Continuing their long line of excellent iPhone 4 cases, Incipio has released the offGRID Pro, offering a battery backup solution for the iPhone with dual removable batteries, intended to cut down on the need to charge your device or the offGRID while on the go.
The offGRID Pro comes with two batteries, a separate battery charger, mini-USB cable, and 3.5mm headphone jack converter (just in case your headphone tip is too large). The case consists of three individual pieces: the back and charging connector; battery; and bumper that snaps it all together. With a curved back, the offGRID Pro resembles the iPhone 3G and has a much more rounded feel. The additional battery pack, which is imbedded in the back of the case, adds a noticeable, but not cumbersome, amount of weight to the otherwise trim form-factor.
To put everything together, first add the battery, sliding it into the case-back. Next, place the iPhone onto the battery, snuggly connected the 30 pin dock connector. Finally, add the bumper from top to bottom. The bumper may resist a little when clicking it into place – do not fear. If it gives too much resistance, ensure the top is placed accurately around the power button. Taking the bumper off to change the battery is particularly difficult and I resorted to using a table knife in the finger slot, located between the mini-USB charger and speaker port.
The offGRID Pro is designed to 1) power your iPhone without the need to charge from a wall outlet or computer, 2) protect your iPhone while offering on-the-fly charging, and 3) look really slick while doing it. There are many battery pack cases on the market, but Incipio has upheld their industry reputation with this case. I am highly impressed with the offGRID Pro’s ability to hide such a high capacity battery so well.
Hands down, the best part of the whole unit is utilizing the included mini-USB cable to charge the onboard battery and iPhone battery simultaneously, instead of having to charge either of them individually. With the dual charging capability, the iPhone never needs to be removed from the case. Testing it over a week, here is my timeline:
Tuesday 10:00PM – took my iPhone off the Apple charger at 100% and put it into the offGrid Pro
Wednesday 11:00PM – 10%
Thursday 7:00AM – iPhone died over night, turned on offGRID Pro
Thursday 8:15AM – iPhone charged to 64% before the case battery died
Thursday afternoon – switched to second battery
Friday 7:00AM – iPhone had 6% battery, turned on offGrid Pro
Friday 8:00AM – iPhone charged to 73% before the case battery died
Friday 8:15PM – iPhone still has 36%
So, to sum it up, I’ve gone from Tuesday night to Friday night and never had to plug my iPhone into an outlet. I can easily be categorized as a power user, averaging 5.5-6 actual “usage” hours between charges. The offGRID Pro has kept me running for three whole days sans traditional charging methods.
Conclusion [rating: 4/5]
The offGRID Pro ($99.99, Order Page) is a great addition to your traveling gadget arsenal. I can definitely see this case being the perfect backpacking/camping trip companion, especially when moving in-and-out of cell coverage, which constantly strains your iPhone. Also, if you use your iPhone constantly throughout the day, pick up an offGRID Pro to ensure you are charged. While the case perfectly executes its main goal, a couple small details keep it from a true 5-star rating. The inability to easily remove the bumper and a power button that must be touched at the exact right spot are frustrating for such an expensive case. However, these small details do not detract from the overall appeal of the case. I highly recommend it!
- 1600mAh batteries (2 included)
- Mini charge cable charges iPhone and reserve battery
- Streamlined case
- One Incipio battery recharges 2/3’s of the iPhone’s battery
- Difficult to remove bumper
- Headphone hole is particularly small, but a converter is provided
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