Apple Battery Case: A Contrarian View

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by BWhaler, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. BWhaler, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I too mocked how the new Apple battery case looked and lamented how Apple is slipping—Apple Music I'm looking at you.

    But I was traveling and needed to go to the Apple Store to pick up an accessory. The battery case was in stock, and with a 14 day return policy, I figured I'd give the new battery case a try.

    Here's the thing: the case is awesome.


    1. Lightening cable for charging. No extra cable. Fits all docks.
    2. Charges the phone and battery simultaneously.
    3. Feels great in your hand. No unnecessary thickness. New contours to rest your fingers around.
    4. The forward speaker and microphone are great.
    5. Material feels great—not cheap plastic
    6. I like that there are no buttons. One less thing to manage and think about. I think it's an edge case to charge your battery and then turn it off until you need it, at least for most people most of the time.

    Yes, there are weaknesses:

    1. Material gets dirty. Even the grey picks up lint and dirt.
    2. No single-cycle 100% iPhone re-charge which seems to be a minimum nowadays for a battery case. Maybe Apple did this for weight or size reasons, but it seems odd and it sucks not to have. Doesn't really make it a "weekend solution" as Tim said—more like a guarantee to get through a long and intense day of iPhone use.
    3. Way too expensive compared with alternatives.
    4. The battery status on the lock screen showing the charge status of both the case and the iPhone only appears when you first insert the iPhone. Shouldn't be viewable every time you see the lock screen?

    And of course, the big unknown is how well the case will look after some continual use—my experience with Apple cases is they fatigue and get a bit nasty after even light use. (I've returned a bunch of cases because of this—which color doesn't seem to matter.)

    I, like many customers, fall in the camp that I wish apple would get over their thinness fetish and thinness as a product competitive advantage, and made the iPhone slightly thicker for better battery life and to get rid of the camera wart. It seems like more and more MBAs are getting a seat at the table at Apple nowadays over people passionate about products.

    But with that said, we in the core of the Apple community understand that design is how something works. And while the battery case aesthetic leaves a lot to be desired, how it functions is really solid.

    I know many of you will disagree with this assessment. But for me, I'm keeping the case. The premium is worth the convenience. I will use it primarily for travel and busy business days, but I'm glad to have it
  2. Aceroller macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2015
    Great points. I may be in the minority but I actually like the look, it's kind of retro battery pack look. I also like that it doesn't make the whole phone more bulky on the sides like other battery cases. How is the extra weight?
  3. BWhaler thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    Takes some getting used to for first few hours. Weight is dense, so you feel it in your hand— unlike, say, the iPad where the weight is distributed and how it feels belies the true weight.

    But by my second day, I don't notice weight anymore. Doesn't weigh down or feel bulky in pocket.
  4. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    Glad others like it.

    It will sell simply because it's got the Apple Logo.
  5. duction macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2010
    U to the K
    It looks like dog crap, who would buy it? Just plug your phone in more to charge it and plan a little better.
  6. Cricet1979 macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2015
    Does it always show the battery as charging? Or will the case activate once the phones internal battery reaches a certain level?
  7. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    Pardon me...

    My dog doesn't poop piles as ugly as that case/battery/world' :eek:
  8. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Looks are subjective and thus are different for different people.
  9. danny8200 macrumors 65816


    Oct 27, 2014
    Chicopee, MA
    So you slide your phone into this thing? How well would it work with screen protectors that are E2E?
  10. TJone macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    I like it. It looks better in person in my opinion and I really don't care about how it looks. It feels great and to me feels smaller then typical battery cases. Working in a hospital I really appreciate not having to scramble to find an oulet during the day and be able to go out at night with a 100% charge in the evening. And thr lightning adapter is super convenient. Sure, I wish I opted for the 6 Plus model but now I will wait for the 7 Plus. This case feels great in your hands tio and I wish the 6 was as thick as an iPhone 5 with a larger battery. Hopefully Tim will finally get the memo that a larger battery is a huge asset.
  11. Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    While I wont buy it personally but I fail to see the problem with others having another battery case option to chose from.

    If it's too ugly for you? Simply don't buy it, and let the others who do enjoy it to do so in peace.

    It's like the uproar people made about the 12-inch Macbook having core M and only one port. Don't like it? Don't buy it.
  12. jasonklee macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2007
    Deep and meaningful analysis trumps knee-jerk hyperbole every time. Your review certainly highlights the practical benefits of Apple's approach to designing this type of accessory and it seems like the list of trade offs Apple picked were the right ones.
  13. techno-Zen macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2015
    What I like about it is that you don't really need to think about it..
  14. daijholt macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2013
    Wales, UK
    I too like this case. I saw it and thought "wow that's ugly" but I find that bulge is far less obvious in person. The OP is spot on though, while it looks a little odd at times, the way it's built is very clever, adding both grip and functionality to the phone. And seriously, the front speaker opening is amazing. It practically doubles the speaker volume just because it fires the sound right at you instead of to the side.

    The pros far outweigh the cons in this situation. Grip, protection, better battery life, and very little effort, compared to something like the mophie (which I do like by the way), where buying it adds another switch (on/off), a case that's a pain in the ass to remove on days you don't need it, which adds yet another cable to your house (micro usb) and bulks up the phone around the edges.

