Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple on Wednesday unveiled new Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, offering up extra battery life for its newest flagship smartphones.

The first Smart Battery Case orders are arriving to customers today and the cases are in stores, so we picked one up to give MacRumors readers a heads up on the features and the differences compared to last year's Smart Battery Cases.


Design wise, the Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models look identical to the prior-generation battery cases, with the exception of the square-shaped camera cutout to accommodate the dual and triple-lens camera systems in the new iPhones.

This year's case has the same bump at the back, which houses the battery that charges the iPhone, and it's about the same thickness as last year's model.


There are volume up buttons at the side, a power button, and, on the right side, a brand new button that's designed to be a camera control. You can press the button to automatically launch the camera app, regardless of whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked.


Pressing the button the first time opens up the camera app, but when the app is opened, pressing again takes a photo. Pressing and holding captures a QuickTake video, and the single press also works with the selfie camera.


Apple is offering the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max Smart Battery Cases in black, white, and pink sand, while the iPhone 11 Smart Battery Case is limited to black and white. The black shade of the new cases has shifted. Last year, Apple used a black case with a charcoal logo, but this year, the entire case is the lighter charcoal color with a deeper black logo.

There are two 1,430mAh battery cells inside of the iPhone 11 Pro Max version of the Smart Battery Case, up from the 1,369mAh battery cells used last year in the iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case. The two battery cells are wired together into one battery, allowing the cases to offer 10.9Wh of energy (vs. 10.1Wh in the prior XS Max model).


Apple says that all of the new battery cases will add up to 50 percent more battery life to the iPhones, which translates to 9 hours of additional video playback for the 11 Pro, 10 hours of additional video playback for the 11 PRo Max, and 8.5 hours of additional video playback for the iPhone 11.

With the Smart Battery Case attached to an iPhone, the iPhone will drain the case first before using the built-in battery, and this is automatic and can't be shut off. Battery life of the case can be viewed on the Lock screen when placed on a charger or in the Today view of the Notification Center.


Charging the case can be done using a Lightning cable or a Qi-based wireless charger. The iPhone will always charge before the case when charging the two together. For those with Lightning-based headphones and accessories, the Lightning port on the Smart Battery Case does have passthrough capabilities.


The Smart Battery Cases can be purchased from the Apple online store or from Apple retail stores, and all three new cases cost $129.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max
 
Last edited:

KowalskiFUT

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2017
32
15
EU
Im considering one for 11 Pro Max. Battery on the phone is fantastic, but with this it would be like in the good old days on feature phones where you coud recharge every couple of days. A bit worried about bulk though. Max fits my hand(s) perfectly, but this adds considerable thickness.
 

The Barron

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2009
433
261



Apple on Wednesday unveiled new Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, offering up extra battery life for its newest flagship smartphones.

The first Smart Battery Case orders are arriving to customers today and the cases are in stores, so we picked one up to give MacRumors readers a heads up on the features and the differences compared to last year's Smart Battery Cases.


Design wise, the Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models look identical to the prior-generation battery cases, with the exception of the square-shaped camera cutout to accommodate the dual and triple-lens camera systems in the new iPhones.

This year's case has the same bump at the back, which houses the battery that charges the iPhone, and it's about the same thickness as last year's model.


There are volume up buttons at the side, a power button, and, on the right side, a brand new button that's designed to be a camera control. You can press the button to automatically launch the camera app, regardless of whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked.


Pressing the button the first time opens up the camera app, but when the app is opened, pressing again takes a photo. Pressing and holding captures a QuickTake video, and the single press also works with the selfie camera.


Apple is offering the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max Smart Battery Cases in black, white, and pink sand, while the iPhone 11 Smart Battery Case is limited to black and white. The black shade of the new cases has shifted. Last year, Apple used a black case with a charcoal logo, but this year, the entire case is the lighter charcoal color with a deeper black logo.

There are two 1,430mAh battery cells inside of the iPhone 11 Pro Max version of the Smart Battery Case, up from the 1,369mAh battery cells used last year in the iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case. The two battery cells are wired together into one battery, allowing the cases to offer 10.9Wh of energy (vs. 10.1Wh in the prior XS Max model).


