REVIEW – Pelican may not be the first brand that you think of when it comes to phone cases or power banks. I know them for their seriously overbuilt (in a good way) and air-tight storage cases that I’ve used to cart engineering prototypes around the globe. They wouldn’t have cracked my top ten list for phone cases, and I wasn’t even aware Pelican made batteries. Enter their Protector EMS Recharge. I’ve spent the last month with this unique case/battery combination and you’ll want to know more.
What is it?
Pelican’s Protector EMS Recharge is a protective device case with a compatible magnetic, wireless battery that provides a well rounded solution for your case and charging needs. EMS stands for Easy Mount System by the way. It’s available in three models to fit iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
What’s in the box?
- Protector case for iPhone 11 Pro
- EMS Recharge battery
- USB-A to USB-Micro charging cable
- Quickstart guide
– Military grade drop protection
– Dual material construction
– Dimensions: Adds ?x?x? and ?g to your iPhone 11 Pro
– Detachable magnetic battery pack
– Qi-Certified wireless charging output
– USB-Micro Input: 5v~1A
– USB-A Output: 5v~1A
– Capacity: 2000mAh/3.7V/7.4wh
– Dimensions: ?x?x? and ?g
Design and features
The case is relatively neutral and unassuming, especially in its all black color. The dual material construction is on the firmer side with some soft areas where buttons and ports are located making it easy to install. Part of that rigidity is an internal steel plate for allowing the battery to magnetically attach. Branding is also minimal for those of you that prefer coverings on the subtle side.
The Recharge battery is also minimalistic. The entire enclosure is lightly textured for a matte finish except some horizontal stripes, the Pelican name and logo which are all gloss recessed.
All controls and ports are on the bottom edge where you’ll find the USB-Micro for recharging the pack, a USB-A for charging your devices and a power button along with 4 LEDs for operation and keeping an eye on the battery level.
The magic is really the magnetic connection allowing you to quickly attach the Recharge module and top off the battery in your phone. Pelican also offers an EMS vent mount and an EMS charger for your car that are compatible with the system.
First thing you need to do is connect the Recharge battery to the included charging cable and your own USB power adapter. The one that came with your phone should work. Input of the pack maxes out at 1A so it won’t benefit from anything with a larger output.
Installing the case is easy. Those softer sections on the side and bottom edge of the case deform to let your phone press in easily and then snap back to provide full protection.
When you’re ready to charge, place the Recharge unit against the lower back of your phone where the magnets will suck it into place. To start charging press the button on the bottom edge of the Recharge. The LEDs will light up and stay lit while charging your phone. To stop charging just remove the pack. Alternatively, you can press and hold the button to turn off power transmission.
Let’s look at the case first. It’s utilitarian in design, adding little additional bulk or weight to your phone. The texture changes between the matte finish, golf-ball-like detents and ridges give the case a great feel in the hand and all the buttons are easy to use.
The camera lenses are protected without the back of the case being uneven keeping your phone flat when laid on its back.
The Recharge battery is small and thin and that’s most apparent when it’s in place charging your phone.
The magnetic attraction is remarkably strong, keeping the battery firmly in place during use. If you happen to place the Recharge on upside down (ports facing up), the polarity of the magnets shift it obviously out of place.
You can handle your phone as you normally would and the battery is along for the ride like a little backpack. It does shift a little bit as there are not any firm registration points on the case or the battery beyond the magnetic connection itself. As a result it’s possible for the Recharge to shift out of place enough for the charging to stop. This is not much of an issue on the iPhone 11 Pro, but on the larger phones it could potentially have a little more room to move around.
While the Qi-compatible wireless charging is the cool feature, the USB-A port is right there for charging anything not wirelessly enabled, or if you want to get as much efficiency as possible out of the pack. As for efficiency, expect to get maybe half of a phone charge from the Recharge as it’s capacity is roughly 2/3 that of the iPhone.
It’s important to know that you can only recharge the Recharge through the USB-Micro port. The wireless charging is unfortunately reserved for output only. A little bit of a bummer, but everything else works so well it’s an easy point on which to give them a pass.
What I like
- The case – great daily driver that’s protective and minimal
- The battery – size and functionality
- The pair – this us a combo that works better together
- Expandability with other EMS accessories
What I’d change
- Make the case in some other non-black colors
- Sell EMS accessories outside of case bundles
- Update the Recharge battery to recharge wirelessly
The Pelican Protector EMS Recharge is a great addition to your iPhone EDC. The Protector case is slim enough to be anyone’s daily phone protection and the battery is small, pocketable and will power your phone or other devices. The battery isn’t enough but for about half a charge, but that should work for all but the serious power drainers.