Anyone who uses their phone for several hours a day has to fret about their battery life at some point. My husband and I use our phones quite often, and his older phone would need some sort of power by suppertime. I recently purchased a battery case for my husband, and ever since then I have been a bit jealous. When I saw the Odoyo Power+Shell EX for the iPhone 5, I marveled at how similar it looked to my husband’s case, and had to try it out for myself.
Inside of the box you’ll find a microUSB cable, headphone adapter, instruction manual, and the case itself.
The case splits in two pieces for assembly. You slide your iPhone into the white base with the Lightning charger, and then place the grey bumper-like shell over the top and snap it down into place. That part was easy enough and very straightforward, but getting the case off was a different matter entirely. You are supposed to be able to pull up the grey bumper with your hands, but I could not get it off without using a flat-head screwdriver. The good news about it being hard to remove is that it will not come apart during use.
When installed, the case adds 1/2 inch to the bottom of the phone, and 1/4 inch to the back of the phone. The case itself weighs around 2.7 ounces and boasts a 2200 mAh battery inside, which is supposed to double the battery life of the iPhone 5. I am happy to report that it does double the battery life and still has a little juice left for topping the charge off. You can also sync with the case on using the microUSB cable, which is convenient since removing the case may require a tool. There are two openings to direct the sound of the phone speakers towards you, and the sound quality was not affected at all.
One cool idea that Odoyo had when designing this case was to use its logo as a battery indicator. The logo is green when the battery is 66%-100% capacity, blue when 33%-65% capacity, and flashes red when under 33%. When charging the phone, the battery indicator stays off unless you check it yourself, except for when it is flashing red. One gripe I had with the indicator lighting was that at 33% capacity and under, the red logo flashes constantly when in use.
The opening for the camera is large and didn’t impede the flash at all. Each of the cutouts for the wake/sleep button, volume buttons, and mute switch are perfectly centered and allows you to access the buttons without any problems.
To check the battery level, you just press the button on the bottom right side of the case. Holding down the button will start or stop the charging. I don’t know how many times that I started charging my phone on accident from bumping this button, since it’s located right where my pinky finger sits. I would recommend a switch rather than a button for charging, like my husband’s case.
If you have headphones that have a straight, thin plug (like the Apple earbuds), you should be able to use them without the included adapter. However, if you have a thick or angled plug, you will have to carry the headphone adapter with you to use them with this case. The included adapter is a good quality adapter, and the sound quality was only slightly less with it plugged in. It is a much better quality than the cheapo one I have sitting around here at home.
A nifty feature this case has over my husband’s case is a kickstand. It’s not something I would have thought I would use, but I found it to be so convenient! The kickstand only works in the horizontal mode and is very sturdy when in use.
Overall, I really enjoy using this case. It charges up my phone in less than two hours, and it has a good solid feel in my hands when talking on the phone. I feel that the case is sturdy enough to protect the phone if I dropped it, though the plastic outer bumper might crack after a few times. It would be great if Odoyo offered the outer bumper for sale separately, perhaps in different colors, to replace damaged ones, or just to add a splash of color. You can find the Odoyo Power+Shell EX case for the iPhone 5/5S online for less than a hundred dollars, which is very reasonable given the capacity and speed of charging up the phone.