Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Cases

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple on Tuesday released new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, offering a convenient but expensive way for iPhone users to get additional battery life.

The Smart Battery Cases will be in stores starting tomorrow, but we got our hands on the iPhone XS Max and XR versions early to check out the features and to see if they're worth the $129 price tag.


Apple is offering the Smart Battery Cases in black or white, and while there are separate versions for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, each case costs $129 and appears to have the same capacity.

The cases look similar to the prior Smart Battery Cases Apple offered for the iPhone 7, consisting of a silicone shell with a bump at the back that contains the battery. The cases are easy to grip, but bulky, and the iPhone XS Max version adds a decent bit of weight.

There's a 10.1 Whr battery inside of the cases, which is higher capacity than previous Smart Battery Cases. You can expect to get about 50 to 75 percent additional battery from each case, depending on what you're doing.

Specifically, on the iPhone XS Max with the Smart Battery Case, you'll get up to 37 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback.

The iPhone XS with XS Smart Battery Case offers up to 33 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback, while the iPhone XR with iPhone XR Smart Battery Case offers up to 39 hours of talk time, up to 22 hours of internet use, and up to 27 hours of video playback.

The cases support Qi wireless charging, so you can charge them using a Qi-based charger (though it won't fit on some upright models) or a Lightning cable. You can even fast charge if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable and a compatible USB-C power adapter, such as the 30W MacBook charger. You don't have to use Apple's solutions -- any 18W+ USB-C PD power adapter will work.

You need to attach the Lightning connector in the case to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but because the case has its own Lightning port, you can use it as a passthrough for Lightning accessories like headphones.

With the Smart Battery Case attached, you can check how much battery life is left in the case using a widget in the Today section of the Notification Center or via the Lock screen. Your iPhone will always use the battery provided by the case before expending its own battery, but when charging, your iPhone will charge first.

All in all, the Smart Battery Case is one of the simplest ways to get extra battery life for the iPhone because it doesn't require an extra external accessory or a cable and there are multiple ways to charge it, but that convenience definitely comes at a cost.

Do you think Apple's Smart Battery Cases are worth shelling out $129? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Cases
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,333
30,574
I get this product isn’t for everybody, but if you’re somebody that doesn’t always have access to a charging port throughout your day/commute, this easily could be an asset in terms of extending your battery life if you’re somebody that’s dependent on your phone for extensive phone calls, media, ect. The price point is relative pending how much someone requires the additional battery life.
 
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zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
First off who passed this design off as Apple?
Jony Ive? Seriously?

I think this is definitely a case of Apple having to much inventory for battery and decided to makes this god awful battery cases.

Hardware is screwed , I just hope software does NOT get any more worse!
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
393
272
Other battery cases are essentially attached battery in that you have to click a button to charge. I suppose this one is different, hence the price difference.

You need to compare this to other battery cases, which are plasticky and flimsy. This one is built better.
 

FightTheFuture

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
1,082
997
that town east of ann arbor
First off who passed this design off as Apple?
Jony Ive? Seriously?

I think this is definitely a case of Apple having to much inventory for battery and decided to makes this god awful battery cases.
It's similar to the cases for the 6/6s and 7. This design has been around since 2015, it provides easy access to remove the phone by pulling the back down.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,955
1,638
Australia, Perth
First off who passed this design off as Apple?
Jony Ive? Seriously?

I think this is definitely a case of Apple having to much inventory for battery and decided to makes this god awful battery cases.

Hardware is screwed , I just hope software does NOT get any more worse!
ok,but where else are you gonna fit an extra battery ?, The back seems the most logical choice.. and much better than carrying an external battery (via lighting port) just to have extra power.
 

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
1,340
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Anchorage
Of course MOAR!!!! Is always better.
However so far the battery life with my XS Max and how quickly it charges I personally don’t really have a need for this.
I currently have the Apple silicone case on the phone. but the reason why I have it is I like how slim it is. If I was going to add the extra bulk of a battery case I don’t know if I would pick this one or go with a Mophie or other hard battery case.

Edit: The other reason I like the Mophie is because of the micro USB connector. I do not have a problem with the lightning connector I just like the ability of having both ports in a pinch if I have to charge the device without having to worry about where I left my adapter.
 
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twocents

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2016
253
1,347
California, USA
Got my XS Max Smart Battery Case today! I would definitely recommend it. Though it’s a bit heavier and thicker, I’m loving how much longer the battery life has been extended. The location of the battery also actually helps me maintain a better hold on my iPhone
 
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hmark8

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2009
251
316
I think the big major benefit of this new case is that when you charge it wirelessly it charges both the case and the phone at the same time, vs just the case and then case later charges phone like all other phone case chargers. That wasn't even mentioned in this video though?
 

zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
Anyone remember when Tim Cook said IPhone sales we’re down cause too many people had battery replaced last year under Apple Battery replacement program for $38 ?

Well guess what I think these are the excess battery inventory .
Losing iPhone sales thus they are trying to recoup their losses by making battery cases for the higher end IPhone ...


I'd pay $129 for this... if it had a headphone jack.
oh god ...headphone jack.....
Might consider that ....I love my quad driver IE.. APPLE OFFERING ARE miserable ..

I can’t believe they are selling the ancient Apple branded in ears for so much $$$$
 
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az431

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2008
1,283
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Portland, OR
First off who passed this design off as Apple?
Jony Ive? Seriously?

I think this is definitely a case of Apple having to much inventory for battery and decided to makes this god awful battery cases.

Hardware is screwed , I just hope software does NOT get any more worse!
These cases are not aesthetically pleasing. They look the way they do because they take into account antenna placement, interference, and other engineering issues that the makers of cheap Chinese knockoffs don't care about.
[doublepost=1547771770][/doublepost]
I'd pay $129 for this... if it had a headphone jack.
Amazing that in 2019 people are still whining about a headphone jack, a useless appendage that should have died 10 years ago.
[doublepost=1547771811][/doublepost]
Color me unimpressed. By both the case...and, anyone I see with one.
That's really all that matters.
 

TheAppleFairy

macrumors 68030
Mar 28, 2013
2,501
1,935
The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
Just buy a cheaper and larger power bank with USB-C fast charging support instead.
I use a battery bank.....but I have seriously considered this as an alternative. This case is way more convenient than running a cord from your battery bank to the phone. Sometimes I forget to charge the battery bank or when I charge it I forget to throw it in my bag.
 

zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
These cases are not aesthetically pleasing. They look the way they do because they take into account antenna placement, interference, and other engineering issues that the makers of cheap Chinese knockoffs don't care about.
Is that a cop out ?

Every heard of mophie ?
Their powered cases are well thought out AND THEY SUPPORT QI charging for both the case and iPhone !
 
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Emanuel Rodriguez

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2018
150
191
Anyone know the IP rating for water?
It has to connect to the phone via the lighting port. That's part of the problem with the iPhone's "waterproof" thing. The moment you use almost any peripheral with it (unless that peripheral is both waterproof itself, and wireless), the fact that your phone is waterproof doesn't really matter, because you may very likely not be able to use it as you normally would. Headphones are probably the best example I could think of.