ZeroLemon for Nexus 4.

With great power comes great hideousness ...

How badly do you want to have a battery case — with a removable battery — for your Nexus 4? Or, let's ask it another way. How much ugly are you prepared to put in your pocket — assuming you have oversized pockets and they don't turn inside-out out of fright — to use a battery case (again, with a removable battery) for your Nexus 4?

The ZeroLemon Juicer is huge. And it's quite possibly the ugliest accessory we've ever seen for a smartphone.

But, yeah. It brings extra power to your Nexus 4. So what's it worth to ya?

ZeroLemon for Nexus 4.

ZeroLemon describes the Nexus 4 Juicer as "the world's only removable Nexus 4 battery case." And after a quick look, it's maybe clear why nobody else has blundered down this road. What you've got is a big black brick whose only redeeming design quality is that the corners are rounded off, presumably to keep one from stabbing one's self in the eyeballs after first seeing this monstrosity.

Let's talk size for a minute. Of course any sort of battery case is going to be big. We can't knock the ZeroLemon for that. But, yeah. It's big. Here's the tale of the tape:

  • Nexus 4: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
  • ZeroLemon Juicer: 146 x 72 x 18 mm

That's more than 1 cm taller, a bit wider — and double the thickness of the svelte Nexus 4.

So, yeah. It's not a looker. As far as actually using the ZeroLemon Juicer, it's a pretty simple proposition. There's a top part of the case that pops off — it's got a nice little ledge to get a fingernail under — and then you slide the Nexus 4 down into the main body of the case. That's nicely done.

ZeroLemon for Nexus 4.

On the back is a door that you pop open and insert the included 2250 mAh battery. It's nearly the same size as the battery for the Samsung Galaxy S3, but you can't use one for the other. The battery door's stuck on there pretty good. And it's entirely possible to break a fingernail trying to open it. But you also need to be careful using any sort of tool to pry it open — guitar pick, screwdriver, whatever — as the matte plastic is pretty soft and can be easily bent. 

To charge the case, there's a microUSB port on the bottom left side. Plug in and a series of blue LEDs show you the charge level. You hold down the power button for 3 seconds to start charging from the case's battery. ZeroLemon recommends charging for a full 12 hours before you first use the case, and that it'll take five or six charges for the included battery to be properly conditioned.

The bottom line ...

ZeroLemon for Nexus 4.

Look, this thing works as advertised. You get a case that gives the Nexus 4 some basic protection. (The phone's recessed slightly, so you can leave it face down and not have the screen hit the desk, if you want.) It effectively doubles battery life — and then some if you take into account that you can hot-swap batteries. It charges quickly enough — if you want something rapid, we'd go with an external battery and not this case.

But, damn, this thing is ugly. It's also inexpensive at $39 from Amazon. (You also can get it directly from ZeroLemon.) How much more would it cost if there was just a little more effort put into the design, we wonder. Look at it side by side with a Mophie JuicePack (we've got pics of the Galaxy S4 JuicePack in our gallery here) and it's easy to see that you get what you pay for.


Reader comments

Review: The ZeroLemon Nexus 4 Juicer Removable Battery Case


Evo 4G extended battery hump was down right least this case is even.

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Lest we forget the OEM extended battery for the ol' HTC Thunderbolt. Good gravy that thing was ridiculous.

I refuse to believe this is a real product. Thing looked big from the front view, then you see the side shot. It's massive! Wow.

is this the only batter CASE for the N4??? i would be happy with a slim on with only and extra 500 to 1000 mAh battery so i could at least go from morning to morning with out charging.

This and the mophie juice pack are the only battery cases for the nexus 4. Its limited because its not that popular general consumer wise and it has a non removable battery.

Posted via Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

Mugen Batteries has a whopping 4500 mAH battery case available for N4 since July 22, 2013.

Swappable batteries is a cool idea (Zero Lemon), but it also means carrying even more stuff and keeping more batteries charged.

Those who can't get through a day without hitting the AC cord should probably look at a pocket recharger. For those who will be away from charges for an extended time (like campers/hikers/outdoors pursuits) battery cases make more sense.

The batteries capacity is a little disapointing, the case has about the same size as the complete N4 but it only doubles the batterylife. with that much room it should be a lot more

I've got a zerolemon battery on my Galaxy S3. Even with crazy usage, I rarely am less than 60% of available battery at the end of a long day. Even with some tasker automation to turn on and off data services, I rarely got a full day out of the stock battery.

It absolutely changes one of the slimmest cell phones on the market to a bit of a brick, but it fits in my pocket just fine. I need my phone to be ready when I need to use it. This battery didn't make my phone bigger than most of the extended battery options available for the G3, but has the greatest capacity.

Bottom line, it all depends on priorities. Is my phone with a zerolemon battery the sexiest looking device? Nope. But if I need to make a phone call, I always have plenty of power available.

This is inexcusable, give me a 3D printer and a computer and I'll make something much better than this

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Battery capacity to physical size ratio seems a little off... And it's definitely fugly.

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Exactly what I need for when I'm off out camping and using my phone mainly for photos!

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Yes, it may look "hideous" but remember, you're getting this to extend battery life, not pick up women at the bar. I've seen several reviews for the equivalent for the Galaxy SIII and they all seem to agree that the phone becomes a little easier to hold. In addition to swapping batteries or using an external charger (I sometimes use both) this is just another option that we have. Isn't that what we all want anyway?

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I have used a battery case on my s4 when in a emergency, but they just look terrible and totally wreck the sleek look of the phone. But now and then needs must.

Dear God. This is what happens when Android phone manufacturers go the way of apple and their sealed designs.

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I feel like this thing is soo much bigger than it really needs to be. Percentage wise.. the bulk added to the N4 is so much more than the ZeroLemon battery on my Note2

so does your phone draw power from the brick (for lack of a better term) then if that runs down, then it draws from the phone's actual battery?

Both batteries are most likely connected in parallel so that they are charged/discharged together, but the one can be removed while the primary still supplies power.

Well some of us spend our entire working day in the field with no access to any other charging solutions and half of that day I'm on my feet WORKING. You know the real kind of work that breaks your back and puts a sweat on your forehead? Yeah I didnt think you'd understand so here it is :p. I've been using an external charger with a USB cable and it sucks. The cable gets tangled in my Nexus earphones when I check email and I've gone through twenty USB cables in the last six months from getting kinked in my pocket and breaking. I need something just like this. Sure I would like it to look better when I'm not at work but if it FUNCTIONS and it enables me to stream music all day, still take calls, use email etc for 10 plus hours I'll take it. Oh and just where is the sexy Mophie battery case for the Nexus 4? (Crickets) It's easy to be this critical when you spend most of your day at a desk looking at sexy hardware all day. When you are in position such as mine you'll take any reasonable solution you can get, at $39.00 it seems VERY reasonable to me. All I'm saying is some of us out here have a completely different working environment than you and function trumps form in my situation every time. I'm grateful someone FINALLY came up with something I can use.

Edit: I almost forgot, I take at least twenty or more photos of completed work for my records of the job site every single day. I'm sick of that damn cord getting in the way when I pull it out for a photo. Mine should arrive tomorrow :-)

How about shipping the one I ordered last week? Mugan? That's why I ordered this one...still waiting on you to ship :-/

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