Here’s a sentence that has never been uttered in the history of man, “My iPhone battery is awesome.”
For all of the things that Apple’s ubiquitous smartphone can do, the one area that the iPhone consistently falls short is battery life. Apple takes an anorexic approach to its phones, making make them thinner and thinner even though the average consumer thinks they’re thin enough. The main downside to thinner phones is less battery life because batteries take up space.
For years, third parties like Mophie have made cases that boost the batteries of the iPhone. Now, in what may be further proof that Apple has run out of ideas, the company is introducing a new $99 Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6 and 6S.
On the feel side, the Smart Battery Case is made from the same silicone as Apple’s other case. That means it is smooth to the touch but still provides outstanding grip. As far as looks go, the first thing you’ll notice is that the Smart Battery Case has some junk in the trunk. Yup, the case has a big ol’ booty. The bump is where the actual battery is housed. This is in contrast to items like the Mophie Juice Pack, which has a more uniform shape. To me, the bump just looks awkward, but it is in the interest of keeping the overall profile slimmer which is admirable.
As far as features go, since it’s an Apple product, it integrates well with other Apple products. That means your iPhone displays the case’s battery power right on the lock screen and that you can charge the case with a Lightning cable instead of a USB. It also means that while you can easily plug in Apple earbuds, other headphones don’t fit into the jack, as the Wall Street Journal found.
But here’s the biggest issue: it doesn’t fully charge your phone. Reviewers for The Verge and WSJ found that when a completely dead iPhone was attached to a fully charged Smart Battery Case, it only charged the phone to 72 percent and 83 percent respectively. Considering Apple’s case costs the same, if not more, than competitors’ versions that can fully charge a phone with power to spare, that’s a big knock.
Of course, this is the Apple battery case for the Apple iPhone so that will give a lot of consumers peace of mind and will surely make it a top tech gift for the holidays. That doesn’t mean it’s the best battery case, however. And the bigger issue is the phone’s native battery to begin with. Samsung has figured out how to make great phones with long-lasting batteries, why can’t Apple?