone Xs – 64%. Of course, this is in a perfect world. After doing that math, I really thought I would get at least 60% extra battery by charging from 20% to 80%. I did my test and in just over in an hour, with my phone connected to wifi and not being used during that time, my phone charged from 24% to 64%. 40% is all that I got out of this case. Frustrated, I completed another test. This time I got from 20% to 64%. So it wasn’t a fluke.

Compared to other cases on the market, a mere 40% is ridiculous. Unless my case is a dud, I can confidently say you will only get 40% extra charge with this case.

Charging

The Juice Pack can charge two ways, through QI wireless charging and Micro-USB. Yes, unfortunately, Micro-USB is still a thing. I thought by this time, mophie would have switched all of their cases to USB-C. I am thankful that you can charge this case wirelessly as that is how I primarily charge my iPhone these days.

The other thing to think about is if you use Apple CarPlay. Since you can’t use Apple’s lightning cable with this case, you have to rely on a Micro-USB cable in the car. Fortunately, CarPlay does work when the case is on your phone. This is a big win because the only other Apple certified battery case, from Moment, does not work with CarPlay.

Price

The mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X is $99.99.  The case comes in black and blue.

Like Apple products, mophie is a premium brand with premium prices. I am not saying they are perfect but I have never had any quality issues with mophie in the past. They are a brand that you can trust.  How you spend your money is up to you, all I can tell you is that this case works as advertised. Is the $100 price tag a bit much? In my opinion, yes. But this has been mophie’s going price for these devices for as long as I have known about them.

Let me know if you plan on picking up this mophie Juice Pack or already have a favorite battery case!

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Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

 

Apple Watch Series 4 Review- The 4 S’s

Size. Style. Speed. Safety.

These are the four S’s that I think the newest Apple Watch shows off the best. I have been using the Series 4 Apple Watch for two weeks now and it is a great improvement over my two-year-old Series 2 watch. Let’s take some time, and check this guy out!

Size

New to the Series 4 Apple Watch are two new sizes. Upgraded from previous years 38mm and 42 mm, we now have 40mm and 44mm options. When Apple announced this on-stage, I was terrified that previous Apple Watch bands wouldn’t work on the new sizes. Surprisingly, all of the 38mm bands will work with the 40mm watch and likewise if you are going from a 42mm to the 44mm. This is awesome for all previous Apple Watch owners. I don’t know how long Apple will keep this trend going but for now, I am happy about it.

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If you are used to the 38mm and 40mm, going up to the respective 40mm and 44mm sizes will not be an issue. Coming from the 42mm and going to the 44mm I was thinking it may be too big. It is not. I notice no size difference on my wrist. If people have thought the older 42mm has been too big and 38mm has been too small, this might be the year you downgrade to a 40mm and get a smaller watch. The only downside to that is that you will have to buy brand new bands if you’re making that size change. The best thing I can tell you to do is to go to a local retailer and check them out for yourself. I can confidently say that going from either the smaller or larger version from a previous model to the newer respective sizes, is a safe bet.

Style

I love the look of this watch. Unless you have been used to looking at an Apple Watch every day, most people will not notice a difference and assume it is just another Apple Watch. And that is fine. But to me, this thing looks brand new.

The edges of the screen are now curved into the body of the watch and also has a bigger overall screen size. Instead of the square outline that you may have noticed on older Apple Watches, the edges of the display just flow like a waterfall right into the aluminum body and eliminating a huge portion of the black bezels.

Since the screen is bigger, you can fit more onto the larger footprint. On the new Infograph watch face, you can have up to nine complications. Previously, you could only have six complications, at the most.  While this is a welcoming feature, this is the only watch face that uses more complications. I was really hoping for more watch faces would take advantage of the larger screen. Yes, it is bigger, but now it just looks like a blown-up version of the previous Apple Watches I have owned. If you are hard of seeing, the bigger text on the screen is awesome but doesn’t add much more information.

Again, if you are relatively familiar with previous Apple Watches, you will notice that this device is significantly thinner. What boggles my mind is that it is still thicker than the original Apple Watch. But overall, this is the greatest looking Apple Watch so far, in my opinion.

Speed

Apple said that the new Series 4 S4 chip is 2x as fast as last year’s S3 chip. And boy, can you feel it! Granted, I am coming from a two-year-old watch so I knew the speed improvements would be wild. But it is so much nicer to have a watch that is immediately responsive when you want it to do something. When starting a workout, my Series 2 would take 30 seconds to a minute to start the three-second countdown. Now, it is instant. I forgot what new felt like, and this is it.

Safety

This is the most important part of my review, safety. Since the Apple Watch has been released, there have been numerous reports of the Apple Watch “saving peoples lives“. Of course, the doctors are the ones doing the life saving but the Apple Watch has become a great tool in alerting people of high heart rates when they are supposedly being inactive. Also, as an exercise tool, the Apple Watch has helped tons of people lose weight just by helping them be mindful of their activity habits. Go check out tech journalist, Jim Dalrymple’s weight loss story!

