If you’re going to slap a case on something as slim and refined as your iPhone 5, at least make sure you’re getting a good tradeoff for what you’re losing in portability and visual elegance.
Charging cases make the compromise worthwhile, especially one with a battery as large as MyCharge’s new Freedom 2000. The shock-resistant iPhone 5 case has a built-in 2,000 mAh battery — enough for more than 9 hours of extra talk time and 44 hours of audio playback. The beefy, rugged case does render moot the advantages of the iPhone 5’s slimness and lightweight design — the 3-ounce case nearly doubles the weight and bulk of the 4-ounce iPhone — but such a substantial life extension is a big win for serious mobile users.
The pluses of the Freedom 2000 don’t end with the power boost it provides. Many of the charging iPhone cases I’ve tested are a struggle to put on the phone, and even harder to take off. This one slips on snugly with little effort (there is one annoying part, which I get into later). And thankfully, the case is just as easy to remove. Also, it’s quite strong. The interior is all high-density foam with rubber sidewalls, and the exterior shell is made of a hard plastic. With my phone inside the Freedom 2000, I dropped it repeatedly from about four feet onto a hardwood floor with no damage and no worries. Protective raised corners further prevent the phone’s glass display from cracking or shattering in a fall. Furthermore, the case is actually kind of attractive, as far as these things go.
One major issue I have had with other iPhone charging cases is the phone often has to be tethered to the integrated charging pin to fit in the case properly. MyCharge uses instead an integrated Lightning cable that tucks away neatly into a exterior slot. It only needs to be connected to the phone when charging is actually needed, allowing for more unshackled freedom. (Oh, now I get why they call it the Freedom. Good one.) This also makes syncing much easier, since you never need to remove the case.