We've sampled a good serving of the battery case market for smartphones and tablets over the years and we've found they come in many different styles. Some clumsy, some refined and functional, and some that simply don't work correctly.
Design & Ease Of Use
This MOTA battery base is available in either black or white, with a choice of a blue, green or pink brightly coloured frame (all case purchases also include a clear frame bezel). We have the all black base and a white with a green frame bezel variant. The MOTA Extended Battery Case for the iPhone 5/5s aims to look trendy and current in order to overcome its bulk. The contoured design is a little deceptive to the eye, the MOTA case is actually thicker than the iPhone 5/5s. So in effect you're holding the thickness of two iPhones. It's not uncomfortable, but spoils the thin design of the iPhone. The weight of this case doesn't add much to the sum weight, being just 80g. Functioning the iPhone's external features within the case was no hassle, the iPhone's bezel, rear camera and all buttons are cutout, although the cutout for the auxiliary input is very tight, just thin enough for the Apple EarPods/Earbuds, and doesn't allow bigger connections to plug into the iPhone. However, supplied within the box is an adapter for such a scenario, if you can remember to take it with you.
It's not difficult to remove the iPhone from the MOTA Extended Battery Case; all that's required is to snap the bezel away from the main body and the iPhone can be freely removed. Don't worry, the bezel is very rugged and flexible, we've snapped it on and off hundreds of times during our general usage with no damage to its function. Uniquely two bezels are included with each case, usually one coloured and one clear, so you can be a little creative with the aesthetic appearance. The overall design has been refined and is comfortable to hold when using the iPhone within the case continuously, although the paint used on the battery base scratches off too easily on the kickstand during such constant use.
iPhone Functionality & Kickstand
The speaker is covered by the case and so speaker grills direct the audio to project from the front of the iPhone towards your face. This sounds like a good thing, but it does unfortunately muffle the audio slightly and it generally cuts into the definition and volume. The same can be said for the microphone on the left of the speaker.
On the rear of the case sits a kickstand which presents a nice viewing angle for watching video. Unfortunately this snapped off one of our test cases due to us pushing it back too far, so be warned. We've learnt to use it gently with our other cases and it has remained intact and functions correctly. Underneath the kickstand are four LED indicators which will illuminate when a button is pressed to display how much battery power remains.
Moving onto the main purpose of this case; the battery. It's reasonably large for a battery case, at 2,400mAh. This will fully charge the iPhone 5/5s from drained once, (it cuts itself out when the iPhone is fully charged to not waste energy) leaving reserve energy to charge the battery by another 20% afterwards. Charging speed was rapid and we didn't have any hiccups charging the case and iPhone overnight via the supplied micro-USB cable. Both the phone and case fully charged with the latest iOS 7 software, something many battery cases have a hard time doing since Apple have tightened up on charging third party accessories.
The MOTA Extended Battery Case serves its purpose. Heavy iPhone 5/5s users need a backup battery solution to get them through the day and this will deliver a clean, rugged and easy way for them to get that. Currently you can purchase the case within the USA via Amazon for under $50, that's less than half the RRP.