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Best iPhone 5S External Battery Options?

Updated on September 10, 2013
Some iPhone 5S battery cases and juice packs
Some iPhone 5S battery cases and juice packs

Can you get through a full day without recharging your iPhone 5S?

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How do you get through a full day with your iPhone 5S when there are so many temptations? Videos, games, Facebook all take their toll. If you have 4G that will really suck the juice out of your battery.

So, you can economize (no fun) or get some extra power. But if you go for extra juice what are your options?

This page examines the best choices, including:

  • Mega supplies of extra juice can come from powerful external batteries like the well known New Trent line. Hook up and recharge your phone (even while you are using it).
  • Battery cases are less powerful but neat and wire-free (usually). They will add weight and thickness.
  • You can go for a high tech fuel cell that runs on hydrogen and can juice all kinds of mobile devices.
  • Try some solar power!

Compatible with?

Even the external battery cases on this page are compatible with all versions of the iPhone 5 (including the C). The battery packs are compatible with tablets like the iPad and most personal electronic devices.

How much Juice to recharge an iPhone 5S?

The newest iPhone has a Li-Ion 1,440mAh (milliAmp hour) battery. This gives you a quick way of calculating how much juice you need carry to recharge your phone.

For example, a battery pack storing 6000 mhA should recharge your iPhone at least three times.

The build quality of better devices, like the ones below, should mean 500 charges before the juice pack starts to lose its power.

The iGeek, A lot of power in a small pack...
The iGeek, A lot of power in a small pack...

New Trent External Batteries for the iPhone 5 S

New Trent has a huge number of external juice packs compatible with the iPhone 5. I have picked out two of the best.

The Powerful iGeek

This is one of the most powerful backup batteries around with a 11200mAh capacity and it is ideal for anyone who wants to recharge their phone several times, say whilst hiking. It will also recharge an iPad from flat to full.

There are dual USB charging outlets and LED's to tell you how much charge is left.

Recharable battery pack that will plug straight into a wall outlet.
Recharable battery pack that will plug straight into a wall outlet.

New Trent Juice Pack with Built-In Charger

This useful device features foldout prongs that allow you to easily plug into a wall outlet.

It is recommended for travelers, but is a neat device for everyday use.

There are dual outlets that allow you to charge two devices at the same time.

You can choose a capacity between 4000mAH (enough to charge an iPhone 5 twice) and 7000mAh which is useful if you want to recharge other devices as well.

Fuel cell charger from Horizon
Fuel cell charger from Horizon

Horizon Fuel Cell MiniPak

A couple of years ago, I read about the development of fuel cells that could replace batteries for personal electronics. That sounded pretty exciting. I imagined something small, powerful, long-lasting and inexpensive.

It has not worked out like that, not yet anyway.

The fuel cell from Horizon Technologies works in the normal way, converting the energy in hydrogen directly into electricity. The hydrogen comes from a solid hydride storage cartridge which is safe, even for air travel.

One problem is you need to spend around four hundred dollars to get a charger, portable fuel cell and a couple of hydride cartridges.

Another problem is that the fuel cell is pretty big to carry around and you only get 2000mAh of juice from each cartridge. This will charge an iPhone once. After that you need to recharge the hydride cartridge.

You will not exactly be going off-grid either. The charger uses mains electricity to replenish the hydrogen content of the hydride cartridge by creating hydrogen from water.

This is an exciting technology with great potential in many areas but is it really ready for the mass market yet?

Best Battery Cases for the iPhone 5S

There are plenty of cases to choose from but only a few deliver. Here are the best.

Maxboost Fusion
Maxboost Fusion
Fusion colors
Fusion colors

Maxboost Fusion 2000mAh Case

If you have had earlier versions of the iPhone and decided to get a battery case, the chances are you went for a Mophie. This battery case is half the price and better.

A nice feature is that the case and the battery are separate. You can recharge your iPhone then stash the battery pack away, keeping slimline protection. If size is not an option you can keep the battery portion attached at all times. The fit is secure and neither case nor battery will come off in a pocket or bag by accident.

The separate nature of case and battery also means you have a lot of color combinations available. The battery come in black or white. The case has more than a dozen colors to choose from.

Maxboost Air
Maxboost Air

Maxboost Atomic Air: Battery Case with Superior Protection

This case from Maxboost is fatter but offers better shock protection than the 'Fusion', above. It is not much heavier, but as the name suggests, it uses layers of air trapped in foam, to give your phone extra protection.

There is also superior shielding for the front of the phone. Only the display is left open to the outside world as you can see in the picture above.

The very precise molding of the buttons and cutouts still allows easy access to controls and leaves cameras and speaker unaffected.

Meridian Styles
Meridian Styles

Lenmar Meridian

The Lenmar Meridian 2200mAh battery cases are expensive at around 80 dollars, but they carry the MFI Apple Approved designation which is a reassurance to many people and they are solid, reliable cases.

The styles are also attractive. The black case has a rubberized back, the red case has a metallic finish and the white one is high gloss all over.

Go Solar!

Suntactics have a useful charger for most kinds of mobile device including the iPhone 5. It is book-sized when opened up so it is not the smallest kind of thing to carry with you,

Even so, if you happen to be a long way from home (and everywhere else) it could be a life-saver.

And its not just for those days on the beach, boat or in the backwoods. Use it everyday and save that planet!

The Video

If you have never seen a portable battery pack for smartphones and tablets, check out the video below.


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