A trip to San Diego Comic-Con requires a certain amount of preparation, and strategy, in order to survive four days of negotiating the massive nerd-herd, and trying to get to all of the events that one wants to get to.
One of the biggest issues for me at cons is the inability of my iPhone and iPad to hold up to a full day without needing a re-charge. Can’t be done…Even if I wasn’t using the crap out of my iPhone to shoot, process, and upload photos and video all day, just the power drain from trying to contend with thousands of people for a relatively tiny bit of bandwidth will drain the suckers dry (and don’t even get me started on how bandwidth will disappear from a convention center just a couple of hours into a con…)
For SDCC I decided to go in with power reserves for both my phone and tablet, in the form of Juice Pack solutions from Mophie.
The new Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 is pretty slick…A very thin case, it doesn’t make the phone much bulkier, or heavier, than an iPhone 3 or 4. The case has a nice, satiny, feel to it that also insures a good grip on the phone (and if you’re a total klutz, like myself, that is important.) The unit boasts 80% extra battery life, and in doing a preliminary shakedown of one of my Heliums yesterday, that seems like a pretty good estimate. I picked up two of these for the con, and will probably have to recharge both daily.
You can run your iPhone 5 until your battery needs a charge, and then turn the Mophie Helium on, or you can just turn the Helium on, in which case the iPhone will draw its power continuously from the Mophie before running off of its own battery.
The biggest WTF?, and downside, with the Helium is the connector…It has a an Apple Lightning connector on the inside of the unit, which interfaces with the iPhone, but the external connector, which is the charging port, is a proprietary USB connection. Why? Who knows…likely cost to license the tech from Apple. I’d find the Mophie Helium much more convenient if it had a Lightning pass-through adapter that I could just plug into my car, and other connections, so I could listen to music/get GPS directions, etc., without having to take the bottom of the case off. And I’d be willing to pay more for this convenience. It’s annoying, yes, but it doesn’t detract from the overall usefulness of the unit, which makes up for this shortcoming with it’s light weight and ergononomics.
For my iPad, I picked up a Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation PRO a few months ago. This brick has a nice brushed aluminum surface that is ruggedized with rubber, and its USB connections appear to be water resistant. the Powerstation PRO has a generous 6000 mAh capacity, and can fully recharge my iPad Retina about twice. It’s simple to use…It charges through one micro-USB port, and takes another USB cable to attach to your device. Retail is currently about $99.95 on Amazon.com.