Juice Packs are popular with many iPhone users, but is your Mophie genuine or a fake?
Mophie produce some high priced power cases for iPhones and some Android handsets. They are protective cases that have a second battery built in ready for charging on the go.
As with most high priced and popular items – be it technology or clothing – counterfeiting is rife. Once upon a time fake goods were bought from a ‘Del Boy’ in some market out of a suitcase, now with online selling being as big as it is, you can buy anything from anywhere – and with everyone wanting the best price, unscrupulous sellers prey on people expecting a bargain.
I have bought many Mophie Juice Packs over the years, and it never dawned on me that fake ones were about or that they would be so hard to spot.
Recently I picked up a Juice Pack Plus for my iPhone 5. After a couple of days, I started noticing a few issues, and I started looking into the issue.
So how do you spot a fake Mophie Juice Pack? Early versions were quite easy. They were very badly put together and the packaging was easily spotted. However, more recently the counterfeits have become very hard to tell.
Depending on the model you have will depend exactly what to look for. The references in this article refer mainly to the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, and 5s models of Juice Pack – but most should also be true of older and newer models.
Build and Buttons
First thing to look at is build quality. Genuine ones are very well built, however fakes can feature creaking plastics and rattling insides.
When it is put together, check that it clicks together nice and firm. The two halves should have no gaps between them, whereas some fakes can fit very badly.
With cases such as the Air and the Plus, which rehouse the buttons, check that they all press correctly. Pay special attention to the power button, as it can be stiff to press and some don’t even move at all. All buttons should fit neatly in their sockets.
The silence switch should feel snug – especially when sliding the section in. It shouldn’t be loose.
When you pull the two sections apart, genuine Juice Packs have a middle section that is made up of different layers – whereas fake ones tend to be one solid block.
Camera Cut Out
The camera cut out hole in the back should show both the camera and the flash if it has one and should place them in the centre. A case shouldn’t interfere with taking a picture.
The surrounding band on some of the Plus models has a textured plastic edge. Fake ones tend to have a smooth edge, although this isn’t true of other models.
One of the biggest give aways with fakes is the sticker on the inside.
Genuine ones should be clearly printed, with bright white writing on a black background. Fake ones can tend to have slightly fuzzy writing.
Sticker placement should be flat in the tiny recess. The corners of the recess and the sticker are rounded, however fake ones tend to have square recesses with rounded corner stickers – and they just don’t feel right.
The serial number written on the label can also appear a little rough.
The quality of the LEDs on genuine ones are bright and consistent and should light up in sequence. Fake ones tend to have either very bright lights or lights that have different brightness. They light up all at once or sometimes do not light up at all.
Take a look at the switch. Genuine ones are firm to use but easy to turn on and off. However fake ones can be very tight.
The likes of the Juice Pack Plus offer a massive battery capacity. Fake ones tend to fall very short of their expected battery life – generally because they have poor or small batteries fitted.
While boxes and printed material have seriously improved on fakes, you should pay attention to print quality especially small print and the printed material inside.
Heat and Smell
It is no secret that Juice Packs get warm when charging – especially when the Mophie is charging the phone out-and-about. However, extreme heat – especially when using a wall charger – and a distinct smell of warm plastic is a common issue with counterfeits.
Buying from a good source doesn’t always guarantee you will get a genuine one. Buying direct from Mophie or Apple should see you okay. However Amazon and eBay have a bad reputation for selling fakes, especially when buying new – just check out some of the reviews.
I have bought about ten used ones over the years, all from eBay, and am pretty sure I have only come across one fake in that time.
Is My Juice Pack Plus Fake
I created a YouTube video featuring my current collection of Juice Packs. What do you think to them? Are any of them fakes?
It is very hard to point out a fake or to specifically say what makes one a fake or not. Different models all have slightly different telltale signs, so the above list should be used with caution.
If in doubt, you can check with Mophie.
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