You’d think that with all the technology we possess at our fingertips, cell phones would have amazing battery life. Alas, they do not. If you have a RockitBoost Excess 2400 case for your iPhone 5 or 5S, though, then you can pretend that yours does. We got the chance to review this external battery and think it’s pretty cool.
The Rockitboost Excess battery case comes in two colors — black and white. Obviously it should go without saying that you really don’t want the white one. I’ve only had this thing a week and a half and it’s already turned a delightful shade of gross that I like to call “I wore concealer and touched my face and then my phone.” Ladies, a lot of you know what I’m talking about. The matte texture that the battery comes in makes it near-impossible to clean, too, so once your white case is soiled, it’s soiled for good.
However, the side of the case is detachable and comes with several color options — for the white battery, the sides are blue-grey, brown-grey (which, coincidentally, is the exact shade of off-white that the battery is now), clear, and transparent-red. To fit the case onto your phone, you insert the phone into the battery charger, and then place the bumper over the side of the phone. This does hold the case in place pretty securely, although it sometimes feels uncomfortably loose compared to other single-piece cases. You get over it quickly enough for the most part. I still feel a bit weird about a case with plastic flexible sides, but I am a notorious phone-dropper and haven’t had a problem with the sides popping off yet. Once they’re on, they’re on.
Speaking of things that take a couple of days to adjust to: if you’re used to a thinner case, then the RockitBoost is going to feel like a brick at first. It’s as slim as it can be for a big honking battery you strap on the side of your phone, but when you’re used to a phone that only weighs 4 ounces, another 3 ounces on top of it can feel like a lot. However, it’s also nicely curved on the other side, so it fits your hand pretty nicely
There are a few other things to get acclimated to as well, of course. The buttons on the sides of the phone can be a bit tricky to hit, and as the entire bottom of the phone is obscured, charging it from the side feels a bit weird. The RockitBoost has its own set of speakers to compensate for covering up the iPhones built-in ones, though, and it also comes with a little cord extension so that you don’t lose the bottom of your headphone’s plug within the case. Both work very well, to the point that I forgot they weren’t inherent parts of my phone.
Now we’re finally at the biggest draw for the RockitBoost case: the battery itself. The website boasts that by getting one of these cases, you’re adding an additional 130% of battery life to your phone that’s good for “an extra 255 hours of standby time, 8 hours of talking time, 40 hours of audio listening, 8 hours of browsing the Web, or 10 hours of video-viewing time.” I’m not so sure that it actually adds that much, but the power trip (no pun intended) you get from turning it on and seeing the little lightning bolt on the corner of your phone screen is pretty satisfying.
The mechanism by which the case charges your phone is pretty ingenious at first glance, too; there’s a power button on the back that you simply press when you want it to start charging, as well as a light-up meter that shows you how much of a charge is left. The lights on the back of the case don’t stay on, though, so if you’re not paying attention, it’s incredibly easy to forget that you’re charging your phone and accidentally drain the entire battery in a matter of hours.
Once you’ve drained the battery, it’s also a bit of a hassle to charge it back up on its own. I found that just plugging the phone and the case in together wasn’t enough to do it, as this usually only charged the phone and not the case. Instead I had to remove the phone from the case to charge it separately. The charger for the case is also different from a regular iPhone 5 charger, which is a little annoying. Both end in USB ports so the RockitBoost charger fits perfectly into the bottom of the iPhone plug (and the iPhone syncs with your computer perfectly while still in the case, which is incredibly impressive), but if you accidentally leave it somewhere and need to charge your phone with a borrowed 5 charger, you need to remove the phone from the case that way as well. And you’d have to take it out if you wanted to plug it into something like an iHome too, of course.
However, all that said, the battery does what it’s supposed to do very well, and having it attached to a case means that you’re much less likely to forget to bring it with you anywhere that you might need an extra battery. It’s a little expensive at $79.99, but many other comparable cases at the same price range only carry 2000mAh to the RockitBoost’s 2400mAh, so if power is what you’re most interested in, you’ll be happy with this case.
Update: The original article referred to the case as the “RockitBoost Express” because I am a dummy who doesn’t know how to read. Apologies for the confusion.
(featured image via RockitBoost, other images my own)
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