However great our smartphones are, there’s one thing that’s never matched up to our previous dumb phones: battery life. If you’re a heavy user, you’ll get a day out of your battery if you’re lucky, and since our iPhones are sealed units, replacing the battery isn’t an option. That means either plugging your phone in constantly, or finding a more portable solution. I think I may have found the best solution out there: Incipio’s OffGRID Pro.
I checked out the previous version a little while back: the OffGRID impressed me. That said, I did have a few issues: mainly the “stuck in smelly creek” feeling when both the battery pack and iPhone battery’s fuel depleted. A side issue was the flimsy top part that clipped in place to cover the very top of your iPhone, and the stiff method of insertion. The OffGRID Pro deals with both issues.
With the Pro you get a swappable battery, accompanied by a spare 1,600mAh cell. It comes neatly packaged in a separate charging pod. So, you can have a fully charged battery pack, ready for action, with a spare battery filling up. In theory (and in my own personal practice) you can get by day-to-day without ever having to plug your iPhone in. If your iDevice’s battery dies, charge it up with the case, when that dies replace the battery pack’s cell with the spare and insert the dead battery in to the “pod”. The cycle can continue indefinitely. I went on vacation for 8 days last week and didn’t have to plug in my 4S once. Fantastic practicality.
Design wise, the shiny finger-print attracting OffGRID has been replaced by one with a much nicer, soft-touch finish. And, the flimsy top cover is replaced by a Bumper style frame that surrounds the entire phone and is easily removed, and yet holds on tightly. As you’d expect, it has holes and cutouts that allow access to all ports and buttons. I was incredibly impressed with the solid “click” from the lock button, and volume rocker. Maybe I’m a nerd, but, a button needs the right feel and sound when it clicks. This has it.
My only issue with the case is the power key used to activate charging. It seems to be unresponsive unless pressed in exactly the right location with the correct pressure. It’s important to note, it isn’t often, but it’s enough to notice. I feel like it could do with an individual button. I’m not sure that the clickable bottom section of the case is efficient. An isolated key designed to be flush on the surface would improve this to make it a 10/10 case.
Overall, I’m delighted. It’s taken the best parts of the OffGRID (which I regarded as being the best battery case around) and improved all the parts that needed it. It looks and feels fantastic in hand, and I struggle to live without it. The OffGRID Pro costs $99.99 and can be purchased from Incipio’s online store.