Design //

Baja 500 Course Lays Mophie Test Case to Rest

This long test of a Mophie recharging iPhone case ended sadly during a hurricane in a washed out river somewhere in Baja.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

This battered, cracked, soaked Mophie case gave its life so the iPhone inside might live.

I would appreciate it we could all offer a moment of silence for my Mophie iPhone 5 case.

It is no more. Bereft of life. It rests in peace. Nothing lasts forever, and this Mophie recharging case — the toughest and most surprising case I ever owned — finally tapped out in Mexico this week.

Mophie specializes in battery booster cases for smartphones and tablets, as well as external chargers and battery packs.

My blue Mophie came to me as a review unit, as many cases do, about 18 months ago. I tested it out mainly for its recharging capability, analyzing how much phone time the Mophie battery added. I tested it and put it aside, moving on to the next item. None of the other charging cases I had handy worked as reliably and flawlessly as the Mophie – never failing to connect to the phone and discharge its battery boost completely.

After setting the Mophie aside, I went on to try other cases — and some of those pulled down good reviews. Still, when I anticipated the need for extra juice while covering an event, I’d swap back to the Mophie. Eventually, it became my all purpose case — though I wasn’t entirely sold on its protective capability. I had military grade, water resistant units I could drive a truck over, but — without the booster battery capability — it’d be protecting a dormant phone.

Related: Mophie, Cosmopolitan Hook Up in Las Vegas

A single event convinced me I could rely on the Mophie for protection as well as power. I was testing a Ducati Diavel Strada in LA. It was a cool mid-winter evening, and I had my heaviest riding jacket. Out of foolishness, I didn’t zip up the cell phone’s pocket well enough. Somewhere along the way, the phone few from my jacket at speed and tumbled into the street — settling in the gutter.

Luckily, no one saw it laying there by dark of night. After tracking it with Find my iPhone, I chased it down along the busy stretches of the Cahuenga Pass. There it was — scratched, strained and chipped in a couple spots. But, the phone was intact — and the Mophie still worked.

I resolved that night to keep this case with me going forward. It looked a little dodgy now, but it had a story attached to it — and it took a licking, kept on ticking, etc.

That long run came to an end this past weekend along the race course for the Baja 500. BF Goodrich invited automotive journalists to the famed Mexican off-road race course to sample the route from the behind the wheel of specially built buggies. We were each issued protective Ogio bags to pack for the trip, and those bags were locked away inside the cars’ small storage compartments. We’ll have additional coverage of that Baja run in the coming days. For now, it’s just worth noting where I was and why for this Mophie’s death.

As fate would have it, my run through Baja coincided with the first hurricane the region saw in years — or at least the rainy tail end of it. When heavy rains hits a desert, there’s a flood. Mountains send down rushing rivers, and roads are washed away. I spent the back end of the first racing day driving through mud — and unexpectedly filling the buggy with rushing water.

The car’s storage compartment wasn’t built for submarining, and the Mophie never had a chance. It drowned, leaving the recharge battery and internal circuitry fried. Still, even in death, it still protected the iPhone inside it. I used that device to take the picture you see above.

So ends the most elaborate phone case test I ever did. It crossed four continents and thousands of miles, ending in flooded wash along the Baja Peninsula. 

Good on ya, Mophie.