iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case review: smarter than you think

By , Dec 8, 2015

iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case 4

I’ll be the first to admit that my initial knee-jerk reaction to the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case wasn’t good. The peripheral, which was basically the butt of jokes all morning on Twitter, seemingly came out of nowhere to the feigned horror of many.

You’d be hard-pressed to identify another company whose products are subject to such intense scrutiny like Apple. Even when you have a low key release like the Smart Battery Case, it’s bound to make a splashy first impression for better or for worse.

The good news is that the $99 iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case isn’t half as bad as it looks. In fact, after a few hours of usage, I can say that I kind of like it.

Is the design peculiar? Indeed. Is it weird that Apple is jumping into the battery case game? Sort of. But overall, this is a product that I think many will like if they only give it a chance.

Hands-on

Unlike some of the existing offerings in this space, the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case does a lot of things right, despite its polarizing design. This is readily apparent upon unboxing.

The Smart Battery Case is made out of silicone, which lends it a premium feel that’s malleable enough to sort of melt in your hand. The protruding portion of the case that houses the battery is a little awkward looking, but it actually feels good in the hand, not unnatural in the least. It does make your iPhone bigger and heavier, but it’s done so with a keen balance that still feels very Apple-like.

iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case 2

Also, thanks to the silicone build, the Smart Battery Case fits around the iPhone 6s like a glove and doesn’t require multiple parts that snap together. This means that inserting and removing the iPhone 6s isn’t some elaborate chore, but it’s simple exercise involving bending the top portion of the case back, and sliding the iPhone into place. Removing it involves the same exercise, except in reverse.

The Smart Battery Case features a design that will protect your iPhone 6s from drops, from shock, and everyday usage. The edge of the device features a lip that goes all around the device, so your iPhone’s screen will be protected if resting face down.

I opted for the white version of the case since I have a rose gold iPhone 6s. It looks great, but it attracts lint like nobody’s business, so you’ll need to spend some time cleaning it on a regular basis. The Smart Battery Case is also available in Charcoal Grey, which doesn’t look nearly as cool if you ask me.

Features

The iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case doesn’t have one singular knock-your-socks-off feature that places it above all of the other offerings in its class, but enough attention to detail was paid to several smaller areas so that it collectively outshines the competition.

Take the Lightning connector, for instance. Most battery cases that I’ve tried insist on making you charge with a separate Micro USB cable. Not only is Micro USB horrible to use when compared to Lightning’s reversible connector, but it means that you’re forced to carry around an additional cable.

With the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case, you can use the same Lightning cable that comes with your iPhone to charge. The case, when fully charged, can almost fully recharge a drained iPhone 6s; it’s basically like doubling your iPhone’s battery life.

Another benefit of using this case is that both it and the iPhone can be charged simultaneously without removing the iPhone 6s. in fact, your iPhone never has to come out of the Smart Battery Case unless you just want to remove it. It even plays nice with Apple’s official Lightning dock, and works well with some third-party docks as well.

Attention to detail

All of the necessary port openings and buttons were considered here, which means that Lightning cables and Apple’s official EarPods fit perfectly. Some of your favorite third-party headphones with larger footprints will require a headphone jack extension in order to work with the Smart Battery Case.

The speaker output and microphone input are managed in such a way that sound is routed through the front lip of the case. Volume buttons, the Sleep button, and the Mute switch are all easily accessible, and both cameras are unhindered by the silicone wrapping.

iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case 3

Inside of the case, you’ll find a soft microfiber surface that helps protect your iPhone and assist with scratch protection. It’s there where you’ll notice a small LED light, which serves as a charging indicator when charging the case without an iPhone inside.

iOS integration

Another thing that separates the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case from the competition is its iOS integration. Instead of having to rely on ambiguous LED lights on the actual case, users can simply swipe down from the top of the screen to invoke Notification Center and use the handy battery widget.

iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case

The battery widget shows the current battery level of both the iPhone and the Smart Battery Case. Apple has even designed a special Smart Battery Case icon that makes the experience feel all the more polished.

When you place your iPhone into the case, or when you plug in or unplug the Lightning cable used to charge the pair of devices, you’ll spot a special charging status indicator on the Lock screen itself. Not only do you get the status of your iPhone’s current battery level, but it shows the Smart Battery Case’s level at the same time.

Conclusion

The iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case is an interesting new addition to Apple’s iOS accessory lineup. Despite first impressions, I have a good feeling about this case, and I think that anyone who’s not satisfied with the iPhone 6s’ battery life will enjoy this case. Yes it adds bulk, and it is expensive at $99, but it features thoughtful design and is very good at what it does.

iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case 6

It even works with docks, a sign of thoughtful design

Not only will it do a good job of protecting your iPhone 6s (it also works for the iPhone 6), but it’s pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it affair. There’s not a lot of micromanaging required to implement this case into your daily routine, and that’s one of the main things that separates it from the rest of the pack. In other words, it just works.

