Review: Incipio offGRID Rugged Battery Case for iPhone 5
Incipio's offGRID Rugged Battery Case for iPhone 5 ($90) looks like a combination of its standard offGRID combined with elements of its highly protective Atlas case. The result is a battery case that can take a beating, or at least more of one than most competitors can. Inside the case is a 2000mAh battery, down from the 2600mAh cell of offGRID, and comparable to the company's $70 offGRID Express. Considering that, you're really paying $20 for the extra protection. The case comes in white/purple, gray/black, blue/black, and black/green color schemes, each of which ships with a Micro-USB cable, a headphone extender, and a screen film. Although the iPhone 5s isn't listed as a supported device, it does physically fit.
The sled element of this battery case is very familiar. In fact, it seems to be the exact same part as found with other offGRIDs. Once the iPhone has been fitted onto the Lightning connector, the new frame snaps around it. Built with plastic at its core, this piece is surrounded by rubber for shock protection, especially at the corners where there are slightly raised nubs. It covers the bezel, including almost all of the left and right edges. The battery indicator lights shine through four holes in the bumper, and the power button is still accessible.
With a 2000mAh battery, offGRID Rugged’s performance should fall in line with one of offGRID Pro’s two removable cells—and that’s exactly what happened. This pack was able to deliver a 113 percent charge, right in the same range as Pro’s 116 percent, to a fully depleted iPhone 5. We must note that this was with the second unit we tested. The first delivered a much higher charge, despite having the same battery, but this seems to have been an error with the phone.
Considering there are few options out there that offer a full recharge plus enhanced drop protection, offGRID Rugged is a smart move by Incipio. $90 isn’t a bad price for a 2000mAh pack, especially keeping in mind there’s a distinguishing feature here that others don’t have. Of course it’s not as slim as a standard offGRID, but that comes with the territory. We find it worthy of our strong general recommendation. While many will be just fine with a offGRID or offGRID Pro, this one fills a niche well.