EnerPlex Surfr Battery and Solar Case for iPhone 5s Review

Reviews, Smartphone Accessories

Introduction

Whether you’re a sales assistant, CEO or parent, battery life on your smartphone is incredibly important. With most smartphones lasting around 11 hours on average, the need for more power is obvious. Various activities such as streaming HD video and playing games are the main culprits for your ever decreasing battery, but thanks to the EnerPlex Surfr battery and solar case for iPhone 5 and 5s you can easily double your current battery life.

Using revolutionary technology, EnerPlex is your ultimate portable solar power solution, no matter your location. With EnerPlex you’re always in charge.

Design

Compared to some external battery packs and backup battery cases, the Surfr is one of the more modern, sleeker looking cases. Finished in a soft to the touch, durable black plastic, the Surfr is just like any other protective case you’d find on the market.

Created, obviously, with power in mind the case has still been designed in such a way that you wouldn’t even think that there’s battery inside it, let alone a 2000mAh one!

Moving around the case, you’ll notice all of the necessary ports and buttons are easily accessible. This includes the headphone port and rear camera. The volume controls and power button are protected by the case, but can still be pressed down just as easily as they can without a case.

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The charging port, as you can see in the image below, is now a microUSB port. This is due to the phone’s actual charging port being connected to the case. This then acts as a converter of sorts and allows the case to be charged via microUSB instead, allowing you to charge the case anywhere where you have access to a USB cable / port.

You’ll also notice the on/off button here, which is used to power on the case and also see the case’s battery level (via the five LEDs on the left).

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Moving to the back of the case, this is where the magic happens (not actual magic, just science technically…)

Housed within the rear of the case is a solar panel designed by EnerPlex themselves. Choosing their own product over a generic solar panel allows them to get more out of their own products. The panel covers about 75% of the rear of the case and does not sit flush with the case, allowing you to place your device on the table without worrying about damaging the panel. You’ll also notice some company branding on the rear as well, with the EnerPlex logo at the bottom and “Powered by Ascent SOLAR” at the top. Ascent SOLAR are the parent company of Enerplex and are also the company that creates the thin-film solar modules.

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You might be wondering how the case comes apart, so you can actually connect your device. Well, a simple pull of the top and the case will split into two halves. Once you’ve done this, simply slide your phone into the case and then slide the top section back into place to lock the case together again.

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Performance

Charging the case will be your first point of call. There’s not a great deal to say with regards to charging, you just need to simply connect the case to a USB port using the included USB cable and the case will start to charge.

If you’d like to see how much battery the case has remaining, you just need to press the on/off button located at the bottom of the case and the LEDs on the left will light up (one LED and five LEDs obviously meaning low battery and full battery, respectively).

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To initiate the charging feature of the case, you’ll need to hold down the same power button for around 3-5 seconds. Your phone should then make the usual “connected” sound and display the charging icon next to the battery.

On a full charge, I found that the Surfr case did actually do what it stated it would and kept me charged up for twice as long as normal. Obviously battery life still depends on what you’re doing, but for the general user you’ll see some great results!

Now, the Enerplex Surfr isn’t just a battery pack, it’s a protective case as well. That doesn’t mean you can go chucking your phone around, but for general bumps and knocks you’ll be well protected by the sturdy plastic exterior.

Solar power

Now, even if you class solar-powered cases as more gimmicky than useful, the Surfr uses the solar panel as more of a backup plan for when you’re away from your computer and you’ve not got a lot of charge left. Typically, around 1 hour of charging via the solar will allow for 10 minutes of call time. So whilst one of the primary advertising points is that the case is solar powered, the likelihood of you using this feature often is very slim. It’s just a very good backup source for some much needed juice when you have no other way of charging your phone.

Verdict

Whilst the Enerplex Surfr Battery and Solar case has proved all of it’s claimed features, such as doubling your battery life and protecting against knocks and bumps, I still can’t help but feel that the solar power aspect is a bit redundant when you’ve got an extra 10/11 hours battery life anyway.

Despite this, the Enerplex Surfr has performed very well. The price of the case currently sits around £60 ($90), so it’s not cheap but it’s not overly expensive either. Personally, the battery life on my iPhone 5s is shocking so I’ve benefitted quite well from the Surfr case’s 2000mAh battery, so I’d be able to justify the price.

Pros

  • Nice simple and sleek design
  • Still have access to all ports and buttons
  • Very slim, easily fits in pocket
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Solar panel seems slightly redundant as it’s more of a feature that will only get used in an emergency

Bottom line: The Enerplex Surfr Battery and Solar case “does what it says on the tin” – with the ability to double your iPhone’s battery life and also double up as a protective case, what’s not to love?!

 

Badge_Recommended_9 stars