Review: Ibattz Mojo Removable Battery Case for iPhone 4
Mojo Removable Battery Case for iPhone 4 ($80) is the first finished product we've seen from Ibattz, and it seems that the company is on to something. While the case looks like a few of the others we've seen in the recent past, it includes a valuable bonus feature: not only is the 1500mAh battery replaceable, but a second battery is included in the package. We've seen swappable kits before, but never any that included a second power source, especially not at this price.
At first glance and from the front, Mojo looks rather similar to iKit’s NuCharge and Incipio’s offGRID. The power/battery indicator button and LED indicator lights are located on a chin beneath the iPhone 4’s Home button. That’s about the extent of the similarities though. On the bottom edge, there are a total of five openings. One is the Micro USB port for charging the battery and the phone, while there are two each to serve as passthroughs for the speaker and microphone.
Inserting the iPhone 4 requires removing the plastic frame from the case. Ibattz took advantage of this design decision by including a second, different colored option so that customers may swap them at will. Once the device has been situated on the Dock Connector, the frame snaps into place over it. Reversing the process isn’t as easy; we found the frame to be particularly difficult to remove. The best method seems to be inserting a guitar pick or similarly sized object into the small slot on the bottom edge and twisting until the pieces pop apart.
When fully assembled, Mojo provides a reasonable amount of coverage for the iPhone 4. The back and edges are protected, although there is no coverage for the glass touchscreen. Ibattz used to include a sheet of screen protector film, but no longer does. There are openings for the Sleep/Wake button, headphone and mic, rear camera and flash, side switch, and volume buttons. It’s a little bit thicker than some comparable battery cases, but that’s because of what is inside.
The matte black or glossy white back—depending on which model you choose - separates to reveal the 1500mAh battery. It resembles a cell phone battery, rather flat with curved edges on the long sides. Removing the battery is very easy, as is putting the replacement in. The fact the company includes two is pretty cool; most companies sell them separately.
We were very surprised by the results of the battery test. Using a powered-on, 3G/Wi-Fi-connected iPhone 4 with the screen turned off, no calls coming in, and no audio playing, one of Mojo’s batteries raised the charge from 11% to 96% in two hours and seventeen minutes, an impressive change of 85%. This is a full 15% better than the same capacity Mophie Juice Pack Air, a well regarded and well rated model that retails for the same price. Ibattz claims that the set triples the iPhone 4’s battery life. We were skeptical at first and while the results don’t quite hold up to that, they’re much closer than we expected.
Mojo Removable Battery Case is one of the best that we have come across. There are certainly small problems—lack of button coverage and the difficulty of removing the frame chief among them—but these are easy enough to overlook when the industrial design and sheer performance are taken into account. While one of these well-engineered batteries would make the case good, two make it great. We’d highly recommend Ibattz’s case to anyone looking to extend the battery life of his or her iPhone 4.