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  • TheShade247

    Another Lousy overpriced product from apple.

    • Shadowelite123

      Lol lousy? How? Have you even used it? Of course not because you’re probably some android fanboy who feels threatened by anything Apple so much that you feel the need to spend your life talking bad about Apple since you probably have no life. Bye 🙂

      • TheShade247

        Lol Android fanboy?
        I probably have more apple products than you so think before you type.
        I’m just disappointed because my best sounding headphones will not fit with this case. For $100 they could’ve easily include headphone adapter, but nope!

      • Rowan09

        A headphone adapter when it looks like it fits their headphones that comes with the phone?

      • TheShade247

        There is a thing called “Choice”
        if all other 3rd party manufacturers (even the one’s selling for under $30) can include this adapter, then why can’t apple do this?
        and I won’t be surprised if there beats headphone cable didn’t fit with this case.

      • Rowan09

        Right and you can choose to not purchase this as well if it doesn’t work for you.

      • TheShade247

        No i won’t, i have Mophie space pack, and i’m happy with it.

      • Shadowelite123

        thanks for sharing information that wasn’t at all asked or necessary…

      • Don’t fall into the trap man. These 2 dopes have absolutely nothing to do but troll iDB and argue anything against their oh so precious Apple.

      • Mut

        their not there

      • Mr.Coolfreak

        yep, beats dont fit in there

      • Alexandre Isurugi

        It’s their…. choice?

      • Shadowelite123

        its called don’t buy the case and stop whining.

      • Shadowelite123

        So you’re saying that because you have more products of a certain brand, you’re automatically a fanboy? Spieling nonsense about a case that simply doesn’t appeal to you’re own needs and that you most likely don’t even have is what makes you a fanboy. But keep on going if you will, i enjoy a good laugh.

      • Facts can sting from time to time, but your fanboy ego will eventually get over it. This is in fact a complete POS!

      • Shadowelite123

        lol you keep telling yourself that… “facts” because your own opinions are definitely facts

      • Unknow Unknow

        I’m Apple fan 100% but Apple is making shitte this fuckking case is ugly as fuckk no matter what angle you see it at

      • Shadowelite123

        See your OPINION doesn’t pertain to me as the angle i see it, its really not that bad. All i see is few people whining because companies don’t make things that people how they want it.

    • Sharkey311

      Another lousy troll comment

  • Ashy Larry

    I’m not sure which I dislike more, the design or the price. It’s an interesting product though – I wonder if Apple will release one for the Plus. I’ve always wanted a case/battery thingy but all have been too bulky thus far.

  • AlphaPoppy

    Yeah I understand the 6 doesn’t have great battery life, but why is everyone complaining about the Plus? I can go a day and a half without a charge on my Plus. And that’s with heavy gaming and social media

    • How you do it? Mines last for like 4-5 H

      • Niclas

        Change battery.

      • Chinch07

        That’s a defective battery. My 6 plus was a day and a half. My 6s plus is about the same. Maybe a little better but I’m attributing that to iOS 9.

      • thanks how much does it cost to change a battery?

      • Chinch07

        Bring it to apple it may cost you nothing if it’s defective. But a normal replacement without a warranty is $79. If you have apple care or still in warranty it may be less or nothing as well.

      • Any site to check if I am still in warranty? Thanx

  • Merman123

    At $100 dollars, how is this better than just buying the 6s plus?

    • 1. Some people still want a case
      2. The 6 Plus still has a larger in pocket footprint
      3. The 6 Plus is harder to grip for smaller hands
      4. You get better battery life with this combo than with the 6 Plus alone

      • Merman123

        1) the plus even with a case is far thinner than this.

        2) that’s debatable. Especially in thickness which is

      • I wouldn’t say it’s debatable. In my jeans, the 6 Plus is much more noticeable to me, than the 6s, even with the Smart Battery Case installed. The 6s is thicker, no doubt, but thickness isn’t as bad as width and height when in a pocket IMO.

      • Merman123

        Just seems like an irrational purchase. Knowingly purchasing a device that doesn’t suit your power needs (which is why you’d buy a battery case) only to throw on a case that adds bulkiness. Especially with there being an alternative phone with superior battery.

