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I had the rare opportunity to test out the EX-ERA battery case made for the iPhone 4/4s by UNU. Unlike other cases I’ve owned, this blue frame with white backing EX-ERA case is rather bright in comparison. This is because EX-ERA aims to be fashionable and stylish. While there are similar products to the EX-ERA, the concept of exchanging anything about the case, like the back cover, bumpers, and including the battery is what makes this case stand apart from the rest. The exchangeable bumper itself seems to be composed of the same polycarbonate material that many protective accessories in the same category have, while the exchangeable back cover seems to be a hard plastic material with a laminate coating to give it a glossy shine.
The EX-ERA is MFI certified and will charge on the computer via micro usb that is included with the package and any Apple certified USB port wall charger. I tested this feature with a non-Apple USB port charger and found that it only charged the EX-ERA case and not the iPhone. While not a big deal, it is important to know for people who no longer have their Apple USB wall charger. The battery for the EX-ERA is rated at 1700 mAh which is a bit over than the rating for the internal battery that comes included with the iPhone 4/4s. In this case, the EX-ERA states that it will add an additional 6 hours towards web browsing, 6 hours of talk time, or 30 hours of video playback as an example.
The interesting part about the EX-ERA is that the battery is removable, as well as the cradle that it sits in. This certainly is an advantage for someone who is constantly using their phone as this enables the user to have an additional battery that is compatible with the EX-ERA and swapping out as needed. So, if you’re not needing the extra capacity and you want to slim down on the thickness factor, UNU includes a slim back cover which attaches the same manner as if you were reattaching the additional battery. While it may not seem like a big enough deal to want to remove the battery and its holder, it is an option for those who don’t feel the need to bring additional mass to the phone.
As far as the EX-ERA’s performance out in the field, it certainly is quite easy to use when the situation requires it. If you’re running out of juice, all you have to do is simply hold the power button behind the EX-ERA case for three seconds. From there, the lightning bolt indicator as well as a sound alert should occur. To check the remaining power left in your EX-ERA case, simply pressing once on the power button gives you an indicator of how much power is approximately left within the case before it requires recharging. Removing the case is quite simple as it is easy to remove the bumper and slide the phone out from the EX-ERA case. Despite the ease of removing and attaching the case to the iPhone, the EX-ERA prevented scratches that would normally occur if I didn’t have a case. Ironically, the back cover of the case showed no signs of wear and tear with the exception of finger print smudges which were easily cleaned and wiped off.
Overall, the UNU EX-ERA battery case is a great product for those who need supplemental power for their iPhone device. Styling and customization isn’t sacrificed as one could order from the 16 combinations of the EX-ERA available on the UNU website. For $79.99, the pricing for the EX-ERA is a decent price for a product that has as many features as it does.
Updated: This review has been updated to include more info (July 4).