With the Series 4, Apple has stepped up their game. The Series 4 has an updated second-generation heart rate sensor to more closely monitor that ticker of yours. Later this year, Apple will be releasing an app that will let you take an electrocardiogram aka EKG or ECG. This is not to replace doctors or even a trip to the office but it is to help you stay more informed about your body and your life. I think it is about time that we can start to have these types of tests at our fingertips or our wrists.

Also coming this year, the new Series 4 will be able to detect irregular heart rate. I’m not going to into a medical lesson, because I am nowhere near qualified to speak about this kind of stuff. But I can tell you irregular heart rate is not good and should be checked out if you are diagnosed. To get a jump start and have this detected when previously it could not? Take my money.

The final safety point I want to focus on is fall detection. Yep, this thing can detect when you fall. Turned off by default for those under 65, this feature can truly be a lifesaver to those prone to falling often. If the watch detects a fall and you are unresponsive for at least 60 seconds, your watch will make an emergency call to emergency services and also message your emergency contacts with a message of your current location. Don’t worry,  the watch gives you an option to say that you are OK and will not start calling for an emergency unless you really want it to!

Verdict

Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 4 is quite the upgrade for most people. If you have the Series 3 from last year, I think that you could wait another year before upgrading. Apple does offer a cellular version of this watch for an additional cost. The battery life has been great and can easily get through two days.

Just like every year, this is the best Apple Watch, yet. Of course, it is. But seriously, if you have anything other than the Series 3 or just like to have the newest latest and great stuff, you will not be disappointed with the new Apple Watch Series 4.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter and let me know if you are buying the new Apple Watch!

Images are courtesy of Apple.com and The Mealy Apple.

Do I Miss Touch ID?

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Since November, I have been living with the iPhone X. If you haven’t been following along, the iPhone X is the first iPhone without a home button. Since there is no longer a home button, Apple’s fingerprint unlock feature, Touch ID, is also gone.  Because of this, Apple built in facial recognition software to unlock your phone called Face ID.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like solely relying on Face ID because Touch ID was so fast and accurate.  When I first got the iPhone X I also had the iPhone 8 Plus, which still had Touch ID. Comparing the two, there was an obvious speed and accuracy difference between them. The 8 Plus fingerprint reader was significantly faster and easier to use.

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There are times where Face ID is annoying and I wish I could have Touch ID back. For instance, when your phone is sitting on a desk or flat surface you cannot unlock your phone unless you hover your head over the top of your phone. I know this might sound insignificant, but it is one of those things you don’t realize you’re missing until it is gone.

If you were not aware, there were two versions of Touch ID. The second version was a great improvement and opened your phone almost too quickly. But after you got used to it, it was fantastic to use over the older generation. My iPad Air 2 still has that first generation Touch ID sensor. It is too slow. In this instance, Face ID has the upper hand. And this is really the comparison we should be doing. Two first-generation products. When you put it in that context, I believe Face ID is leap and bounds ahead of the first-generation Touch ID.

In addition to Face ID, losing the home button gave us some truly great gestures and a new way to use an iPhone, that was very much needed.

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To answer my question, yes I do kind of miss Touch ID. But I can only imagine, in two to three years, where Face ID will be. I think we will get to the point where we will look back at Touch ID and laugh.

This fall, from what the rumors are telling us, all the new iPhones may come without a home button. This is the future of the lineup and I look forward to going on this journey with Apple.

Let me know your thoughts on twitter and Instagram!

Thanks for coming by!

All images courtesy of Apple.com

iPhone X mophie 7/13 release?

Update 7/4/2018: The website linked in this article has been updated with a date of 9/28/2018 as a release date. I guess this got someone’s attention at mophie.

Always on the lookout for new accessories from mophie, I stumbled across this Australian retail page showing a possible release date of 7/13/2018 for an iPhone X mophie Juice Pack Air.

I am not sure how reputable this site is but this could be an indication that we will see the new case from mophie this month.

I will update this as I find out more.

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Which iPhone is Best for You?

The simple answer, the one that works. But let’s look a little closer to the current phones Apple has to offer.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is the classic iPhone experience. You get a 4-inch screen with the guts of an iPhone 6s.  If you remember the iPhone 5 and 5s, the iPhone SE will look familiar, as it is fairly identical in looks.  For someone who wants that small form factor, I still think the iPhone SE is a great choice, especially for the price. This is Apple’s cheapest option to get the iPhone experience. This is also one of the last iPhones that still have a headphone jack if that is important to you. If you are on a budget or need a quick but reliable replacement phone, the SE is a fantastic choice.

