Best Mobile Office Accessories for the iPhone
The iPhone, like many smartphones, eats up power at an alarming rate. Sure, battery performance has improved over the years, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. And, unlike with a BlackBerry, for example, you can't pop out the battery and replace it when your iPhone is running low on juice.
That's why the very first thing we recommend you do after buying an iPhone is pick a peripheral to make sure you can get through the day without running out of power.
There are two directions you can go to achieve this: Buy a case that doubles as a spare lithium-ion battery or go with a stand-alone battery pack that you can plug into the iPhone to give it a power boost when necessary.
While we prefer the former, the latter can do in pinch. There are a number of standalone options available from vendors, including Kensington ($45.95 and $31.44), 3GJUICE ($55.95), Miccus ($39.99) and others.
As a rule, the larger the mAH the more extra power you'll get from these devices. Just carry your spare charge around in your pocket and plug it in when needed. It is that simple.
As for cases that integrate a battery, personal favorites include the Tekkeon myPower Battery/Leather Sleeve (see right image), which includes a 1500 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery. Not only does the Tekkeon (about $56) look good and protect your iPhone should it take a tumble, it does a stellar job of keeping it powered up so you can use an iPhone for over a full day between charges. As a bonus, the Tekkeon smartly depletes the cases battery first, before moving to the iPhone's.
The FASTMAC iV (see image below), unlike the Tekkeon and its 1500 mAH lithium battery and the Mophie with its 1200 mAH lithium, sports an extremely powerful 3100 mAh lithium battery, hence its added width (a downside) and extra juice (a definite benefit).There's even a flash LED embedded in the back of the device, which comes in handy when you need a little extra light for taking pictures and video, or simply to look for something in a darkened room. Unfortunately, for all its benefits, the FASTMAC is not designed to protect the iPhone in the way the Tekkeon and Mophie do.