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Monoprice iPhone Battery – Best $15 You Can Spend

Monoprice.com (source of dirt cheap cables – seriously, don’t pay full price for cables. I have no affiliation with them, other than a happy customer) has had a $15 external 2200mAh iPhone/iPod battery for a while now. I’ve seen it, and kind of steered clear of it, because I was uncertain of the quality. But then I saw a couple of reviews (at TUAW and Minimal Mac) that were happy with it, so I took the plunge. I also picked up two iPod cables, two USB AC adapters, and 2 12V car USB adapters in the same order. The total price was about $23. :-)

The stuff arrived last week, just before the long Thanksgiving weekend, and I had a chance to use the battery pretty extensively, as I spent many an hour at my mother in law’s house playing games and doing other battery draining things on my iPhone 3GS. So what’s the verdict?

This thing is the best $15 you can spend if you own an iPhone. Period.

The battery capacity is 2200mAh, which is about twice the iPhone’s internal capacity, so you can charge it up (about) twice. You can also attach the battery and charge and use at the same time. The connection is the standard iPod/iPhone connector, so it will work with any device or charger that has one. It’s made of glossy, smooth plastic, sort of like the back of the iPhone 3G/3GS (though it’s thicker).

There are tons of other external battery options out there – the Mophie Juice Pack Air is a popular one, at 1200 mAh and $79. But this little cheapie from Monoprice has almost twice the battery capacity at less than a quarter of the price. Most of the time, I find myself in easy reach of a charging source for my iPhone (my desk, the car, etc.), but for the times when I’m not, this little guy is definitely coming with me in my bag or in a pocket. It’ll be a lifesaver for conferences, travel, and other all day events.

If you have an iPhone/iPod, and have ever wished your battery would last just a little bit longer, or are sick of carrying around a charging plug and cable all the time, just to keep your phone running, you should DEFINITELY get one of these. Highly recommended.

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18 thoughts on “Monoprice iPhone Battery – Best $15 You Can Spend

  1. Pingback: A $15 Must-Have iPhone Accessory

  2. Mike says:

    Here’s my question: can you use it with a case on the iPhone? Most of these things won’t make a “connection” if you have a case (and I’d rather not have to remove the case every time).

  3. @Mike – I would say, it depends on the case. There is a lot of room between the top of the battery and the bottom of the iPhone. The only place where it actually touches is the dock connector itself (which makes it seem kind of fragile, actually), but unless you have a really bulky case, or one with no access hole in the bottom, I think it would work.

    I don’t use a case, but I’d say if you can use the USB cable that came with your phone in your case, you can probably use this battery, too.

  4. Pingback: iPhone Constantly Running Low on Juice? Try a $15 External Battery

  5. Pingback: Double your iPhone battery life for $15

  6. Raphael says:

    This looks very interesting, but I have one question. Is this a one/two time use battery or can it be recharged? I don’t any kind of adapter so it can be charged and used over and over.

    -Raphael-

    • @Raphael – it can be recharged. It has a Dock Connector on the bottom, and will recharge from the same charger that works with your iPhone/iPod. The four blue LED indicators will blink while charging, and indicate the battery’s charge status when you press the button next to them. I’ve charged and discharged it several times since I got it. Works great.

  7. mbhullar says:

    Looks like I’m the only one having an issue. Got 2 packs of this battery charged them fully, when I connect my iPhone 3Gs it charges for a while and stops in about 10 minutes or so and the battery is still charged based on the LEDs. I plugged these into another iphone and ipod touch at home, exact same behavior.

    I have another battery pack from a different vendor and no such issue, although I paid $69 for it. I’ll try and get replacements, hopefully that would solve the issue, given that every body else seems to be happy with it.

  8. wfe says:

    I’ve had bad luck with this — two sent from Monoprice, both bad. They would charge the iPhone partially (first battery — 42%, second battery — 98%), but then would not register as a charging device despite the LEDs still flickering as if it was still working. Plugging it back in to the wall seemed to reset whatever logic was flawed, and it would again charge (for a limited time). (Plugging it in defeats the purpose of an external charger.)

    I’m hoping this is an isolated case.

    Side note: Monoprice was prompt to replace the first one on request (yay!). The second one though is meeting with more resistance, likely because I am now asking for a refund.

    Another side note: I placed a review on monoprice’s website of the battery, but it has not been approved. Has anybody else noticed that they only appear to approve/show positive ratings of their products? (I was positive of their service the first time, doesn’t that count for something?)

  9. gordon says:

    I’ve had bad luck too – on a train, dead iPhone, pull out the charged monoprice backup – flashing lights as if it was charging, but the iPhone itself will only show the “need charge” graphic and not the “charging” graphic. After 45 minutes of nonsense I was furious. This thing DOES NOT work … you get what you pay for I suppose….

  10. steph says:

    do not buy this piece of crap! it work for me once-not even charging my phone fully- and then was never able to connect to my phone again. garbage!

  11. Chris says:

    I have had the same bad luck with mine. I plug it in and occasionally it charges but only for a brief moment. Then it continues to flash the LEDs like it is doing something but doesn’t charge the phone at all. This one has never worked and is a gift from a friend. I will have to see if he can send it back.

  12. mbhullar says:

    Glad to see my case was not an isolated incidence, lot’s of folks seem to have the same issue. I did get my refund and decided not to replace them, since I’d ordered two and both turned out to be bad. I think the Quality Control was just awful.

  13. This does not work for me. I bought this a few months ago & just used it on a trip. I’m having the same issues as above – it seems to charge for about 10 min the quits & will not charge again. Beware!

  14. Don Sakers says:

    I, too, found this thing to be useless. Apparently they don’t publish bad reviews on their website, so if you look there you get the impression it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

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