Review: ibattz Mojo Hi5 Power Bank Case for iPhone 5
December 5, 2012 by Beatweek
If you’re as distressed at the lack of battery cases available for iPhone 5 a full two-plus months after its launch, you’ll be relieved – sort of – to know that ibattz is now offering something compatible. Dubbed the Mojo Hi5 Power Bank Case, this new product is not so much a battery case as it is a battery which sits on the back of a case. Included in the box are a pair of lightweight hard plastic iPhone shell cases, one black, one white, along with a thin silver metal battery which connects to the rear of either case via a trio of hooks.
As it turns out, however, this isn’t actually a battery case for the iPhone 5 or its new Lightning charging port. Instead it’s a workaround which bypasses the Lightning port altogether. It does so by running a cable from the USB port on the bottom of the battery to the Lightning port on your iPhone 5 a mere quarter inch away. ibattz includes a few-inch micro USB cable, and suggests that you purchase Apple’s Lightning-to-micro-USB stub adapter to make it work. If you don’t care to spend the extra, you can instead take the Lightning cable which came with your iPhone 5, wad it up with the velcro included with the Hi5, and use it instead.
In nine years of reviewing thousands of accessories, this might be one of the most bizarre I’ve ever encountered. If there weren’t any cables involved, I’d say it’s a clever way of allowing you to alternate between two different colors of included shells cases, and to not have to lug the battery component around for those times when you don’t need the extra power and simply want a case, with a whopping 2500 mAh of power which outclasses the 1300 to 2000 mAh offered on most competitors. But the idea of walking around with my iPhone 5 in a case which has a cable running out the bottom, and back into the bottom, is not in any way appealing.
And yet, the lack of true iPhone 5 battery cases on the market thus far leaves me thinking that the Hi5 might be a good placeholder for those who need extra battery power now and can’t wait until the cavalry of Lightning based battery cases eventually arrives. The Hi5 is, at the least, a better option than trying to walk around with an external battery brick dangling loosely from your iPhone.
ibattz has delivered solid battery cases in the past for products like the iPhone 4S. Here’s hoping that the Hi5 is a mere temporary fix for those who can’t wait, and that the company is working on a true Lightning based iPhone 5 battery case, rather than trying to work around Lighting on a permanent basis.
Price: $79, plus $19 for optional adapter • ibattz.com