There really isn’t much to the $90 LifeCHARGE InAir battery case for the iPhone 5/5S. The case comes pre-charged and ready to use. You simply slip your iPhone in, and you’re all set.
Installing your iPhone is simple: since the case is one solid piece, rather than two pieces that slide into each other, you slip the charging port into the case first, and you pull the top of the case snugly over the iPhone. Easy.
Features and design
The LifeCHARGE InAir also ships with a wireless charging pad, which is included with the case. You plug that charging pad into a power source with a microUSB cable, and it’s good to go. Simply rest the case on top of the the charging pad, and the case and iPhone will begin charging.
The case itself holds a 2,000 mAh battery that will roughly double your iPhone’s battery life, depending on usage and conditions. There are light indicators on the back, similar to some Apple products, that show you how much charge is left in the case. Each light or dot represents about 25% battery life.
To use the InAir charging case, you press and hold the button on the back to begin charging your iPhone. When your phone is fully charged, or the case is out of juice (whichever comes first), the case will stop charging automatically.
And that’s that! It has buttons and a switch on the side to control volume and to switch your phone to silent/vibrate mode. There’s a huge opening in the back of the case for your camera and flash. While the case is made of plastic, it’s textured to look like stitched leather. Whether that’s attractive or tacky is entirely up to your taste.
It’s hard to review or consider a battery case for the iPhone 5/5S without talking about Mophie. As the undoubted king of the market. With its cases found at Apple stores, Best Buy and other major retailers, Mophie is still tough to beat.
While it doesn’t have wireless charging, Mophie does offer its cases in several colors in plenty of different battery capacities. Meanwhile, the LifeCHARGE InAir comes in only two colors – black and white.
Moreover, the $150 Mophie Space Pack doesn’t just offer protection and battery life, but it also gives you additional memory storage for more photos, videos and documents than your iPhone can handle.
Also, the Mophie’s construction feels like it’s more of a premium product than the LifeCHARGE InAir, with sturdy plastic and soft-touch surfaces.
Perhaps the only real advantage that the LifeCHARGE has over Mophie is its price. At $89.99, the LifeCHARGE is less expensive than the comparable Mophie Juice Pack Plus (2,100 mAh), which costs $119.95. However, I strongly suggest that the Mophie is worth every penny.
The LifeCHARGE InAir is a solid battery case for the iPhone, if you’re looking for modest protection and great battery life. It’s also nice that it has wireless charging, though it’s a small perk and not a huge reason to buy the case.
One thing that did bother me is that it was impossible to fit most of my headsets in the 3.5mm charging port. The case does come with an adapter for this very reason, but I find that it’s small enough that it could be easy to lose, and you may not always have it with you whenever you want to listen to music.
If the construction and design were a little better, this would’ve been a four-star case. But because it does the job and there isn’t anything glaringly bad about it, the LifeCHARGE InAir should be worth a pick-up for budget-conscious buyers. If you have the cash to spare, spring for a Mophie case.