In case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, backup battery cases for the iPhone are a much wanted accessory any power user appreciates and trusts with his or her life. We at Gadgetmac reviewed more than a handful already and we think it's Incipio's turn to hand over its iPhone 4 battery case for testing. The offGRID is not a bad name to start out, packing a 1450mAh battery pack under the bonnet, that's hood in case you aren't British. Find out exactly how well the offGRID handles the test of our vigorous reviewing and standards after the cut!
The offGRID is simply designed to fit both the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4 with a removable top piece for quick and easy sliding in and out action. It's made entirely out of hard plastic without any sort of shock absorbing padding to be found. A USB to micro-USB cable is included to both sync your iPhone 4 without having to take it out as well as charging up the offGRID, and nothing else. Expect to drop $69.99 on this glossy sleek bar of a battery case.
As much as I hate to say this, the offGRID is simply a run-of-the-mill battery case for the iPhone 4. Incipio hasn't gone crazy and out of its way to make the offGRID a bit more interesting to set it apart from the rest. Though that doesn't mean that it's a bad battery case. It does however, look a tad too boring for my taste and there's isn't any special "wow" factors to be found. Holding the offGRID in hand is very comfortable due to the slim and contoured design. It feels like holding an iPhone 3GS all over again and I love that.
I was disappointed to find out extra small cutouts for both the volume buttons and headphones port. Hasn't Incipio learned anything by now? Ridiculous to say the least. Getting to those rounded volume buttons is uncomfortable while headphones port cutouts is small enough to only fit the slimmest 3.5mm jacks. At least it isn't an issue reaching the top sleep/wake button. What a shame.
Hope isn't lost quite yet because the offGRID delivers when needed. When you compare the offGRID to a similarly sized internal battery capacity battery case like the much bulkier yet much more interesting looking Mophie Juice Pack Air, despite the offGRID's slim proportions and slightly smaller 1450mAh battery capacity, it was able to recharge an iPhone 4 up to a 70% charge down from a fully depleted state. While that may not be very impressive, it's a very good result for such a slim profile that allows iPhone 4 users to nearly double their battery life without having to resort to bulky battery cases with the same exact results.
We were sent out an offGRID in the high gloss finish with a Ferrari red color that looks really sharp and pops out, especially if you've got a black iPhone 4. Glossy finishes such as this tend to be a bit slippery offering no grip whatsoever. So if you're looking to get an offGRID, you may want to look at the matte version instead which has a more grippy texture thanks to a soft-touch coating.
Around the front of the case, you'll notice the power bar at the bottom with a single button that let's you turn the offGRID on and off to start charging or to stop at any time followed by 4 blue LEDs indicating how much power is left inside the offGRID. Pressing the power button also serves as a useful quick battery check. Due to the slim nature of the offGRID, there isn't any front screen protection to lay your iPhone 4 screen side down should you want to. Typical is such slim battery cases and back snap-on cases which is why anyone who wants to keep their iPhone 4 protected shouldn't opt for the offGRID.
That's not all though, tiny slits directing speaker sound towards you as well as the mic obscure audio making you sound slightly blocked to others and leaving your audio sounding somewhat muffled.
Weighing the good with the bad, Incipio's offGRID isn't the best battery case you can get for your iPhone 4, but it's definitely a good alternative for those who need that extra juice without adding much bulk to their daily routine.