Review: Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
Mophie's new Hold Force Magnetic Case System ($40 and up) for iPhone 7 isn't a new concept — the idea of accessories for cases has been done by others — but this is a relatively high profile release and definitely the first case/accessory system we've seen for the new iPhone 7. The system begins with Base Case, a $40 thin case with built-in magnetic plates. Those plates allow you to attach add-on accessories, including the Hold Force Wallet ($20), Hold Force Folio ($20), and Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini ($60) — the last option is a battery that can stay magnetically attached to the back of the case while charging the iPhone 7 with a built-in Lightning/micro-USB connector. Base Case comes in 10 different color options, and both the wallet and folio come in three different color combos, as well. Mophie's Hold Force system is also available for iPhone 7 Plus.
Mophie’s starter Base Case is a mostly clear polycarbonate shell with proper button coverage, but no coverage for the iPhone’s bottom edge. The magnetic plate is embedded into the center area of the case, which has a soft touch finish. We wouldn’t recommend Base Case as a standalone case for $40, so the accessories have to make a difference.
If you’re buying into this system, you’ll likely be spending a minimum of $60, for Base Case and at least one of the accessories. Hold Force Wallet adds two card slots to the back of the case for $20. Hold Force Folio adds a folio cover with three card slots for the same price. While the magnets are strong enough to keep your cards affixed properly, the appearance is still rather ramshackle. We wonder why anyone wouldn’t prefer to buy one proper, well-made wallet or folio case for less money.
The Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini add-on has its own issues. While it’s nice to have a 4060 mAh battery available for extra power, it doesn’t take much to jostle the battery loose from the magnetic back of the Base Case. Furthermore, the size of the battery doesn’t actually fit very well on the back of Base Case for iPhone 7 — it either hangs slightly below the iPhone, or interferes with the rear camera. Some may appreciate the ability to charge using Lightning or micro-USB, but it also might be easy to lose the removable Lightning tip. We don’t really see a good reason for buying Base Case + Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini instead of a standalone battery.
Mophie has long been one of the most prominent iPhone accessory makers, which makes its Hold Force system a very disappointing release. (The company is currently selling the wallet, folio, and battery accessories on its website for $10, $10, and $40 respectively, and that still seems steep to us.) The only reason to even consider buying into the system is if you anticipate swapping between accessories — but we don’t know why you’d really want to switch between a two-card slot wallet and a three-card slot folio, unless you’re into the idea of changing color combinations often. Mophie’s Hold Force Magnetic Case System would need more useful accessories, an improved design, and/or much lower prices to earn our recommendation.