In the final part of my accessories series, I’m going to take a look at some of the most popular accessories designed to increase the power capabilities of your iPhone. The development of mobile technology over the last 5 years has really pushed hardware onwards, and whilst batteries haven’t lagged behind, it’s safe to say that sometimes, we just don’t get the usage time we desire from our iPhone. I know that personally, my runaway FIFA 13 addiction drains the battery like there’s no tomorrow. To counter this, I spend most of my life on the end of a cable plugged into a wall socket, for others, a hectic lifestyle, or the demands of a job means that there’s simply no time to charge your iPhone for a substantial amount of time. So to save you the heartache of getting caught with your trousers at the end of a long day, I’m going to look at a few select charging solutions that have proved themselves to be incredibly effective.
First up, myCharge’s Peak 6000. David Beren reviewed this device on our site just last month, and it came out of that review with a TiP Rating of 9/10, which means it must be pretty awesome.
A huge improvement over some of myCharge’s earlier products, the Peak 6000 is pretty special. As the name suggests, it features a 6000mAh battery. This means it can charge the average cell phone fully 4 times over. It features 3 different charging adapters, the industry wide standard micro-usb, a standard USB, and a 30-pin adapter. Technically, this can be used to charge 3 separate devices simultaneously. It’s got a design that not only looks cool, but functions well, keeping all your cables neat and tidy in one, handy package. With this, your charging capabilities extend to mp3 players, Nitendo DSs, Playstation Vitas and more.
At a price tag of around $100, cheaper if you can find it elsewhere, it’s not a cheap battery unit, but the value proposition here is clear. Even if powering up all your devices while battening down during a storm isn’t something you have to worry about, having an extra battery backup is perfect for traveling or for the road-warrior, the college kid and just about everyone in-between.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the myCharge Peak 6000 Power Bank and if you’ve been looking for a battery backup solution for your constantly dying smartphone, this unit should be at the top of your list.
I think it’s safe to say, that this is one of the best 30-pin charging accessories around. Unless you’re Cam Bunton. When it comes to 30-pin charging, Cam’s weapon of choice is the Incipio OffGRID Pro…
Like the Peak 6000, this also received a 9/10 TiP Rating, time to find out why.
The OffGRID Pro comes in two parts. There’s the standard charge case (Left) that fits around your iPhone, and there’s also a battery pack charging adapter, complete with spare battery. The OffGRID costs around 100$, throwing it right into the path of the similarly priced Peak 6000. Now, the Peak 6000 has a 6000mAh battery, the OffGrid ships with two 1600mAh batteries, giving it an overall charging capability of 3200mAh. On paper, this would make the Peak 6000 a much better option, but there are some other factors to take into account. The Peak 6000 is a separate charging unit, it’s much bigger than an iPhone, and so whilst you’re using it, you’re effectively carrying around the equivalent of 3 iPhones. In contrast, the OffGrid Pro fits to your iPhone like a case, providing you with fairly decent protection, and fantastic portability. The case is well designed, with a bumper style frame. It has a soft texture that discourages the build up of fingerprints. (Admittedly, that last attribute does make it more vulnerable to theft, but nevermind…) The configuration of this accessory means that you can have one battery attached to your iPhone, providing you with extra juice, whilst the other one resides at your “home base”, charging for the following day. Essentially, you could operate your iPhone without ever having to plug your iPhone into the wall again. For most of us, that’s not necessary, so instead, the OffGrid Pro serves as a brilliant, portable charging solution. It has a fantastic design and it’s incredibly easy to use.
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
Neither one of these cases is significantly better than the other, because they both cater to different needs. If you need to charge your iPhone once, twice or maybe three times between visiting the socket, then the Peak 6000 is the charge pack for you, but bear in mind that you’ll be sacrificing some of the portability and convenience that comes with the OffGrid Pro. You might also find the presence of two batteries in the OffGrid Pro a very enticing prospect… Nobody really loses in this situation, these are two accessories that both cater to different needs with astonishing competence.
Now admittedly, 30-pin is a little old school. But I’m still rocking the iPhone 4S, and I’m sure many of you are too. iPhone 5 charge cases are pretty sparse at the minute, but don’t worry, that will definitely pick up as Apple begins approving more and more companies for the production of Lightning accessories. Until then, I’m afraid you’re confined to the wall of your house. But you can always do it in style, with my final accessory, the iPhone 5 LEGO Dock.
This beauty is available from The Daily Brick. You can have them send you the 42 parts in a set, as seen in the image above, or you can simply check out the instructions, dive into your box of LEGO (which won’t be as big as mine) and set about creating the dock yourself. This is a really cool piece of kit, and I’m most amazed by it’s simplicity and ingenuity, until there is a wider range of iPhone 5 accessories available, I’m sure this will do you just fine.
I’d love to hear about your iPhone charging solutions, so please leave a comment below. Also, if you’ve got any questions about any of the stuff I’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter @TiP_Stephen