iPowerUp PwrVault Charging Case for iPhone 4/4S Review
By James Lenhart


If you were to ask a member of the allGeek team what the one thing they saw the most of at CES 2012 was, the answer would most definitely be “iPhone accessories.”  Apple has created a wonderful piece of technology, and everyone wants in on the profit.  Amongst the sea of cases and mini-speakers, a small company called “iPowerUp” seems to have risen above the rest.

iPowerUp has a full range of products for almost every type of phone.  Cases, batteries, speakers, wireless charging, projectors, and even solar panels are on their resume.  We were very thankful to be gifted a battery-toting PwrVault, so that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

F I R S T   I M P R E S S I O N S
Before you can even get your hands on the PwrVault, the packaging immediately stands out.  This isn’t some bargain case from the gas station, barely held into some plastic shrink-wrap.  This could have come straight from the shelves of an Apple Store.  Once we did get past the packaging, we found a very sleek case neatly organized with a charging cable, manual, screen protector, and a small cleaning cloth.  The PwrVault even came with a slight charge so we could start charging right away.

T H E   P R O S
Power.  Ask the average smartphone user how long their phone lasts.  Most of us don’t even get a full day out of one charge.  Start using your phone a little more (say, during CES) and a few hours pass until you’re on a hunt for an outlet.  Slap this case on your phone and forget about power issues.  From our experience, the PwrVault will charge your phone about 70-80%.  If power consumption is monitored, it’s easy to make your phone last almost twice as long.  There is even a small button on the back that allows you to turn the charging function on and off, so you can manually juice up your phone as you see fit.
Protection.  Our “durability tests” with this case have shown its ability to truly protect your phone.  Through a series of helpful accidents, we all managed to drop our precious iPhones while using this case.  Each time, our phones suffered no damage.  The case covers all the important parts of your device so you can have a little peace of mind while using it.
Style.  The PwrVault comes in a matte black or glossy white finish.  Either way, it matches the iPhone very well.  There are a lot of cases out there that do a great job protecting your phone, but this one does it with a sleek refinement that is hard to find even with official Apple accessories.  Combine that with attention to the small details, such as a chrome button and bright blue LED charge indicator lights, and you’ve got a truly stylish case.
Convenience.  No need to charge your phone and case separately.  Simply plug the case in with your phone inside, and both will charge.  Even if keeping your phone in a case isn’t quite your thing, it’s always convenient to have an extra battery with you.

T H E   C O N S
The case adds a little bulk to the phone, but that’s to be expected with any case.  This one manages to pack a battery and still be small enough to go unnoticed most of the time.
There are a few inconsistencies to be found on the phone and manual which are a bit confusing, but nothing too big.  The back of the phone says the battery is 1700mAh, the inside reads 1650mAh, and the manual claims it is 1680mAh.  We’ve contacted them about this they are already working on it.

The case does not charge the iPhone fully.  Even though the battery in the iPhone is smaller (1420mAh) than the one in the case, it cannot be charged 100%.  We found we could get 70-80% charge when fully draining the case’s battery.  However, if you keep an eye on your power usage it’s very easy to keep your phone charged all day and then some.

F I N A L   T H O U G H T S
There is almost nothing bad about this case.  Any cons we could find are obviously a stretch, and are greatly outweighed by the benefits.   If you are looking for an iPhone case or a secondary battery, this is going to be a great choice.

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  • Adam

     Thanks for the review James! A quick update: The name PwrVault has been changed to “iPower Case”. We have fixed the packaging so there should be no more confusion on the 1700mAh battery.Thanks for taking the time to check out our products!

  • Guest

    Is it available for the iPhone 3GS?

  • Valley Chiquita

    Just purchased the case and a big downer is the cut out for the camera.  When I take a picture with the flash on the picture comes out all greyed out.  :( And I take lots of pictures with my phone. Returning tomorrow :(