The Incipio OffGrid has a relatively small battery but good ergonomics.
I enjoyed carrying my iPhone 4s in the Incipio OffGrid much more than any of the other external battery cases that I reviewed. The OffGrid feels very much like a regular hardshell iPhone case without all of the added weight and bulk of competing products and it extended the iPhone’s battery powered life by about two-thirds.
Incipio offers the OffGrid in six different colors and shades: matte black, glossy black, gunmetal, white, lavender and red. I tested the white version which was a good compromise for those of us who had considered purchasing a white iPhone but ultimately settled on the black one. (By the way, if you're wondering if a white iPhone will fit in the case, rest assured that it will, according to the FAQ on Incipio's site. We'd like to chalk this up to the company having a sense of humor, though the posting may be in response to early rumors that the white phone was slightly thicker than the black one.)
The OffGrid’s rounded edges make it very comfortable to grip. Despite the fact that the case's plastic is glossy and smooth, I never felt that it might slip out of my hands.
The OffGrid has one button and LEDs on the front of the case. Press the button lightly to check the battery status. Hold the button down for two seconds to turn it on or off. I tested the case with the battery off initially and let the iPhone's battery run down to 20%. On a heavy day of usage, this took about 9 hours. I then turned on the OffGrid and got another 6.5 hours of usage before the battery was back down to 20%.
Like most iPhone cases, the OffGrid uses a microUSB connector to charge. If you need to connect the phone to a 30-pin connector such as an iPhone dock, you'll first need to slide off the top cover which requires a strong fingernail to pry loose. Unlike the other cases in this roundup, you don't remove the phone by grasping the sides. For me, this technique proved fruitless. Instead, push up on the iPhone front glass with your thumbs and the phone slides out. While this method may not be as convenient, it seems to be the tradeoff Incipio made to keep the case compact.
I had no problem speaking on Speakerphone with the case in place. Music sounded a little muffled as it does with most cases. The headphone connector fits Apple's headphones with no problem but I wasn't able to plug in accessories with larger headphone connectors. The iPhone's mute switch and volume controls were a little more difficult to use than on some other cases, but it wasn't a big problem.
The Incipio OffGrid is a good choice for people who only need a few more hours out their iPhone. The OffGrid's smallish battery may not let you go off the grid for too long, but this stylish iPhone battery case is comfortable enough to become a permanent fixture on your phone.
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