• Phonesuit Flex


    PROS: Speedy charge; feels durable; portable

    CONS: Bulky when attached

    US$69.95 + shipping

    Rating: 4.5 / 5

    We love our iPhone 5s. At times a little too much. And overuse leads to a smartphone paperweight, if no one around the office is savvy enough to remember their cable or wall charger. Even worse if we are on the road.

    So, what is the solution? We could ignore that Facebook notification, consider closing our Music app and reconnecting with the surrounding environment or carry a battery pack in our ever-present shoulder bag.

    Sure, we could attach a battery case to our iPhone and enjoy an extended battery wherever we are, but we donít like the added bulk that they bring.

    When we got our hands on the Flex micro battery pack from Phonesuit, we thought this could be the answer. We thought right. But it isnít perfect.

    The Phonesuit battery pack holds a high capacity 2600-mAh battery, which Phonesuit claim will provide up to a 125 percent charge for the iPhone 5.

    In our testing, our iPhone, with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on but all apps closed, recharged at an approximate rate of one percent per minute, taking close to 1.75 hours to travel from zero percent to 100 percent charge.

    This is slightly slower than charging with an Apple wall charger but it was still impressive.

    When the Flex runs flat, it can be refuelled via the supplied microUSB cable.

    And when plugged into an Apple wall charger, the battery pack took just over three hours to cease its charging- indicating blinking.

    The Flex also allows users to charge both their iPhone and the battery pack, one after the other, with the microUSB cable.

    The Flex is composed of machined aluminium, a Lightning connector and an electrostatic touch button.

    Available in black, red and blue, the Flex feels slightly hefty at 79g and offers four LED lights Ė divided into 25 percent increments Ė to show users the amount of charge left to give.

    The Flex isnít an item to keep on an iPhone long-term Ė nor does it define itself as such Ė rather it is a backup battery in case your iPhone begins to circle the power drain.

    We wouldnít want to use our iPhone with the Flex attached for long periods. The battery, as you might expect, leaves the smartphone unbalanced in our hand and a little awkward.

    However, this will depend on how you use your iPhone. If you wish to simply charge your phone and switch your attention to it occasionally, the Flex will be no serious hindrance.

    The Phonesuit battery pack fits very easily into a pocket or handbag, protected by a cover when travelling.

    Bottom line.
    It is hard not to recommend the Phonesuit Flex for those looking to prolong their battery life, but wish to avoid the increased bulk a battery case will bring. The Flex is portable and quickly recharges an iPhone.
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