Official Review: Pitaka MagEZ Juice & Case (Hardware)

By Krista Noren, May 21, 2020 at 7:41 AM (updated May 20, 2020 at 6:58 PM) 3 1

The indomitable power of magnets provides us this new look at how to charge your phone in style.
Krista Noren

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There was a time not too long ago where we would willingly, eagerly, attach much larger cases or batteries to our phones to get more battery life. To keep the bulk from being too cumbersome, slim, portable batteries were also created to help you get more juice throughout the day. More recently, wireless Qi chargers hit the market, becoming an innovative new way to charge your phone without the annoyance of cables. They haven't taken over the old-fashioned way of charging devices just yet, but it's undeniable that most phone manufacturers see a future in wireless charging, considering that most newer models of phones support that feature. 

Clearly, keeping your phone topped up is important. There's nothing worse than your device dying on you right as you need it most, for work or play. So that's where Pitaka comes in, with their attempts at merging the idea of backup batteries, wireless charging, and case attachments all in the form of the Pitaka MagEZ Juice. It brings a great concept to the table, but whether or not it actually manages to pull the idea off is what we'll be investigating. 

Magnets, how do they work?!

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The Pitaka MagEZ Juice is a lot of things, as stated previously. At first glance, it's a simple dock for your phone, but there's more to it than just that; by putting your phone on the dock, it'll begin to wirelessly charge, and thanks to the lovely power of magnets, it'll stick to the dock without falling. With the phone tilted just the slightest bit back, it makes for a perfect viewing angle if you're at your desk and want to read your alerts without constantly grabbing at your phone. Most wireless chargers tend to be completely flat, meaning you'll always see your phone light up with a new message, but unless you're hovering directly over it, you'll never see what the alert is without picking it up from the charger, checking the home screen, and then reaching over to lay it back down on the Qi mat. The MagEZ Juice is far more elegant in both stye and use, so you're able to still easily use the device when it's mounted to the dock. 

As for the case itself, it has a magnet embedded so it can attach to the charger. You also get a bonus magnet with 3M sticky on the back included if you just want to use your own existing case. It's great to know that you don't have to go all-in on Pitaka's lineup if you have a case that you already love. Those looking to get a new case will possibly be pleased with the Pitaka one, unless you're afraid of drops or are clumsy in general. On a personal level, I've always used Spigen cases, which tend to be relatively thick--not Otterbox levels, but enough to the point that it gives the phone ample drop protection. The Pitaka case hugs the phone tightly, and it's quite thin; it feels very much like using the phone without a case at all. It keeps the slim profile the phone was intended to have while giving protection on the corners. I wouldn't feel too confident the phone could survive even a fall from a short height, though. Whether or not you'll appreciate the trade-off depends on if you value having a thin phone with a nice hand feel, or if you prefer protection at the cost of extra weight. I wasn't about to throw my phone off a roof to test the durability, but it at least survived an accidental slip from about one foot high without any problems.

As mentioned before, the MagEZ Juice isn't just a dock, but a charger, and a wireless one at that too. Removing your phone from the dock by pulling directly upwards results in the battery coming with it, giving you extra power on the go, which is a genius idea. There aren't any cords involved in the process, except for the USB one that powers the dock in the first place, so if you didn't get to charge your device as much as you wanted, you can take the battery with you and keep on charging away.

Both the dock and the battery are made from the same matte material that the case is. The overall feel is incredibly smooth, yet, textured just slightly enough that it won't go slipping out of your hands. There's a definite premium feel, from the way that the battery has a nice metal outline surrounding the body, to the way it seamlessly slides right into the dock. For the most part, this is a satisfying piece of tech to have.

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However, despite the fancy build materials, I found that the MagEZ Juice doesn't just have a magnet--it's a fingerprint magnet as well. Every single time you pull away the power bank from the dock, you'll leave fingerprints all over the back of the phone case and the battery. Something about the matte coating just attracts smudges like no tomorrow, which in turn hurts the look of the cool carbon fiber design when you see your grubby prints all over it. Attempting to only grab at the battery from the glossy edges doesn't help either, because they're just as print-prone. At the very least, unless you're very particular about keeping your stuff smudge-free, the issues are admittedly hard to notice unless you're in a very bright room, but it's still disappointing all the same. 

Moving on to the battery, Pitaka claims it'll deliver a whole 20% extra battery life for your phone thanks to its 2000mAh capacity. All you need to do to use it is simply hold it to the back of your phone, and it'll snap right on to the magnetic case. So long as your phone supports Qi charging, it'll immediately begin to supply power. One of the biggest concerns I had with the battery was if it would be unreliable in sticking to the back of the phone, but surprisingly, it stayed secure. Unless you're swinging your phone around roughly, you likely won't run into any problems with it falling off. Thanks, magnets. 

You might think that having an extra bit of bulk resting on the back of your phone might be cumbersome, but the MagEZ battery has this nice curve to it, to the point where it fits naturally in my hand, and even offers a bit of extra grip on the phone. Using it was downright comfortable, and it's both thin and light enough to not cause any fatigue when holding it for long periods of time. 

Tech Specs

  • Width: 61.91mm
  • Length: 107.60mm
  • Thickness: 12.62mm
  • Input: DC 5V/1A
  • Output: DC 5V/1A
  • Wireless Output: DC 5V/1A
  • Transmission Distance: ≤8mm
  • Transmission Efficiency: 75% Max
  • Operating Temperature: -10℃~30℃
  • Storage Temperature: -20℃~60℃
  • Working Frequency: 110KHZ-205KHZ
  • Capacity: 2000mAh

Pitaka supports cases for any iPhone from the 8 up to the most recent release of the 11, as well as Android phones such as the OnePlus 8, Samsung Galaxy S20/Note 10, or the Huawei P40. For some reason, though, the MagEZ Juice itself notes that it's not compatible with the S20, P40, nor the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is a complete shame, and quite baffling. 

Given the $79.99 price point of the Pitaka MagEZ Juice and the $40.79 cost of the case for the iPhone X, you're paying about $120 for the full seamless charging experience. It may seem expensive, but if you're the kind of person who constantly deals with the hurdles of having a phone on the verge of dying, having this kind of setup can save you from dealing with a lot of needless annoyance of shuffling through fraying cables. Honestly, I fall right into that category, so the MagEZ Juice is the perfect kind of device for me. Not only does it charge my phone in such a way that I can still constantly monitor important notifications while at my desk, but I can easily pick it up and walk away with the charger firmly attached to the back, offering more battery life without having to plug it in. 

Verdict
What We Liked . . . Lets you easily charge your phone while letting you still see/use it Battery detaches to wirelessly charge on the go Durable build quality What We Didn't Like . . . The power bank has a small capacity Fingerprint magnet
9
out of 10
Overall
Balancing both form and function, the Pitaka MagEZ Juice is a cool invention that has a lot to offer. Wireless charging in a small form factor combined with it being super-portable makes it incredibly useful for day-to-day life.
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