Video Review: Case-Mate iPhone 3G Fuel – Rechargeable Battery Pack

The…

iPhone 3G Fuel – Rechargeable Battery Pack

…is a $79.99 combo iPhone 3G holster case and battery pack from Case-Mate.

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I received a review unit a few days ago and have been testing it since then. I have a few nit-picky items to discuss. But, let’s get the main points out of the way first:

– It does exactly what it says it does. My iPhone 3G had what looked like a 33% charge by 5pm or so yesterday. And, the Fuel charged it back up to full in less than 1 hour and 45 minutes. The Fuel still had what looked like 30 to 50% battery charge left after recharging my iPhone 3G.
– The iPhone 3G fits snugly into the holster. I feel comfortable that it would not fall out of the holster
– Its clip seemed to have a good grip on my belt. It felt pretty sturdy

Here are a few recommendations to Case-Mate for Fuel 2.0:

– Although some (perhaps many) people feel comfortable carrying the iPhone in cases with no screen protection, I am not one of them. It would be great if them made some kind of deal with a firm like InvisibleShield or even provided an optional solid cover for the holster. Facing the unit backwards would not help since the snug fit means that it would be difficult to remove the iPhone from the holster with one hand.
– Unclipping the Fuel from my belt could only be done by pressing down on the top of the iPhone 3G itself. I’m uncomfortable with the idea of creating that kind of pressure on the top of the iPhone 3G many times a day.

Despite the concerns I pointed out above, I’m giving Case-Mate’s Fuel a qualified mobile thumbs-up and hope to see a version 2.0 that addresses the two issues above.

Here’s a list of the Fuel’s important features from Case-Mate’s product page…

– Talk time: up to 9 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
– Internet use: up to 7 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
– Video playback: up to 8 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
– Audio playback: up to 24 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
– Stand by time: up to 250 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life

– Power on/off button makes more efficient usage of the fuel by only engaging when you decide to
– Rechargeable through a standard 5-pin usb cable (included)
– Fully supports syncing while iPhone 3G is docked in the fuel
– Fully ratcheting 180-degree belt clip
– Easy slide in/out access to your iPhone 3G