A few weeks ago my inbox exploded with companies offering me samples on products after they saw a couple of reviews of mine hit TweakTown. One of these e-mails was from Mugen Power, who wanted me to take a look at its Mugen Power 4500mAh Battery Case for the LG Nexus 4.
I'd heard about Mugen Power before, so I took a detailed look at the product while I waited by my letterbox for the postman. We'll take a look at the specs of the device before we get into the review itself. Mugen Power has given it the SKU of CC-E960, in case you did a Google search and wondered what that was.
You can buy the Mugen Power 4500mAh Battery Case for the LG Nexus 4 directly from their website for $89.50 with free worldwide shipping - which is a great extra that Mugen Power has on offer.
The original battery in the Nexus 4, which isn't replaceable by the way, is 2100mAh. The capacity inside of the Mugen Power Battery Case is of course 4500mAh, which triples the battery life of your Nexus 4. Considering I get nearly a full day of use out of my Nexus 4, I'm looking forward to testing this further.
The way I write my reviews is a little different to most, I write my introductions like the above few paragraphs, then I'll leave and use the device while this review sits in my Dropbox folder. I then go off and use the device for a couple of weeks to give it some real-world usage. Sure, I could use it in my lab, and just drain it constantly, but that's not how you would use it in the real-world now, is it? I'm going to use my Nexus 4 like normal, and see how it goes. Normally I'm awake at somewhere between 6-8am depending on when my daughter wakes me up, and then my phone is off charge and with me for the day.
Normally, I would make it through till around 8-9pm before I get to 10-15% and require charge. So, we're going to use that as a benchmark. If I can get to the next day at the same 8-9pm timeframe with 10-15% charge, I'll be impressed. But with an additional 4500mAh charge, I should be able to get two more entire days out of the device.
Man, is this thing huge. It really adds some weight to the Nexus 4, and makes it close to three times as thick as the Nexus 4 without a case.
It is made of some good materials, and doesn't look cheap - something I expected. Even just holding it for a couple of minutes, I don't think I could use this in the long-term. It's far too heavy for regular use, but we'll take another look at below.
I plugged it into the daisy chain of Patriot FUEL+ Portable Battery chargers that I have and let it charge until it was full. Once it was full, I took it off charge and began my daily routine with it. Since it's going to last me around three days, I'm going to use it for two weeks to get a real feel for it. After a two-week real-world take on the Mugen Power 4500mAh Battery Case for the Nexus 4, the first thing I have to say: it is heavy. Really heavy. Compared to the lightness of the Nexus 4 when it's naked, strapping on a huge case with a 4500mAh battery was never going to be an easy task.
The device strapped to my N4 sat in my pocket alright, but when using it for extended periods of time (say, typing up an e-mail or using Facebook), it became really tiresome. It's not like it's a deal breaker, but it's definitely something you should consider when making a purchase.
I liked the idea of maybe keeping this in a bag with you, and then when your Nexus 4 is running low, you could plug it in and let it charge while you use it. This type of use would work quite well for students or travelers. The charge process was painless, just plug the cable in and go - that's it. Nice and simple, which is exactly how I like it.
I did get two full charges out of the Mugen Power battery, where I took my Nexus 4 off of the wall charger at 9am on a Monday morning, ran it down to 15% that night, connected the Mugen Power battery and charged it back up to 100% by the following morning.
I then disconnected it, went on a full day of use, ran it down to 10% that night and repeated the charging process. I charged it back up to 100% and got through the entire of Wednesday till around 10:30pm with a mix of casual and strong use (videos, music) until it reached 5%. This is some great work from Mugen Power, as it provides your Nexus 4 with a three-day lifespan, which is just great. But, it does come at the cost of weight, unfortunately.
The weight of the Mugen Power 4500mAh Battery Case for the LG Nexus 4 is the worst thing about it, but other than that it was smooth sailing. The heaviness of the case was daunting at first, but you do get used to it. Extended periods of time with the case on would just annoy me, but everyone is different.
For $89 with free international shipping, you truly can't go wrong with Mugen Power's device. It extends the battery life of your Nexus 4 by days on end, which is something you can't complain about. It's great for those who forgot to charge their Nexus 4 the night before, or had unexpected plans after work and couldn't charge their phone - never fear, you have another two-plus days of charge ready to go.
Three days of charge from a single device is great these days, even with the higher-end $800+ phones not providing a full day of charge. Mugen Power providing free international shipping, and a decent $89 price will go a long way. Most of the reviews on its website are overwhelmingly positive, and rightly so - Mugen Power has a great device in its, well, your hands.
I wasn't going to give the Mugen Power 4500mAh Battery Case for the LG Nexus 4 an Editor's Choice Award, but when filling it out - I began entering in high scores for the Performance, Quality, General Features, and so on, coming to the conclusion that this really does deserve a high award. Mugen Power, you've won me over.