Nearly half a year after its CES debut, the Unu DX Protective Battery Case for iPhone 5 ($79.95 direct) is finally here. It was one of the first iPhone 5 battery cases we saw, but while the company waited on Apple certification for the DX, competitors like Mophie were able to release excellent efforts like the Juice Pack Helium. The DX comes packing a relatively huge 2,300mAh battery, but manages to keep things thin and light. It turned in great performance, and is priced in line with lower capacity cases, making it our new Editors’ Choice for iPhone 5 battery cases.
Design and Features
While Mophie opts for soft, rounded lines, the Unu DX features a more angular look. The beveled corners look pretty good and the soft touch finish feels great in the hand. At 5.5 by 2.5 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and 2.9 ounces, the DX is as thin and nearly as light as the 5.5-by-2.5-by-0.6-inch, 2.44-ounce Juice Pack Helium. There are cutouts for the Volume and Power buttons, with an opening for the camera around back. The buttons are a bit recessed, like on the Helium, so they’re not quite as easy to access compared with cases like the Juice Pack Plus, which has built in buttons instead of cutouts. Like all iPhone 5 batter cases, the headphone jack is deeply recessed and requires the included 3.5mm extender for most headphones. The DX is available in black, white, or red finishes.
There are two pieces to the DX, but all of its guts are housed in the bottom portion, while the top is simply a plastic cap that slides on and off. Along the bottom you’ll find a micro USB port, which can be used for charging and syncing. That’s an advantage over every other battery case we’ve tested—they only allow charging through the micro USB port and require you to sync wirelessly. The button on the back serves two functions: A single press activates the battery indicator LEDs, while a press and hold activates the flow of power.
Performance and Conclusions
The Unu DX packs a 2,300mAh battery, which is significantly larger than the Helium’s 1,500mAh pack and even the Juice Pack Plus’s 2,100mAh battery. In my tests, making a continuous call with LTE enabled with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth switched off, the Unu DX added 7 hours, 53 minutes of talk time to my completely drained AT&T iPhone 5. That result compares well with the 7 hours, 23 minutes of the Juice Pack Plus and handily beats the 6 hours, 20 minutes from the Helium on the same test.
At $79.95, the Unu DX Protective Battery Case for the iPhone 5 is the best value out there. It’s thin and light, but still adds substantial battery life for the iPhone 5. As such, it ousts the Mophie Juice Pack Helium as our Editors’ Choice, providing more battery life for the same price, without adding unwanted bulk.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc