Mophie Charge Force cases for iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8, Juice Packs for Galaxy S8: hands-on

Mophie added wireless charging functionality to its cases last year and is now figuring out ways to offer customers more options for charging. You can now slap on a Powerstation Mini to wirelessly top of your iPhone or Galaxy for wireless charging on the go.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Android phones have had wireless charging capability for years and indications are that Apple may finally be adding it to the next iPhone. Mophie delivers products that add wireless charging capability to iPhones and the latest cases I tested are designed to be paired with a small battery pack for mobile wireless charging.

Mophie also continues to release its traditional Juice Pack products, this time for the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and Google Pixel XL. As the battery life of mobile devices improves, there is less of a reason for these battery packs. However, there are still events, activities, and periods of time when you need extended battery life to get work done and Mophie offers a couple of different ways to help you top off on the go.

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Charge Force Case and Powerstation Mini

Android smartphones have had wireless charging capability in their phones for years. Rumors of the next iPhone show that it may also add wireless charging this year, likely with Apple labeling it as some new technology it invented.

Mophie sent along its new Charge Force case for the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 case is tan and black while the 7 Plus case is black. Mophie offers each in five color variations; black leather/black, tan leather/black, brown leather/black, red leather/black, and blue leather/black.

The back and half way down the sides is soft leather fabric that looks good and offers a texture for easy holding. The rest of the case is hard black plastic.

This Charge Force case is designed to add wireless charging to the Apple iPhone. It does this through the Lightning port so there is a small Lightning plug on the bottom that is attached to a wireless coil piece that together slide up and down in the back interior of the case.

The bottom of the front of the case has openings for the speaker and mic. Thus, the bottom speaker is redirected towards the front of the iPhone so you get a bit better sound directed at you. There are ample openings for the camera, flash, and ringer switch with raised volume and power buttons.

Secure your iPhone into the shell case and then slide the Lightning port attachment up and into the Lightning port to enable the wireless charging functionality. If you want to use your Lightning port for headphones or external charging, you can keep your iPhone in the case and slide out the attachment since the coil patch slides up and down within a track inside the case. You can connect what you need and then secure the bottom when you are done to enable wireless charging again.

Wireless charging works via the Qi standard so you can connect to Mophie charging accessories or other Qi-enabled chargers. Coil to coil alignment is critical for optimal charging. If the case is not optimally aligned with the charger, charging may start, but then stop or may not start at all. If the charging device has a charge indicator light, the light should be solid when charging. If it is blinking, there could be an alignment issue.

The magnets in the Charge Force case and Mophie-branded charging pads ensure optimal alignment between the case and pad. The addition of the magnets in the Charge Force case also enable connection to a Charge Force Powerstation Mini. This is a small 3,000 mAh battery pack that secures to the back of the Charge Force case to wirelessly charge up your iPhone.

The cool thing about the Powerstation Mini is that you can slap it on when you need a charge simply by setting it against the back of the case and the magnets hold it very securely. It charges via a microUSB port and weighs in at 90 grams.

The Charge Force case is priced at $59.95 while the Powerstation Mini is $49.95. You do not need a Powerstation Mini to use a Charge Force case, but understand the Charge Force case does not have any kind of battery capacity in it. The case is designed to add wireless charging capability, along with some protection for your iPhone back and sides. The case feels good in the hand and weighs in at 48 grams.

New Mophie Charge Force cases for Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S8: in pictures

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Charge Force Case and Powerstation Mini

Mophie also sent along Charge Force cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. You may be thinking, as I was, why you would need a case on a phone that already has wireless charging technology integrated into the phone with a couple of wireless charging standards. The Charge Force case for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is designed to provide some protection for your Galaxy smartphone while adding support for Mophie charging solutions, such as the Powerstation Mini, Powerstation, vent mount, desk mount, and wireless charging base.

This means that the Charge Force case includes magnets on the back for optimal alingment to these Mophie charging accessories. You can also use the Galaxy Charge Force case with any existing Samsung or other wireless charging solution you already have.

The Charge Force Case is $49.95, the same as the optional Powerstation Mini 3,000 mAh battery pack. The case weighs in at just 28 grams and definitely enhances your ability to hold onto your Galaxy smartphone. The black leather fabric, there is only one color option available, feels great in your hand and keeps the Galaxy from sliding around on a table.

There are large openings for the camera, fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and USB Type-C port. The nice thing about the headphone jack is that you do not need to use any kind of dongle cable to connect to your headphones while using this case.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Juice Pack

Mophie is probably most well-known for its Juice Pack batteries that act as an external battery and case in one. I've purchased a couple of these at airports around the country when I needed to add battery life to my smartphones and had no option to charge via an external power source.

The Mophie Juice Pack for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are available now for $99.95.

The Juice Pack adds a 3,300 mAh battery to the S8 Plus and a 2,950 mAh battery to the S8. These are rated to provide 39 hours of talk time to the S8 Plus and 33 hours to the S8.

The Juice Pack is a two piece system where the top sixth or so of the case is removed to slide your Galaxy smartphone down and onto the integrated USB Type-C port. Soft touch material lines the inside and outside of the case to protect your phone and make it easier to hold onto.

As with most Juice Pack cases, you likely need to use the included headphone dongle to use the 3.5mm headset jack since the bottom piece is deep and not many headsets have such a long connector to use them without the extension cable. You can use your standard USB Type-C plug to charge the case and your phone through the case though.

The case does not hamper your ability to use the edge screen panels on your Galaxy. Raised corners of the case do offer some drop protection though, which is often the worst area to drop your phone.

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