      • Mickey

        I agree with your thinking here on the Plus. But there are people that simply don’t want the large footprint. It’s quite different than adding thickness. I know several people that opt for the 6/6s because of this. Many of them even owned the Plus first (at my suggestion ha!). My gf has a battery case on her 6 and prefers it to a Plus because her hands are just small and fumbling around with a phablet can be cumbersome. Hopefully Apple gets rid of the bezels and home button sooner rather than later so we can have some more compact devices.

      • Bronson

        Apple should have worked on this a bit more, and maybe done a “thincharge” like case. Personally i think thincharge trumps every battery case there is for the iphone 6/6s

      • Alexandre Isurugi

        “Knowingly purchasing a device that doesn’t suit your power needs (which is why you’d buy a battery case) ”
        not necessarily… maybe 90% of the year I don’t need extra battery. but it might be good to have when traveling

      • Jackson Grong

        Jeff really likes to lick Apple’s balls. Jummy Jeff, what’s the taste?

      • mav3rick

        Or he just got a splash from the chief. Sadly, this is what iDB became for a while, and it’s most recognizable writer lately, too, also bashing JB tweaks only because they’re not made by A3.

        “This website is not affiliated with Apple.”

        This when users all over the Internet are thinking what will be Ive’s deep down voice on his design video when describing this love hump from of an 6 and an 4S: “The unapologetic smooth soft silicon with microfiber interior is so tactile smooth that you’ll feel the sensation of lust and desire very often to take the battery off the phone to check the status LEDs, because no other case have the LEDs INSIDE! Or just to feel the hump!”

      • Jackson Grong

        Talking abaut batterys, the Anker Astro E1 is the best solution, costs only around 20$, charges my 6S twice, features a beautiful glossy design, it’s light around 100g, easily pocketable and very small. Plus, great support, 18m warranty.
        Jeff colud review it! 🙂

      • Mb

        its the best for you not everybody in the world…for me the product ypu talk about is crap and you need extra pocket and the wire to use it..crap… i am not saying apple product is great but its easier to use than the one you talk about. so dont tell that something is the best when yu don’t know every product in the world…lol

      • Jackson Grong

        No, you fit the cable along with the device in the little bag included.

    • Morgan Freeman

      Some people prefer the 6/6s over the 6/s plus. So they have their smaller phone and want a case. Well, now they can get a case that also has a battery in it. Bonus! Not everyone wants a 6/s plus. You know, back in the day it was all about getting phones smaller and smaller, and some people still like smaller phones even though the trend has reversed. What works for you may not (and doesn’t) work for everyone else just like what works for them may not work for you. It’s almost 2016 and I can’t believe this debate about “best” stuff is still a thing. Holy crap.

  • Eikast

    People will buy it. The design looks odd but based off liking at it I thought that it would feel nice and Jeff confirmed my thoughts. A decent battery case cost around what $70-80? So this isn’t that expensive, also nice that you don’t need an extra cable and that you can check the battery status in iOS.

    I use a 6s+ and never had problems with battery life, but I’m sure that this will be popular with 6s users who don’t want the larger screen but also want great battery life.

  • Joonyaboy

    I like the case. Price is too high for me, but glad Apple has an offering.

  • Just because the case supports a notification center widget doesn’t make it smarter. Apple just threw this case together in a few seconds and slapped a $100 price tag on it.

    • TechnoBuff

      Well stated!!

  • Shankar Dasika

    jeff I really feel for you man if they made something awesome we can praise it but having to praise something as hideous and frankly as useless as this, it really takes a great fan to write this article man. kudos

    they could have just increased the phone thickness and increased battery inside but apple clearly is stating “I wont increase battery but if you want I will give you an external battery for 100 dollars cause I cant charge you if i increase internal battery”

    • raulortiz318

      I’m sorry but I think most people get along fine with the current battery life. The amount of thickness needed to add the battery life people want is untenable. In fact, people will never be happy with battery life, they will always want and expect more. People literally expect “all day” to mean 24 hours.

      I think it is better to make the right compromise of battery life and thickness, and if some users require more than can buy one of the many batteries for $20 or a case like this and by other parties.

      • George

        Yeah well they decided 3d touch was more important than the terrible battery life so they had the nerve to make the 6s have even worse battery life then the 6.

  • Jamessmooth

    iPhone 6s Plus case please apple!

  • TheShade247

    Also this case is made for those who are the victim of Samsung chip in the iPhone 6s lol

  • rockdude094

    Someone needs to bring scott forstall back ASAP !

    • TheShade247

      Thats what she said

  • chuckisbusy

    Silicone is prone to stretching.. Has anyone else had hands on with this? Will the top lip stretch?

