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Monday, July 27, 2009

If you're an iPhone power user, you've no doubt ran into this problem:

OMG, my battery is almost dead!

With my old Treo 680, all I needed was an aftermarket battery that doubled the device's capacity and all was well in the world. But Apple, being the proprietary junkies they are, have stuck the end user with a non-replacable battery. Of course, there are always enterprising individuals out there who are willing to provide an alternative solution, so if you look hard enough, you can find an aftermarket battery replacement, but until I've had my iPhone a bit longer, I'm not willing to do something that will void the warranty. So, enter the external battery solution. To that end, I chose the Incase Power Slider (retail $89, on sale at Target for $62).

At first I was very pleased with the Power Slider. It added a lot of bulk to the iPhone which will turn off some users, but that's fine with me as I use mine in a manufacturing environment. The case fits snugly and definitely offers a high degree of protection for the device.

The external battery has to be charged for several hours before initial use. This isn't such a big deal unless you're absolutely dying for some juice to your iPhone on the spot. Once charged, just slide the phone into place, and you're good to go.

Now, as I said, I was pleased "at first". What turned me off of the Power Slider? For whatever reason, the case severely inhibits the signal strength of the iPhone by about 3 bars on average. In fact, in the factory and offices in which I work, I have zero coverage in about 3/4 of the area. For someone who relies on push notifications and network connectivity no matter where I am, this is unacceptable.

I don't quite see in the case's design where and why it is causing such a reduction in reception. As far as I can tell, the antenna is only covered by the plastic case.

To Incase's credit, they have offered a full refund based on a one year warranty on the case. I don't want to return it, as it offers solid protection, but I don't have a lot of choices here.

So, my question is this: what battery/power solutions do others use for their iPhone? Does anyone recommend an alternative case/battery combo that does not inhibit the mobile signal?

.: posted by Dave 1:34 PM

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