iPhone battery packs: Mophie Juice Pack Air vs FastMac iV 

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Mophie Juice Pack Air vs FastMac iV

The iPhone is a great smartphone in numerous ways, except for its battery life which is under par for normal usage. Over the course of a normal day, I dock my phone at work, in the car and at home, so I never run out of power.

This is not the case when I am on the road traveling, and that is when I demand the most out of my phone.

So, over time I came to explore external battery pack solutions, and the first that became available locally was FastMac iV external battery pack.

I later laid my hands on Mophie's Juice Pack Air from our local Apple Store.

Both devices do the same thing, but with subtile differences both in design and functionality. They are both on-the-go mobile battery charger that allows you to continue using your iPhone even as you charge it.

The FastMac iV uses a 30-pin Dock Connector port for charging and syncing, and sports full-size USB port that can simultaneously charge another device such as a Bluetooth headset, digital camera, iPod or even another phone. It also includes a built-in flash LED that can be used for emergencies and low light photos or videos. It is compatible with all iPhone generations, and iPod Touch.

The Mophie Juice Pack Air is more of a battery and case in one. It offers the convenience of an extended battery and the full protection of a hard case. Its design is slick and matches closely that of the iPhone's. I could easily imagine wearing it all the time if it wasn't for its connector which uses a pass-through USB cable to charge and sync with iTunes. It is designed for the iPhone 3G and 3G S.

The Mophie is much lighter than the FastMac. If weight is a concern, consider this seriously as the FastMac weights twice as much but sports more features and longer batter life.

Unlike the Mophie battery, which provide barely enough juice for a full recharge of the iPhone or iPhone 3G, FastMací¢â‚¬â„¢s battery has enough power to recharge the iPhone fully twice, and the iPhone 3G around two and a half times.

At the end of the day, even if these two devices provide the same functionality, they don't serve the same purpose.

The Mophie is slick and light, but only provides one charge. Perfect to carry around in your bag over the course of the day, or on one day trips.


The FastMac is heavier but sports double the battery life and a range of additional features. I feel the FastMac is more reliable on short trips as it can charge multiple phones or devices on a single charge.

I get the feeling the FastMac doesn't discharge as fast as the Mophie does when unused. It is easy to charge as you just drop it into a dock or connect it to a iPhone/iPod cable which comes with your phone or iPod. The Mophie requires a special cable to charge or sync when mounted which becomes an issue if you forget it or loose it.

Personally, I like both devices, but for their own features which suit different situations. I use the FastMac to quickly recharge my phone, but wouldn't walk around with it. The Mophie on the other hand fits so tightly to the phone's body, it can be mistaken for a hard-case and still fits into my jeans pocket.

  Power Talk Audio Video Standby
FastMac iV3100247221720
Juice Pack Air12004.5206270
Juice Pack18006288350

Power is expressed as mAh and time in hours.

  Size Weight
FastMac iV6 x 13.46 x 1.27115
Juice Pack Air12.45 x 6.6 x 1.956
Juice Pack6.35 x 12.06 x 2.1685

Size is expressed in centimers and weight in grams.

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Comments and responses

  • 11 Aug 2009


    Very nice review david !
    Is factmac so heavy u actually can’t carry it around ?

  • 11 Aug 2009

    @Prashant: no, I do carry it around when I travel for longer than a day. It weights 115g vs 56g for the Juice Pack Air.
    Up to each and everyone to figure out if the difference is significative…

  • 08 Oct 2009

    Doug Kramer:

    I have an iPhone 3GS and am considering buying an external battery pack for it. From what I’ve read above it appears that the Mophie Juice Pack Air is about 2 ounces, while the Mophie Juice Pack is about 3 ounces, and the FastMac IV is about 4 ounces. I don’t own any of these prodcts, yet, but don’t feel that the weight factor is significant for me. I wish Apple built the iPhone with a faster CPU and more RAM and the ability to handle media on the Adobe Flash Player, thus justifying the need for more “horsepower under the hood.”
    I am concerned about safety of my 32GB device and compatibility of any of these three batteries with a car mount.

  • 09 Oct 2009

    @Doug I believe the only one that could be compatible with a car mount woud be the FastMac. But then it would depend on the form factor of the car mount.
    The FastMac mounts with the iPhone in a Dock.
    The Mophie’s lack the iPod connector.

  • 03 Nov 2009


    ok i have a iphone3g and take alot of pictures but keep my phone in my pocket at school an dont want to get cought.overall my batter always dies because im on the bus for an hour while listening to music and texting and playing games what one would you buy?

  • 04 Nov 2009

    @steve I would definitively get a Mophie Juice Pack Air if I was you.

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