So my Secret Santa got me the i-Blason PowerSlider iPhone 5 Rechargeable External Battery Case with the new Apple 8 Pin Lightning Charging Connectors.
And I thought I had it made.
One of my chief complaints with the iPhone, indeed any smartphone, is how quickly the battery drains.
I find myself constantly tethered to a power cord to re-up my charge.
Which I find quite annoying.
And the antithesis of a portable device.
So you can imagine my utter joy and excitement to be able to rock out with my iPhone, without having to worry if my phone is going to die at some inopportune point during the day, if I’m not hooked up to a charger.
Since I’ve only had the charging case for a short while, I hadn’t availed myself of its inherent utility.
Despite my shiny new gadget coup, I was still connecting my iPhone to my laptop whenever I noticed my juice waning.
But one day I remember I had my phone in the case and decided to take it for a spin.
No matter what happened, I wasn’t going to plug my phone into the lightning charger.
If my battery got low, I was going to flip on my handy dandy charger case and suck that precious life-giving nectar from my new case.
So when I found myself precariously close to a dead phone, I put the i-Blason case to the test.
My battery was at 10% (as I had ignored the 20% warning), and I pressed the small silver power button on the lower left corner of the case, fully expecting it to save the day.
Immediately, four blue lights flashed…
And just as quickly disappeared.
Confused, I pressed my silver savior again.
Again the flash of the small blue lights.
And again, nothing.
Frantic now, I pressed the button repeatedly.
And repeatedly got the same result.
Apparently, my back-up was dead.
It had no charge to give.
I was pissed.
What good is a battery backup that’s got no backup?!
From that point on I decided to pay a little more attention to the case.
And I noticed a few things.
First, if you’re charging your iPhone in the case, you’ve got to make sure of what you’re charging.
Apparently, sometimes when your phone is tethered and you think you’re charging your phone, you’re actually charging the case.
And when you think you’re charging the case, you’re actually charging your phone.
How to tell the difference?
If you’ve got a lightning icon on the battery indicator of your iPhone, your phone is charging.
If you’ve got a blinking light on your i-Blason case and three illuminated blue lights (and no lightning symbol) you’re charging your case.
But it doesn’t stop there.
If you’re not tethered to your lightning cord, and you see blue lights on your case, that means the case is charging your phone.
If you ever see that happening (and you don’t mean to be charging it at the moment) turn that shit off!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled out my phone only to see those four blue lights illuminated.
Ever since that incident, I’ve become paranoid about checking the status of those little blue lights.
Manically checking every so often to be sure I haven’t accidentally depressed the silver button and discharged my precious juice unknowingly.
But yesterday, I found myself, once again, with a dying phone.
I had been meticulous about ensuring I hadn’t squandered the charge on the case.
And I was giddy about the prospect of testing the i-Blason’s true recharge capabilities.
When I saw the dreaded 10% battery life warning, I once again depressed the little silver power button on the lower left corner of the case.
It sprang to life!
This time all four lights illuminated and stayed lit.
Gratifyingly, the lightning icon appeared on my battery indicator graphically verifying that life force was flowing into my phone.
C’mon baby! Gimme the juice!
Little by little, my iPhone came back from the abyss.
But then, it stopped.
It hovered at 15% for a minute.
Then, one by one, my blue lights started to disappear.
Five minutes into it, there was one lone blue light on my case.
And then there were none.
A few minutes later, that blasted 10% warning message flashed across my screen again.
And I, without my charger, resigned myself to my fate.
I knew, right then, that my little experiment had come to an end.
Dejected, I turned my phone off, preserving what little battery life I had left.
And now, I’ve got to call a spade a spade.
The i-Blason PowerSlider iPhone 5 Rechargeable External Battery Glider Case with the new 8 Pin Lightning Charging Connectors is a piece of crap.
An expensive piece of crap.
But a piece of crap no less.
I haven’t tried other chargers on the market.
But if I had to give this case a grade, it would be a solid D.
It’s got a nice aesthetic, and as a case offers some protection for your phone.
But, since I’m being critical, the little kickstand, which lets you prop up your phone is oriented the wrong way, so that your volume controls face down (instead of up where you can reach them).
And your iPhone’s face is completely unprotected.
If you drop it, pray that it lands face-side up – or you’re fucked.
So if you’re in the market for a rechargeable battery case, save your money and leave i-Blason alone.