Apple says that all of the new battery cases will add up to 50 percent more battery life to the iPhones, which translates to 9 hours of additional video playback for the 11 Pro, 10 hours of additional video playback for the 11 PRo Max, and 8.5 hours of additional video playback for the iPhone 11.

With the Smart Battery Case attached to an iPhone, the iPhone will drain the case first before using the built-in battery, and this is automatic and can't be shut off. Battery life of the case can be viewed on the Lock screen when placed on a charger or in the Today view of the Notification Center.


Charging the case can be done using a Lightning cable or a Qi-based wireless charger. The iPhone will always charge before the case when charging the two together. For those with Lightning-based headphones and accessories, the Lightning port on the Smart Battery Case does have passthrough capabilities.


The Smart Battery Cases can be purchased from the Apple online store or from Apple retail stores, and all three new cases cost $129.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max
Next feature will be straps to carry it like a backpack.
What a beast! With the new longer-lasting batteries in the iPhones, the only person who might need this is one who is planning to sail around the world in a small boat!
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,383
11,631
Dan is somehow annoying. Not sure what it is.

These cases seem largely unnecessary with the insane battery life in iPhone 11.
I thought Dan did a fine job and now the case also integrates with the camera app! That’s unexpected! Also I live in a low signal area so my battery drains faster.
 
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gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,122
2,583
Almost 12 hours into my day I am at 87% so I am not a good candidate for this but I would get one for those few times extra battery is needed. Thing is I bought one last year, used it some, then sold it for a fraction of its original value since I could not use it with the 11 MAX. I wish I knew this could last more than a year and fit next years phone. It would be easier to buy knowing it will last for at least 2 years.
 

cappo3

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2014
165
54
An underappreciated benefit of a battery case is that it reduces wear on the lightning port and the original battery, increasing the useable life of your phone.
Wear on the lightning port? I had an iPhone 6 for 3 years, obviously only charged through that port. I had an iPhone X for the best part of 2 years, charged once wirelessly. Never had a problem with the port on any of the two.
What "wear" are you talking about? My new 11 pro I also charge in a wired manner, I don't think it'll suffer a broken port during its service life!

About the increase of the useable life of the phone... Well, I have my doubts on that as well. No Li-ion battery likes to stay at 100% for longer periods. It's (just about) fine for charging overnight, but I wouldn't want the battery to stay at 100% all day long. Which is an actual possibility this year, since the case gives 50% of the charge on top.
 

ColBatGuano

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2015
22
30
That'd be great for an extra long international flight. Not having to worry about external battery packs would be brilliant.
 

nycgeo

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2005
63
30
Brooklyn
Apple went ahead and changed "Black" in all of their iPhone accessories to what is clearly "Dark Grey", and you're the first guy I've seen mention it. Kudos
- - Post merged: - -

Why can't Apple has the same to cover the bottom part of the phone for other cases?!
It interferes with gestures.
 

Frehley

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2012
79
35
Mine was just delivered today. I also have the mophie version, which doesn't seem to give nearly as much extra usage as Apple's version will. But between the two of them, I'm set for travel photography days.
I ordered this from the Apple store within hours of it being announced and the Apple store indicated that this would be released 11/25...and that is when mine is scheduled to be delivered. How did some get it today?
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
5,510
9,747
Wear on the lightning port? I had an iPhone 6 for 3 years, obviously only charged through that port. I had an iPhone X for the best part of 2 years, charged once wirelessly. Never had a problem with the port on any of the two.
What "wear" are you talking about? My new 11 pro I also charge in a wired manner, I don't think it'll suffer a broken port during its service life!

About the increase of the useable life of the phone... Well, I have my doubts on that as well. No Li-ion battery likes to stay at 100% for longer periods. It's (just about) fine for charging overnight, but I wouldn't want the battery to stay at 100% all day long. Which is an actual possibility this year, since the case gives 50% of the charge on top.
I think he's talking about people who scratch up the area because they are careless when plugging in their phones.