First and foremost I'd like to thank Limefuel for providing this case for review.
Let me start by stating the obvious.
I Love my Nexu5. Love.
I've had S3's, S4's and Note 3's and I've enjoyed all of them, but the Nexu5 they aren't.
As much as I can understand and see the value that manufacturers place in putting their own touches to Android it drives me nuts.
I want pure, unadulterated Google Android goodness. To be quite honest, Google almost always refuses to give that to me / us. Not so with the Nexu5. Finally we'd have a powerful spec'd phone with the goods to back up the vanilla Android OS we've been lusting for.
With fevered anticipation I scoured www.howardforums.com
and the general web at large for news and info prior to the launch of the Nexu5. As each day and week passed I was convinced that it would have a 3000mah option on the battery. "the G2 has it, LG makes the G2, so why wouldn't they include it" was the logic I had at the time, and it was sound logic.
the Nexu5 finally launched and instantly threw me into phone nerd tech rage when it was confirmed it would pack a 2300mah cell.
"2300mah, WHAT! Again!" I shouted towards the heavens with a clenched fist wondering what bean counter approved this battery. Why wasn't the 3000mah battery in the 32 gig model at least. I want more memory, and arguably more battery so make a slightly thicker model with 3000mah on board. Bah, all thoughts were in vain.
Limefuel has stepped up with their L28N5 battery case
to address our concerns friends. I'm going to assume that many of us here want more battery life from our phones, so that's a safe assumption to make.
Howard approached Lime Fuel for a unit to review and they so graciously shipped one for review so let's get to the brass tax here.
The packaging surprised me. Having used and reviewed The MugenPower
extended battery for the S4, the packaging that the Limefuel comes in is a lot more classy vs the plastic blister wrap the Mugenpower came in. First impressions are always important and Limefuel did very well in that respect. "Wow, this looks like it's going to be fun" is what I thought as I started to unbox the unit.
The general feeling of a quality built product continued as I opened the package. The case is built very well, and has a similar rubber textured feel like the back of the black Nexu5. You can see the instructions are also nicely done with the green "lime" theme carried on throughout and in easy to read and understand writing.
They also include a really cool USB cable. On one end you have your standard USB to a PC / Charger that takes USB cables. On the other end though is where the magic happens. You have a MicroUSB / Lightning end. Yup, you read that right. MicroUSB and Lightning for the newest Apple devices.
I found this cable very cool, considering I had no idea it was even included or packaged in. Initially I thought maybe they threw it in because it's a review unit as it seems odd to package a USB cable with a MicroUSB / Lightning end into a case for a Nexu5 but the instructions clearly show the cable so I'm going to say that it will come packaged inside.
Packaging aside, how did the case and battery perform?
I was curious as well, so I ran the phone as normal for a few days to get a baseline idea of my power consumption:
For the most part a typical day for me consists of me waking up and removing the phone from the charger around 7 - 730am. I then work till approx 730pm and have about 2 hours mid day for lunch. During those 2 hours I tend to watch Netflix (House of Cards, wow!) on Wi-Fi. During the day I'll also pop in to check SMS / Email / FBM / RSS feeds and so on and so forth. I consider myself a pretty heavy user to be honest and I don't always have access to power.
I then tried to match the same usage with the Limefuel case on.
The inherent difficulty if reviewing a battery case is that unlike the MugenPower battery I had used for the S4, the capacity increase isn't a larger battery. It's your stock battery plus access to another "battery" which will then charge up your main. So to test this I basically used the phone as stated above and then turned the Limefuel on at approximately 3pm once I was done with netflix:
In all cases it took my Nexu5 from 30% battery, give or take, right back up to full 100% juice.
The case got slightly warm while charging the phone, as I expected since it is a battery charging another battery.
Another thing I noticed that it seemed to take quite some time to charge up. As I mentioned earlier, I had turned the case on at 3pm. By 7pm the phone was full. However, I wasn't really using the phone during that time. It just stayed in my pocket as I worked. from time to time I'd check in and see if I had any notifications etc as we all do but there wasn't any Netflix or any strenuous usage on the phone.
Regardless, slow charge yes, but it did charge. If you're using your Nexu5 heavily with the case turned on it will charge even slower. The beauty though is that you can use the phone confidently and expect double it's battery life.
Those of you following along may have already realized that the case is packaged with a 2860Mah battery where the Nexu5 internal battery 2300mah so simple math would dictate you'd get more then double. I found that not to be the case though. Double, as advertised, is accurate. I chalk it up to efficiency of charging a battery from a battery since the unit warms up while charging.
Phone in the case
The case is built very well, and with the phone is inside the case it looks like a Nexu5, albeit a larger, fatter Nexu5. The soft touch rubber backing continues the look and feel of the black Nexu5 as I stated earlier and there are no jagged or sharp edges to be found:
The rear of the case houses 4 LED lights. Each light represents 25% charge remaining in the battery of the Limefuel case. The way the case operates is a quick push will show you the charge available in the case. If you you want to start charging the phone via the case you simply press and hold the button for approx 2-3 seconds and that's about it. You'll know it's working because the battery indicator will show it's charging.
When the phone was in the case The buttons were easily accessible and I had no issue getting to them but they were harder to press and access since they basically just overlay the stock buttons you're pressing 2 sets of buttons. The case, which in turn presses the Nexu5 buttons.
Case vs No case, what are the sizes.
Pictures never really convey physical size unless you can compare it to be honest.
When I was initially looking into the Limefuel case the pictures posted on Amazon
seem like the case itself really isn't that big.
I have to say that the case was larger then anticipated but it wasn't unmanageable. Definitely not a deal breaker but you should know this going in:
The Limefuel case is very well designed and can, as advertised, easily double your battery life.
The current price on Amazon is sitting at $75.00 plus shipping and well worth it in my opinion.
The Fit and Finish and quality of materials on the case as well as the retail packaging make this a very good accessory and a great addition if you, like me, Love the Nexu5 but need more battery life.
3.8 Howies out of 5.
*Very well built
*Easily doubles your Nexu5 battery life
*Rubber feel construction keeps the feeling of Black Nexu5
*Easy to use push button operation
*Easy to read LED lights
*Charging port is the same orientation as the Nexu5 (it's the "wrong way)
*weight. Unit adds some bulk
*Side buttons / power buttons a bit harder to press.
*sizing in the hand