Sep 26, 2014
You’re device battery is probably not bad. Wait… hold the rocks for a hot second.
I understand that y’all smart-device newbies think it’s bad, but trust me: power management has come a long way. There is still so much more that can be done, yes, but if the amount of OEM batteries I have carried over time is an indication of the progress we have made (three down to zero), I think we can gently tap ourselves on the back. It wasn’t too long ago that I foreswore devices with non-user serviceable batteries; my last two devices actually had/have sealed batteries. Go figure… having a device that lasts 24 hours on one charge might not be that futuristic after all.
Still, being prepared is the name of today’s mobile game, and this is why external batteries seem to be the most talked about mobile accessories. Finding device-specific cases that double as external power sources is also an option, and the enCharge Power Jacket Case looks like the tool many a user could get used to… as a semi-permanent tool or ad-hoc solution.
The review unit that Mobile Fun sent us was the black model (there is also a white version); the unit shows the deliberate crafting to make it fit the M8. The “main” back of the piece is molded in hard plastic, with a micro-USB piece at the bottom off-center, made to fit the corresponding micro-USB piece port on the M8. Beside that there is a cutout for audio cable, and on the back, there are holes for camera and flash. Towards the top, one finds and extensible portion that can be pulled to facilitate quick insertion and removal of the device. On the bottom, front, towards the right, there is an on/switch that toggles juice from the unit when needed; on the back one finds a kickstand.
I have seen and used several battery cases, but hadn’t seen one with a front cover. I liked that this one did, as it is a nice touch, with cutouts for speaker grills. When the device is in use, the front flap can be folded out of the way.
Insertion was relatively easy; with the way I like to use battery cases (as a temporary solution in a pinch), putting one one and removing can be points of contention. Not for this, as putting it on and taking it off was painless. The unit came with a charge, so I was able to check out the real world usage immediately. Pressing the on button gives an immediate measure of power left via four (4) blue LED lights, and it charges thus.
I like the protection afforded, and the size of the battery (4500 mAh), and adore the fact the device can be charged while in use. On the flip side, it does add some bulk to the device (which is almost an expected hazard), and the flap can be stubborn with regards to completely covering the front.
At $47.99 (via the Mobile Fun website), it feels like a decent value when protection and utility are considered, and the ease of use is a cherry on top.