There are two big problems with the iPhone:
1.) If you’re a moderate to heavy user, your battery is likely dead by the end of the day.
2.) If you bought one of the cheaper iPhones with just 16 GB of storage, you don’t have much room in your device for all the photos, videos, and music you want to keep with you.
That leaves you with a choice. You can either decide to switch to an Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 that lets you swap out your battery and add more storage with a microSD card, or you can get an accessory that adds more juice and storage to your iPhone.
If you’re in love with your iPhone, Mophie did you a favour. It has a new case called the Space Pack for the iPhone 5 and 5S with a built-in battery that can charge your phone an additional 100% and can give you an extra 16 GB or 32 GB of storage for all your stuff.
But it’s not cheap. It will cost you $149.95 for the 16 GB model and $US179.95 for the 32 GB model. Sticker shock aside, the Space Pack can be a life saver.
How It Works
The Space Pack plugs into your iPhone using Apple’s special lightning connector for power and data transfers. When you slip it on for the first time, you’re prompted to download Mophie’s new Space app from the App Store. Space is what you use to manage all your music, photos, videos, and all the other files stored in the Space Pack.
In fact, the Space Pack lets you do something Android users have been enjoying forever. If you connect your Space Pack-equipped iPhone into your computer, it registers as a regular external USB drive, which means you can drag and drop any kind of file you want onto the device. The Space app in compatible with just about any standard file format from PDFs to MP3s, making it a good alternative to the individual apps that come with your iPhone.
Other than that, the Space Pack acts just like Mophie’s other iPhone-charging cases. You charge the pack using a standard USB cable. When your iPhone battery is low, you switch on the pack and your phone starts charging again.
Is It Any Good?
I made the mistake of buying a 16 GB iPhone, so I’m always scrambling to find ways to maximise my storage. Right now, I use Google+ to automatically upload every photo and video I take, and then go through my camera roll and delete them from my phone. It’s annoying.
The Space Pack solves that problem. You can keep all your photos, videos, and music outside your iPhone’s internal storage, leaving you more room to store stuff like apps and email attachments.
The app is attractive and easy to use too. My favourite feature was the camera sync, which pulls in all the photos and videos stored in your iPhone’s camera roll. It immediately freed up a bunch of space. Beyond that, it’s nice to be able to finally drag-and-drop files from my computer to my iPhone without downloading a sketchy program that Apple doesn’t approve of.
But there are a few drawbacks. Because the Space Pack has an extra battery stuffed inside, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of extra weight and bulk on your iPhone. And although the Space Pack is well designed and built to last, your phone won’t be nearly as svelte and attractive as it would be without a case. I also wasn’t able to get a full 100% charge off the Space Pack’s battery (more like the high 90s), but it was still more than enough to get me through a day of heavy use. Finally, the Space Pack’s design adds a lot of bulk to the bottom of the iPhone, meaning you need an extra dongle (included) if you want to plug in your headphones.
Should You Buy It?
If you bought a 16 GB iPhone, there’s a good chance you’re running out of space. If you can get past the Space Pack’s hefty price, then you’d probably breathe a lot easier knowing you won’t have to delete stuff off your phone. And it never hurts to have a backup battery, even if it does add some bulk to your phone.
But if you have a 32 GB or 64 GB, you’re probably fine on storage. You’re better off buying one of Mophie’s cheaper cases that just charge your phone.