    I'll gladly trade pure aesthetics for something I can put on and not think about at all throughout the day, Because it does the job for me. I get home and if it needs charging I drop it on my lightning dock, just as I would without a case on. No micro usb fiddling.
  15. Daku93 macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2010
    One more negative point I've found: The case charges really slow. According to my USB Current Meter it only draws .5A. That's less than half of what the iPhone draws while charging while having a bigger battery (yes, the case has a bigger battery than the iPhone, but due to conversion losses it does not double the iPhone's battery life.)…
  16. BWhaler thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    It always charges the phone.
  17. siphyn87 macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Can you tell me if the case sticks to a magnet, thus allowing you to use it with magnetic car mounts?
  18. Daku93 macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2010
    It does not.
  19. entricated macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    I like the case mainly because it seems more advanced compared to other cases. The fact that it shows battery status on screen is cool, the internal antenna is cool too. I ordered one and am waiting for it to arrive this Monday. The hump looks out of place but I haven't seen it in person to judge.

    Currently I roll around with a Trianium battery case most days for my 6S. Especially if I'm at work, I work about 13hrs a day, 3 days a week. I don't like sitting my phone on a charger because I'm hardly in one spot.

    If I forget to charge my phone and case before work, I know I'm screwed somewhat. Thankfully I can just pop my Trianium case off my phone, let it charge on some random persons micro-usb charger and wait like 3-4 hrs for it to charge halfway. By that time my iPhone is hanging on for its dear life. I pop the battery case on, it charges almost fully and I keep moving through the day.

    But then I read this post on Daring Fireball:

    "If you find yourself short on battery with your iPhone every day (or even most days), and you can’t make an adjustment to, say, put a charging dock on your desk or in your car to give your iPhone’s internal battery a periodic snack, then you should probably bite the bullet and switch to a 6S Plus. However bulky the Plus feels in your pocket and hands, it feels less bulky to me than the iPhone 6S with any battery pack. An iPhone 6S Plus, even with a normal case on it, weighs noticeably less than an iPhone 6S with the Smart Battery Case. If you need the extra battery capacity every day, you might as well get the Plus. (If you actually prefer the bigger Plus to the 4.7-inch devices, you’re in luck — you get the screen size you prefer, and a significantly longer-lasting battery. My advice here is for those who prefer the 4.7-inch size, other considerations aside.)"-John Gruber----

    This made me really rethink things. Why am I walking around with battery cases when an iPhone 6S Plus has probably enough battery power for my needs?

    It makes way more sense to just "bite the bullet" and spend $100 bucks for the 6S Plus vs $100 bucks for a battery case that doesn't have an on and off feature. Also, continuously charging my iPhone doesn't seem really smart to me because wouldn't my phone be warm all the time? The bulge in my pocket is another concern. I like my jeans a little snug.

    I already posted my iPhone 6S for sale. Still want to see the case for myself before I return it.
  20. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    So based on this, if you leave the phone in all day, will the phone stay at 100% with the case battery dropping during the day?

    Does it literally say that the phone is charging all day? Or is it the case (hehe) where the phone is using the case battery INSTEAD of the internal one (if that's even possible).
  21. Nikhil72 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    From what I've gathered the phone uses the case first and then the internal battery.
  22. thegrants82 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2013
    Right here
  23. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    I've had this case for about four days now. Putting aside the question of whether one should just get a 6s Plus if you are going for a battery case, this is a great case with a few downsides for me: (i) Weight - it's noticeable; (ii) the phone's battery icon always shows "charging" when the phone is drawing from the external battery. I know it would make zero difference functionally, but I wish they wouldn't show that; and (iii) the headphone jack hole is too small, even for most extenders. The only wired headphone I use is my Bose QC20i, but when I need it (whenever travelling), do I really need it. I bought a couple of Radtech 30mm extenders (I suspect multiple brands sell the same thing, if you check, and the thin portion of the extender is barely long enough to work. I have a Mophie extender, and it's too thick to fit into the case. It's likely that Apple didn't make the hole larger because that portion is silicon-covered plastic, but it could be an issue unless you have the right extender or are happy with Apple's earbuds.

    Those issues aside, this case virtually eliminates battery issues for me. I can make it through a typical day without recharging; before I was regularly plugging my phone in to charge. You don't have to think about it; you just have a lot more battery capacity. Other's have said it doesn't charge fast (v. the phone); it charges fast enough for me.

    One thing to know about the case is that it is not a battery grafted onto a silicon case. The case is rigid plastic (including the top) covered by a silicon skin, other than the "hinge", which is just silicon. So it should provide a decent amount of protection. It also feels very solid.

    Two other downsides are price and capacity. There are many cheaper to much cheaper battery cases out there, with equal or greater capacity. I wouldn't trade this case for those. I've tried Mophie cases on a 5/5+, and hated them because the connection between the two pieces would get loose, making the sleep/wake button unusable. (Probably not an issue with the 6 since that button is on the side.) Plus, it was huge compared to this Apple case. It's hard to overstate how sleek Apple made this case while still providing grip, protection, and a meaningful amount of additional battery capacity.

    Like the OP, I'd rather just have a thicker phone with a larger internal battery, but that Apple iPhone does not exist in this size...
  24. pcubed18 macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010

    I'm curious if this is thinner than mop hied juice pack reserve.
  25. Nikhil72 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    It definitely is. Feels better too due to the silicone...softer touch.

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