mophie1

(Mophie Juice Pack H2PRO)

Even though we did a comparison of several iPhone cases this past spring, we don’t often spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to protect your smartphone here at the Gear Institute. But a couple of new models designed for the iPhone 6 may be of interest to readers since both claim to not only offer the protection you need to keep your device safe in the outdoors, but also provide on-board back-up power that can extend its battery life too.

The cases, the Mophie Juice Pack H2PRO and the LifeProof FRĒ Power, both snap together around the phone, exceed military standards for shock and vibration, are fully dust and waterproof, and feature integrated batteries that will give a smartphone one full additional charge. They both cost $129, are almost identical in size, and both require an included micro-USB cable to recharge their internal batteries. Comparing these cases side by side presents quite a conundrum for outdoor enthusiasts. Do you go with Mophie – a company who has made a name for itself by making battery powered cases – or do you go with Lifeproof who has earned a reputation for building ultra-durable protective shells for our fragile gadgets?

mophie2

(Mophie Juice Pack H2PRO)

 In terms of functionality, the FRĒ comes equipped with an auto-shut off feature for its charger, which helps to protect its battery while powering it up. Mophie doesn’t mention this feature at all, which is a bit troublesome to say the least. On the other hand, the H2PRO ships with an anti-glare screen, which is far superior to the standard gloss screen protector that Lifeproof includes with its case. I am a big sucker for anti-glare screen protectors – but I also don’t want to burn out the battery in the case or my phone for that matter.

fre1

(Lifeproof FRĒ Power)

For someone who spends a lot of time in the outdoors the choice isn’t as simple as I thought it would be when I first started writing this article. The easiest thing to do would be to continue to use a non-powered phone case and rely on a backup battery pack, which is exactly what I do now. But the possibility of having to carry one less piece of gear with me is always intriguing. Ultimately, I think the best way to handle this predicament would be to get out into the wild and test both the H2PRO and FRĒ Power to see which one really is the best. On paper, their similarities far outweigh their differences, so hopefully something will come to the surface when I get the opportunity to see how they both work in the field.

Stay tuned folks. This should be interesting.

fre2

(Lifeproof FRĒ Power)

 

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