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By Hanleigh Daniels 15 June 2011

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Swiss Charger's iPower cover for the iPhone 4 (video posted below) is a protective cover/ battery pack, enabling power users to almost double the device’s battery life.

This rubberised plastic cover fits snugly around the iPhone 4, with Swiss Charger providing you with a separate screen protector film to prevent finger prints and scratches from occurring on your device’s 3.5" Retina display. There are openings in the cover for the all the iPhone 4’s buttons, the likes of the volume rocker, speakers and camera.

The cover also sports a convenient small kickstand on the back, allowing you to place your device on your desk and view a movie without having to hold the phone in your hands.

A tight squeeze

Fitting this cover is a bit of a mission, as it is hard to slide your phone into it (and back out again). The bottom part of this iPower cover clips into your iPhone 4’s proprietary connector and once the cover is on, you have to employ a micro USB cable to USB cord to charge your device.

Swiss Power provides one with a retractable cord in the box, which can be used to connect the iPhone to your PC to sync content via iTunes and charge the device via USB. You can also clip this cable into the USB end of your iPhone 4’s wall charger (as you do with the standard iPhone cable) in order to charge your smartphone (as well as the cover’s built-in battery) via a two-point power plug.

It is worth noting that due to the addition of the battery in the cover, the iPower cover adds to the dimensions (from 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm to 123.8 x 60.8 x 15 mm) and more significantly the weight of the iPhone, knocking up an additional 53.5 g to the iPhone 4’s 137 g.  
 
Extending the iPhone 4’s battery life

Heavy usage of the iPhone 4 (with Wi-Fi, email, Facebook etc. always on) results in your battery lasting about a day to a day and a half if you’re really lucky. The stand-out feature of the iPower is that the back cover sports a built-in 1400mAh Lithium-ion battery, almost matching the iPhone 4’s standard battery (Litium-ion polymer 1420mAh).

Swiss Charger claims that the cover will almost double your battery life and we tend to agree as we got more than two days of usage out of our iPhone 4 battery before it needed a recharge.

During testing the iPhone’s own battery lasted from 13:30 in the afternoon until around 21:00 the following day, about 31½  hours. At that point we pressed the power button located at the bottom of the iPower, which then charged the iPhone 4’s battery back to full power (100%). The iPhone battery lasted until about 17:45 the next day, extending the battery life for another 20 hours and 45 minutes.

In total (iPhone 4 battery + the additional charge of the iPower’s battery) the device lasted 51 and a half hours, almost doubling the average battery lifespan of our iPhone 4.         

Conclusion

Besides the protective cover and screen protector for your iPhone, the iPower for iPhone 4 will also boost your device’s battery life by at least another day, while also sporting a handy pull-out kick-stand for convenient hands-free movie viewing. The extra bulge (in terms of weight and dimensions) that iPhone users have to contend with is well worth the extended battery life alone. 

It is available for a recommended retail price of R399. Local branded technology accessories distributor, Gammatek, recently introduced the new Swiss Charger iPower for iPhone 4 (SC16). The Swiss Charger range by Gammatek is available at all major consumer electronic and mobile phone retail stores. For more information, visit www.gammatek.co.za.

Pro

Sturdy construction, extends the iPhone’s battery life, handy kickstand.

Con

Not easy to put on or take off, adds to the size and weight of your iPhone 4.

PROS
Sturdy construction, extends the iPhone's battery life, handy kickstand.
CONS
Not easy to put on or take off, not the cheapest cover you can buy and adds to the size and weight of your iPhone 4.
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