Mophie had the hottest tech announcement at CES this year with their Space Pack; the charging case that not only doubles iPhone’s battery, but iPhone’s storage too! If your iPhone is nearly full of photos, videos, and apps, you can instantly add on an extra 16GB or 32GB with Space Pack. Space Pack’s release is right around the corner and we got our hands on a demo model for review.
The Mophie Space Pack looks nearly identical to Mophie’s Juicepack charging cases. The case engulfs iPhone and provides some solid protection in the process. Only iPhone’s face is left exposed, and it’s recessed so the Space Pack will take the brunt of any impact. It’s a two piece-case: iPhone slides into the main portion, and the bottom chin slides into iPhone’s lightning port and then locks into the rest of the case.
You’re left with a bulkier and heftier iPhone, but it looks and feels very like a brand new device. Now your iPhone has a very smooth and grippy feel, and an even cleaner appearance too. The case comes in white or black glossy plastic and it’s not quick to scuff or scratch. My black iPhone looks like a dapper tuxedo, dressed in a glossy white casing with silver accenting.
The case design is functional. There’s button overlays and a toggle overlay for easy access to all of your buttons. The lightning port for charging and syncing is replaced by a micro-USB port. The headphone port is deeply recessed, but there’s an included adapter that will work with any headphones. iPhone’s microphone and speaker get rerouted to the front of the phone, which works out nice.
Space Pack is simple to use. On the back you’ll find one button and one switch. The button is a battery indicator and illuminates the 4 adjacent LEDs. The switch turns charging on and off; you can control when and how long you want iPhone to charge. There’s an intuitive and free Mophie app in the App Store that takes care of the rest.
With the Space app you have full access to Space Pack’s 16GB or 32GB of storage. All files stored on Space Pack are exclusively available from the app and you’ll need a bit of charge on Space Pack to access the data. The app is your only way to access the data, and nicely enough, there will be a password to lock down all of your data.
The app organize your files by media type: photos, videos, music, or documents. Alternatively, you can browse the file system like you would on a computer. All files that are compatible with iPhone will open without issue. You can even rename files, delete them, send them to friends, or favorite them for easy access. To add files to Space Pack you plug the micro-USB cable into the computer and treat it like any other flash drive. You just drag and drop all of your files to Space Pack, no special software required, and Space Pack will categorize all of the data for you. The Space Pack also has a great option to automatically save your camera roll, so you don’t need to store those photos and videos on your phone anymore.
The built-in battery is 1700mAh, which is a bit bigger than iPhone 5/5S’s battery. Despite the larger battery, a full charge took us from 1% battery to about 80% before the Space Pack stopped charging. Granted, iPhone uses battery while it’s charging. It charges about 1% a minute, which is pretty fast.
Well done Mophie. The Space Pack is an awesome solution to two problems that many iPhone users face: low storage space and low battery. This isn’t the first method of expanding iPhone’s storage, but it’s the first we’ve seen that doesn’t rely on a wireless connection. Space Pack is much faster at accessing data because it gives iPhone a wired connection to the flash storage. The Space app is well organized, easy to navigate, and easy to use. There was a tad of bugginess with our demo model, but that was expected. The biggest limitation of Space Pack is that it requires some battery to access your data, so once the battery is depleted, you can’t access your data. Mophie tries to leave a bit of battery just so that problem won’t occur.
The Mophie Space Pack for iPhone 5/5s is currently available in white or black. The 16GB model retails for $149.95 and the 32GB model retails for $179.95. Pre-orders are available from Mophie.com with an estimated ship date of late March.
The Good: 16GB or 32GB of extra storage space, Password protection, Camera roll sync, 1700 mAh battery, Functional, Easy to use, Nice design/appearance, Drag and drop storage for iPhone
The Bad: Battery may not provide a full 100% battery, When battery dies – data is inaccessible, Extra storage space doesn’t integrate with iOS–it’s only accessible from the Space App.