Monday, March 10, 2014
Jackery Leaf extends iPhone 5, 5S battery with on-the-go charging
If you're like me and have been having problems making it through a full day without having to recharge your iPhone battery, then I have the solution for charging on the go.
I've been testing the Jackery Leaf for the past few weeks and I no longer dread the mid-afternoon battery run-down saga, which was just like clockwork every day. Now I'm able to use my iPhone until bedtime with no worries about a weak battery.
The Jackery Leaf is an integrated rechargeable battery and spiffy case that provides plenty of extra juice for iPhone 5 and 5S devices. According to the Santa Clara, California-based technology company, a maker of portable batteries for smartphones and tablets, the Leaf gives users up to 50 extra hours of operational time, depending on the types of applications and tasks that are running.
The Leaf accomplishes this feat with an Apple certified micro-USB Lightning connector converter built into a rechargeable 2400 mAh Li-ion battery, which also slips into a stylish case to make one compact unit. The device can be charged as one unit with the iPhone or separated and the battery charged while the case is still on the iPhone.
The setup is a breeze to install. Just slip the iPhone into the case and then slide the iPhone/case onto the Lightning connector built into the base of the charger. Everything fits snugly with a unique hook that is hidden from view when everything is fitted.
The Leaf charger uses a micro-USB cable and it takes about five hours to fully charge the battery, which can monitored by a three-color LED indicator light on the back of the charger unit. It starts out blinking red and progresses to blue and finally green to indicate a full charge.
Once the Leaf's battery was fully charged during my test, my iPhone stayed charged for several days, with me only charging the iPhone/Leaf charger each night at bedtime, like I normally would do. I finally depleted the Leaf's battery after about two-weeks of use, but I still had enough to juice to use my iPhone while the Leaf was charging.
The Leaf is not as fussy as say, the Mophie Juice Pack charger, which has similar technology, but uses a combined case and charger. With the Mophie, a switch on the back of the charger turns the charging feature on when needed and a button controls a row of indicator lights to indicate the charging strength of the battery unit. But with the Leaf, charging seems to be automatic, as my iPhone's battery indicator stayed green the majority of the time.
In the Leaf box, you'll find the extended battery, snap-on case, a Micro-USB charging and Sync Cable, Audio Extension Cable and a second colorful orange case in you don't like black. The Audio Extension Cable is needed for headphones, since the design of the Leaf unit causes the headphone port to be recessed on the iPhone. There are also cutouts for the iPhone's speakers at the bottom of the charger unit.
Because of the matte black finish on the Leaf, it is more susceptible to fingerprints and smudges than the Mophie, but they wipe off easily. The Leaf is also slightly heavier at 3.4 ounces than the Mophie, which is listed at 2.44 ounces.
With the Leaf's larger battery capacity at 2400 mAh, compared with the Mophie's 1500 mAh battery, the Leaf is the better buy at around $60. I like the features, the two cases and the extended battery capacity the Leaf provides for my iPhone.
The Leaf unit gives a nice, quality feel to an iPhone and I don't mind the extra bulk. It's the extra battery capacity that counts.