One of the biggest customer complaints about the iPhone 4S is battery life. The battery never manages to last even a whole day and sometimes not even a half of a day. Although the iPhone 4 has always managed to last nearly a whole day, it isn’t much better. Apple is working on an iOS 5 software fix that might eventually take care of the battery draining issues that face iPhone 4S customers. Their first attempt, the release of iOS 5.0.1, wasn’t much help for some users.
If you cannot wait any longer and you own either of these phones one solution could be the MiLi Power Pack 4 ($60) from xengadget.com. The 3000 mAh slider case will give your iPhone 4 or 4S the extra power boost it needs to last until bed time. I tested it on my iPhone 4S and I’d like to share my experience with you.
The Mili is a light weight slider case that can fully charge an iPhone 4S from under 20% to 100% in a matter of hours. The iPhone 4S slips into the case from the top and snaps into place in a dock connector at the bottom. The iPhone 4S felt as if it were firmly in place once it was inserted and it wasn’t likely to go anywhere.
It felt comfortable in my hand, but just like all cases like this one the MiLi felt heavy. It wasn’t that heavy, but you’ll notice it. It has a switch on one side with four blue LEDs that give you a visual on the status of the battery while charging and discharging. A small kick stand on the back allows you to place your iPhone in landscape or portrait mode. I really liked that feature and I hope all the case manufacturers out there are reading this – more kick stands please! It was rather handy.
The remaining charge was able to charge my iPhone 4S about 40-50% before I had to recharge the MiLi. This is good to know if you have a particularly long day.
The Mili like most cases isn’t perfect, but some of its bad points are a cause for concern. The biggest concern I have is that the case doesn’t fully enclose my iPhone 4S. The top and front of the iPhone 4S is completely exposed and it isn’t completely protected from impacts if dropped. I recently saw the effects of my friend having dropped his iPhone 4S on the top right corner (it was in a slim leather flip case). That drop damaged the aluminum edge, shattered the screen and cost him $250.
Since the Mili is open at the top it is possible to have the same kind of accident that my friend had. I’m not willing to risk it so I’d only use the Mili for charging and then I change to another more protective case as soon as possible.
I mentioned the weight, which wasn’t bad, but the weight wasn’t evenly distributed. This made holding it in some circumstances awkward and possibly easier to drop.
Another minor issue was that it requires a micro-USB cable to allow syncing and charging. That meant having to toss another cable in my bag, but since I already had devices that use the same cable I was already carrying one anyhow so it didn’t bother me that much. I just used the one cable to charge all of them.
The Mili works just fine as an alternative power supply for your iPhone 4 or 4S, but it doesn’t offer the same level of protection that other slider power cases do. If you are careful and not prone to dropping things then the Mili might be a good case for you, but if you drop things a lot or you want something with more protection then you might consider something else. It is available from the manufacturer directly at xengadget.com for $60 on sale (regular price $120).