    • -= J$@ =-

      Ok, don’t panic because it will only stretch if you actually stretch it. At the same time, I wouldn’t be going around stretching it unnecessarily. I would have thought once you put the case on, it would stay on. It sort of defeats the purpose of having a case with an extra battery in it if you are not going to use it…

    • TechnoBuff

      Dont worry, Apple made it out of space grade silicone, it will not stretch. LOL

  • Also apparently uglier than you think too cause that’s one hideous humpback! Haha
    I get this is an Apple blog and we all love certain products by them, but they do release some junk from time to time. This definitely falls into that category, along with the ripoff watch.
    Only thing I saw that would appeal to any person that isn’t 10 miles up Apple’s arse would be that the iPhone will show the backup’s remaking battery life. Besides that who really wants that ugly thing on their phone?
    Ps… Power banks are the obvious answer to battery problems on the go, not ruining the amazing design of an iPhone 6s by slapping that thing on.

  • Aj

    How to activate battery widgets on 6s not able to do so.

    • Martynet

      they appear automatically, when you have 1 or more devices connected to the iphone. Like bluetooth headphones, apple watch etc…

      • Aj

        Thank you so much friend:D

  • Aj

    Guys help me in telling how to activate battery widget on 6s not able to do so?

  • Faisal

    This means we are not getting iPhone 7 with good battery life.

  • Lit

    How is this a “smart” case? -_-

  • [RECON1]

    I wonder what the capacity of the battery case is (mAh). Personally, I dislike cases that auto charge. I like having the option to press a button to charge when needed and the case automatically stops charging when your phone hits 100%. But it’s always nice to have options.

  • Simos805

    How many mAh is this case?

  • AwkwardApple

    Big bum fricking ugly case.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Wtf.. That’s one hideous case. Candidate for ugliest case of the year for sure.

  • Linton Findlay

    One ommision that’s really annoying is the lack lf a switch. Surely charging the iPhone constantly while
    It’s in use will make it hot? That’s the experience I’ve had with other battery cases. I’ve always used my battery case as a kinda backup for when my battery is about to die

  • siddique

    Will not work with iphone 6 ?

  • Is the case constantly charging the iPhone, or is there a switch to turn it off and allow it to charge only when needed?

  • @sexyhamthing

    Why cant they just put a decent battery in the phone in the first place :/

    • Look at the thickness of this case plus the phone. Would the general public really buy a phone that thick to then put it in a case and make even more thick?

      • @sexyhamthing

        Apple are already using pretty low capacity batteries for their size ;/

      • George

        Dude the phone wouldn’t be that much thicker with a bigger battery.

  • TechnoBuff

    Apple designs this year has been pretty lackluster and outright ugly, Not the best of the Apple most of us love. Starting with the magic mouse and keyboard and now with this battery case. The number of people that dislikes the designs implementation of those accessories and this case far outnumbers those that likes it and that speaks volumes of how Apple is gradually losing focus.

    One does not have to use this product, to have a good impression about it. It’s a case with a hump! No matter how some people bash others for being honest about this design. Nothing about this case makes it any deserving of the $99 and attention but because its Apple some of us will pay for it and say wonderful things about it no matter what, which is a shame.

  • diggitydang

    “iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case review: smarter than you think [but still, just as ugly]”.

  • I’m getting used to powerbanks. But apple, too expensive 🙁

  • iPhoneWINS

    LOL @ no 6+ version really apply ? reward fold who buy your cheaper product?lol

  • It deserves a fair review; and it does the job. That said; its butt ugly.

  • avd98

    Please dont be that person.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Get this case.. Or be smarter from the get-go and get the 6s plus for the same price, which is slimmer, more elegant and offers larger display and slightly better camera.

    • I have a 6s Plus and love it. But it’s incredibly easy to see why people would be put off of this phone. I struggle to use it with one hand and my hands aren’t as tiny as many others

  • Jacob S

    Yes its very smarter that makes your iPhone pregnant 🙂

    • kickinghorse99

      Well 9 months later you will get a free ipod lol

  • rockdude094

    i don’t think the case charges the phone rather the phone uses the power from the case directly until its exhausted then takes power from the phone’s battery when needed.

  • Morgan Freeman

    Wonder how long it will take someone in the jailbreak community to make that LED illuminate/blink for different notifications like Android stuff does.

  • good product with high price

  • Tarek Al Shawi

    I don’t know really why u guys are complaining about the 6s’s battery , I mean it’s GREAT. , top usage apps are : YouTube , Facebook , Safari , clash of clans

    • George

      Maybe because normal people are charging their iphones 3 times a day?

  • GadgetQueenn

    What an amazing review, Jeff! You’re so articulate.

  • No need to be mean though thanks anymay