The EXOGEAR Exolife iPhone 4 battery case was the first to market with an iPhone 4 battery case. To me this means a few things, 1) that they are quick and innovative, and most importantly 2) they had time to work out the bugs and perfect their product. We had some time to review the Exolife iPhone 4 battery case and here are our two bits.
The packaging is impressive and very Apple-like, a completely natural fit that doesn't detract from your iPhone. You fee like you are getting a high quality product before even opening the acrylic box. Inside the package you find the USB to mini USB 2.0 cable for charging and synching (yes you can finally sync your phone with a standard cable!), the Exolife battery case, the manual, and the quick start guide (for the non-manual readers).
There are several alternatives in the iPhone 4 battery case market and while none are perfect (IMHO) the EXOGEAR Exolife iPhone 4 battery case is one of the best at balancing functionality and aesthetics. One of the main complaints with the iPhone battery cases is the fact they tend to be too large. The Exolife iPhone 4 case does a good job at keeping your phone sleek and thin. Sure it is thicker than the phone with no case, but very acceptable.
The Battery Life
The battery used in the Exolife iPhone 4 battery case is a 1500mAh Lithium-ion polymer (LiPo). This battery type allows for the large amount of power, 80mAh more than the iPhone 4's onboard battery.
With that said, the battery does exactly as the manufacturer says. We only tested the standby time, video playback time, and music listening time (with earphones). We managed to get standby time of about 300 hours, just over 9 hours of video playback time, and over 40 hours of constant music playback. The specs don't lie.
Fit and Finish
The Exogear Exolife battery just feels great in your hand, there are no rough edges and it is smooth and shiny – love it! You have a choice of a black or white Exolife case. I am glad that the case is slick because I tend to slide my phone into my back pocket when walking around. I can't stand cases with the rubbery coating, which is why I don't like the otherwise perfect Apple bumper. The Apple bumper does however bring up one of the weak points (again IMHO) of the iPhone 4 Exolife case. The volume buttons, power button, and mute button are all exposed through the plastic case shell which makes them a bit tougher to operate. I wish Exogear had pass through buttons like the Apple bumper or the Uncommon iPhone 3 cases. Not a big deal, but on a close-to-perfect product, would be nice.
The Exolife iPhone 4 bumpers come in three colors, clear, blue, and green (see picture below).
The back of the case is shiny and will eventually start to show some scratches (same as your iPhone I suppose). There is a large smooth recessed oval opening for the iPhone 4 camera and flash. This opening is done right and doesn't get in the way or affect the quality of the camera or flash.
One of my favorite parts of the Exogear Exolife case is the blue LED battery charge indicator. If you push the power button for 2 seconds it will give you an idea of how much battery life you have left. Full bar = 75% or more charge, 3/4 bars = 50-75%, 1/2 bars = 25-50%, 1/4 bars = less than 25%, and lastly if the 1/4 light is blinking you have less than 10% of your battery life. That is all very important, but I like it because when charging the light strobes back and forth, reminds me of the lights on the front of the Knight Rider car or Battlestar Galactica Cylons. At first, I thought it would have been cooler if the light was red instead of the overused super bright blue, but the red color tends to be an indicator of some kind of problem, so I understand why it wasn't chosen. Sorry, I am sucker for tiny details like this.
The Exolife battery case does a great job protecting your phone (you still need to watch out for the front glass, but this is a iPhone 4 case not a lock box) and manages to double the life of everything you do on your iPhone 4. The fact that it charges and syncs with a standard USB cable is awesome and underrated. More often than not, you can find a USB cable laying around, which removes you from the reliance on the often misplaced iPhone 30-Pin cable.
The ever important question, would I buy the Exogear Exolife iPhone 4 battery case for my pickiest iPhone 4 friends? Yes, definitely. (FYI, Made in Korea, not China)