The iPhone SE comes in 32GB for $349 and 128GB for $449.  Also, the iPhone SE comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold.

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iPhone 6S

Next up, we have the iPhone 6s. Originally released in September 2015, this is the oldest iPhone that Apple offers. You have two options to choose from with the 6s, you have the regular 6s, with a 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone 6s Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen.  The differences between the two, other than size, is that the Plus has a higher resolution display, photo and video optical image stabilization, and a far bigger battery.

It is a personal preference as far as size is concerned but having a Plus phone before, that battery is a monster!

As far as the 6s goes, as a whole, I would not recommend spending the money on this phone. If you can, look around at your carrier to see if they are offering this phone for free on some type of deal. Other than the SE, the 6s is one of the last iPhones that still includes a headphone jack. For some people, this is why they are still buying this phone and I can’t blame them.

The iPhone 6s comes in 32GB for $449 and 128GB for $549.

The iPhone 6s Plus comes in 32 GB for $549 and 128 GB for $649.

Like the SE, the iPhone 6s comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold.

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iPhone 7

Like the 6s, the 7 comes in two flavors, a big and a small. The regular 7 and 7 Plus again have 4.7 inch and 5.5-inch screens.

Starting with the iPhone 7 is where I start to recommend the Plus size phones a little more. All because of that camera. You can read my original review of the 7 Plus, here.  Along with the massive Plus-sized battery, the better screen resolution, the 7 Plus has a dual camera that offers a 2X optical zoom and my favorite feature, portrait mode. Portrait mode makes your pictures look a little more crisp and professional by focusing on your subject and adding some blur to the background. It is amazing to have all of this power in your back pocket.

The iPhone 7 is the first iPhone without a headphone jack. This is a pain point for a lot of people but Apple does include an adapter, in the box, that allows users to use their current 3.5mm headphones, with the phone. If you wanted to charge your phone while listening to music, I do recommend this adapter from Belkin.

I would recommend the iPhone 7 to everyone if you do not want to spend as much money on an 8 or X but still want a phone that will run Apple’s latest software without a hitch.

The iPhone 7 comes in 32 GB for $549 and the 128 GB for $649.

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The iPhone 7 Plus comes in 32 GB for $669 and the 128GB for $769.

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The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus comes in 5 colors, Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. For what it is worth, the Jet Black is my favorite. It has a glossy type back which makes the phone easier to grip when out of a case. The downside to the Jet Black is that IT WILL get scratches on it.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is an easy yes because it is one of the newest iPhones. But the differences between the 8 and 7 aren’t as impressive, in my opinion. It does have the newest A11 Bionic processor so it will be a little quicker than the 7. Also, the 8 is the first iPhone with built-in wireless charging, which is great to have. In addition to wireless charging, the iPhone 8 supports fast charging for the first time. With the right charger, you can charge up the device to 50% in 30 minutes.

If you have been following along the difference between the regular and Plus sized phones, remain the same.

The iPhone 8 comes in 64GB for $699 and 256GB for $849.

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The iPhone 8 Plus comes in 64GB for $799 and 256GB for $949.

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The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Red.

iPhone X

Here it is, the main event, the iPhone X.

I love this phone.

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This is the first iPhone in years that feels new.  While it is an iPhone and anyone who has used an iPhone before will be comfortable with it, Apple has done something special with this one. They have added gestures and new features that make it, in my opinion, the best phone available right now.

Goodbye home button. Since the home button has gone away, Apple had to engineer some new ways to navigate the phone. To go home, all you do is swipe up from the bottom. To change applications, a swift swipe from the left corner will do that for you.

Also, since the home button is gone, that means as is the fingerprint reader. To unlock the phone, Apple has incorporated Face ID. It isn’t as reliable as Touch ID was but it works and I can only imagine how the future iPhones are going to benefit from this feature.

Personally, the reason I love this phone so much is the size. I never cared for holding the size of the Plus but always wanted the battery and the camera. With the X, you get best of both worlds. You get a 5.8-inch screen (compared to 5.5 inches on a Plus) and is only slightly bigger than the regular 4.7 inch iPhones. This is what I have been wanting. In addition, it has the dual camera that allows us to take those lovely portrait mode pictures.

Unfortunately, all of this greatness comes at a price.

The iPhone X comes in 64GB for $999 and 256 GB for $1149.

The iPhone X comes in Silver and Space Gray.

Conclusion

That was a lot of information. The best tip that I can give you is to look around and check with your carrier store. Most times, especially this time of year, they will offer great deals on iPhones.

Also, keep in mind, you can accomplish pretty much all of the same tasks on every single one of these. If the differences in features are worth it to you, spend the money to get what you want.

One last tip, always remember that in September we will probably see new iPhones.  I hope to keep this updated every three months and when new iPhones are released.

Let me know which iPhone you plan on picking up on twitter and Instagram!

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.