Not long ago, I wrote about a new comer to the external battery game.  A company called “iMaxPower” (IMP) and their tethered external battery called the “IMP500”.  In that article I explained how iMaxPower is actually a subsidiary of a real OEM battery company used to produce the batteries for some of the largest computer companies in the world.  Well, these guys are not sitting on their laurels, they just took a serious shot at Mophie and let me tell you here and now.  Those of you who have a Mophie Juice Pack (MP) or Mophie Juice Pack Air (MPA) are gonna be seriously miffed.  Here’s why.

     iMaxPower, has recently released what appears to be clones of the MP and MPA which they affectionately call the “IMP190” (190) & “IMP130” (130), respectively.  (Back in the IMP500 Article I told all of you, that these items were coming.  I also promised you a review of these products. I keep my promises.)  They look almost exactly the same but iMaxPowers’ 190 & 130 have some pretty impressive performance.  While the MP boasts 8 hrs of video play back and their MPA Claims 6 hrs of video play back, both on a 3G, my tests for the 190 and 130 demonstrated the results of a 10:34 hr video play back on the 190 and a 8:41 hr video play back on the 130.  Bad news for Mophie… iMaxPower, you guys ROCK!  The dimensions between the two companies battery cases are so similar and minute in their differences, that they are not worth mentioning here.  So here’s the break down of video play back, in a chart:

Mophie Video Play Back iMaxPower Video Play Back Diff of time
Juice Pack 8 Hours IMP190 10:34 Hours +2:34 (IMP)
Juice Pack Air 6 Hours IMP130 8:41 Hours +2:41 (IMP)

     That has to sting!  And if that is for video, you know that will translate to increases over Mophie in Web Usage, Music Play Back, Talk time, Stand-By, everything.  What is even more jolting is that while the Mophie Products retail at the prices of around $69-80 for the MP and MPA, the IMPs are selling at $39.99…BOTH!  That is 40-50% less with roughly 20% increase in power storage.  Man!…

     What Mophie has over IMP is their battery cases come in a variety colors, while right now IMP Battery is only available in black.  Also, I will admit that the MP(A) ‘Top-Clips” (the top part that encases the top of the iPhone) feels more secure.  But this is a minor issue.

     The IMP190 looks almost exactly like the MP in shape and even color.  Out of the box the 190 took 3:10 hours to charge to 100%, to charge the iPhone took about 1:40 min which is standard.  The 190 gives a full 100% recharge to an iPhone that has been depleted to 0%.

     The IMP130 Is the same in the regards mentioned above.  however it does not come in a glossy finish but a matte-black one.  It looks very stealth.  Out of the box, charge time was also 3:10 hours for a 100% charge and also took 1:30 min to charge the iPhone to a capacity of 80% which then it would be depleted.  What the 130 has that the 190 does not is if you hold the little black button on the back that turns on the blue LEDs when you tap it, is an actual white LED flashlight built into the battery case.  Nice!  It looks like a little yellow dot that has been recessed into the case when not activated.But here is a serious bonus!  All of you who use BodyGuardz?  You know the invisible film you can wrap your iPhone in to protect it from the world because you hate the idea of using a case and disturbing your iPhones sleek good-looks?  The 130 has just enough room in it to allow, YES ALLOW the BodyGuardz protected iPhone inside and have a perfect snug fit! The best of both worlds, kindly brought to you by iMaxPower.

     Both battery cases (190/130) have Blue LEDs on the back where if you press a button they light up to indicate an approximation of how much power is left.  The 190 has 4 LEDs, while the 130 has only 3.  Why the difference, I have no idea.  However, the percentage gage for each light is different for each case, and not what I found in the instruction booklet.  The 190 really reads like this:

Lights:
1. 0-15%
2. 16-35%
3. 36-65%
4. 66-100%

While the 130 reads:

Lights:
1. 0-25%
2. 26-55%
3. 56-100%

     Yes I know, odd and strange, but that is my estimation after careful testing and observation.   These oddities however should in no way deter you from seriously considering this battery case(s) as they do a bang up job of protecting your iPhone while at the same time increasing usage and power for unbelievably low, bargain basement prices.  If you look at it this way, decent regular cases cost anywhere between $25-30.  For an additional $10-$15 you get your case and a battery good for up to a full recharge and up to 2x the normal usage.  This is amazing and I advise that anyone who needs a case or a battery backup for really on the go needs, to get this.  For that price you should have one just in case anyway.  iMaxPower…Such an appropriate name.  Get it now while the price is still that low.