Smart Battery Case review

It’s been about a month since I purchased Apple’s highly-polarizing Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s. During this period of time, I’ve been using the case almost non-stop. I did remove the Smart Battery Case for a few days during the past month to see what life was like without the extra battery life, but I was happy to return to it not long after my experiment.

Most, if not all, of my initial impressions still hold up a month later. The Smart Battery Case might not be the best looking design to come out of Cupertino, but in real world usage, this thing is a winner.

In my review, I shared with you the things that I liked and the things that concerned me about the Smart Battery Case. While most of those opinions still ring true, I wanted to provide a few updates and clarifications.

The design

I can’t say that the design of the Smart Battery Case has grown on me in the last month; it’s still just as odd-looking as it was when it debuted. I was initially able to overlook the weird design because the case did such a good job in all other areas, and this still holds true today.

Smart battery case rear

I continue to get the occasional goofy look or grin whenever I pull out my iPhone in public, but I’m used to that by now, and it makes for a good conversation piece. Besides, I find that the design, however odd-looking, is actually comfortable to use from an ergonomic perspective.

The material and build

One of the knocks that I made against the case had to do with the soft elastomer (rubber, heh) material that it’s primarily comprised of. I complained that the white version of the case picked up lots of lint through normal usage. While that still rings true, it’s not nearly as bad as it at first seemed, and over the last month it has proved to be a non-issue.

In fact, I find the outer surface of the case to be remarkably resilient and easy to clean. Simply wiping it off with a damp rag will eliminate 99% of the surface dirt that may cling to the case.

I also think that the Smart Battery Case does a great job of actually protecting its contents. Yes, the primary reason why one would want such a case is for the extra battery life, but it’s very competent when it comes to protecting the iPhone from drops and dings.

One thing that I failed to mention in my review was how the elastomer’s outer non-slip surface causes friction and grip. The grippiness means that it won’t slip out of your hand due to said friction, but that can be a downside as well. I’ve noticed that I have a hard time placing the case into pockets and removing it from pockets due to the friction imposed by the case material. It’s extremely non-slippery, and as such, it’s hard to wedge it into tight spaces like pockets. That can be really annoying, especially if you tend to wear slim fitting clothes.

Smart Batter Case one month later

It literally just works

The most impressive thing about the Smart Battery Case is that it effectively makes it so that you don’t have to worry about battery life throughout the day. Whereas previously, I would not be able to make it through an entire day without charging, now I don’t even have to think about charging my device. With the Smart Battery Case, I know for a fact that I will make it through the day with battery life to spare, and that’s a wonderful feeling.

But what I really appreciate, and I think I did a good job of articulating this in my initial review, is that the Smart Battery Case lives up to its name. It’s smart, because it does all of the thinking and doesn’t require anything from you. The fact that there are no buttons or settings to manage, the fact that it simply charges like normal through the Lightning port, is what makes this case so hard to go without.

Smart battery case dock

If the Smart Battery Case required anything from me outside of what I normally have to do to keep my iPhone charged, I’d have second thoughts about using it. Because I don’t even have to think about the case, is why I still have it on 30 days later.

You guys know me; I can be quite finicky when it comes to pretty much anything, but my initial review was correct, the Smart Battery Case is much smarter than you may think. And for that reason, it’s an accessory that I plan on keeping for the long haul.

What about you?

  • Ryan

    I’ve been using the Chargetech ThinCharge case after seeing it on Indiegogo (and ordering it on Stacksocial….Indiegogo orders still haven’t been fulfilled). It’s really awesome because it’s super thin and doesn’t have the “chin” that the other battery cases have, including the Apple one. I do miss the smart features though.

    • How is the battery life of the ThinCharge?

      • sobbib

        The battery recharges around one-and-a-third times over (obviously not an exact technical measurement at all! but in short, battery life is great)

    • Shakur Ali

      Hi I got the thin charge battery case very good best case and slim

    • sobbib

      I bought the same case from Stacksocial. Apart from the stupidly difficult lightning port cover at the top (which i removed after a few days of annoyance), this is an amazing battery, a number of my friends have since ordered one. Many people have thicker non-battery cases on their phones!

    • iKnowAppleBest

      I have a question about the ThinCharge case. Does it affect the 3.5 mm headphone jack? Will it require an adapter? Highly considering purchasing this case, but I have beats and am wondering if I will need to buy an adapter…

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Have you ever removed the case from iPhone?
    I mean doesn’t it affect iPhone battery if we don’t remove it?

    • Doesn’t seem to. Again, it intelligently manages charges. I don’t think Apple would have made it so that it had a long term negative impact on battery life. All of that said, I only have a 1-month sample size, so I can’t comment on any long term effects with authority.

      • Alborz

        I read in another article, since the phone battery is not depleting while in case, on the long run the phone won’t go through as many charge cycles. and that’s a positive thing for the phone.

      • Merman123

        Not necessarily. Battery’s by nature also require charge cycles in order to maintain good health. I’m sure this is part of the reason why this case isn’t meant to be on at al times.

      • Alborz

        This case is actually meant to stay on at all times. and batteries lives are measured by health after a number of charge cycles. so the less charge cycles it goes through, the longer it will last. we’re not talking about extreme cases of leaving the phone at 0% for a year. we’re talking day to day use. and for day to day use, the case will help with longevity of the phone battery.

      • Merman123

        Nope. Especially with Cook’s comment on the case. He specifically said its not something you should need all the time. But rather something you throw onto the case when you need that extra boost. Which is why this particular case works the way it works, so differently from others. And no that’s not just how health is measured. Not using the battery and running off of a charger can actually be detrimental to the battery in the long term.

      • He said that to cop out from the fact that Applle did a terrible job at the design of the case. From our perspective, it seems to be a terrible design – not so from Apple’s. They have engineered components for years to package it all in a sub 7mm body. According to Apple, a battery case is to be used only when the situation demands it, they do not take customers who avoid charging everyday and use battery cases instead without being in the middle of a jungle. All said and done, using the case 24×7 will not affect the phone battery in any way. If it were to, Apple would’ve explained it on the product itself. All products are rigorously tested and QC’d before release, in no way would this situation be overlooked as there are lots of people who don’t find the time to charge everyday.

      • Dheevara Uthsara

        You had the guts to demean me! You demeaned me Pakistani mullah thug!

      • Chris Gilmore

        Jeff, can you comment on the topic of keeping it on all day every day? Do you do that or just take it when you know you’ll “need” it?

      • Unless Apple specifically mentions that the case is not to be not used 24×7 there are no issues. A product goes through rigorous QC and testing cycles, including its effect on the phone it powers, so don’t be worried about using it all the time.

      • Dheevara Uthsara

        You had the guts to demean me! You demeaned me Pakistani mullah thug! Pakistani rat!

  • Chris

    I’ve been using this case for the last few weeks as well. Best part is that the iPhone does not get too hot like other competitors such as Mophie. The Bulk of the case and charging time seem to be the only issues. While it charges both the iPhone and case when they are connected, it chargers much quicker when each piece is connected individually. It’s a good first step but certainly looking at competitors to see if they take advantage of this case’s “smart features.”

  • Dany Quirion

    I loved it, but i returned it, its too expensive for no reason and for that price i could had gotten the 6s plus

    • Chris

      Agreed. Very expensive for what it does. But it does seem to be average price for higher end battery cases. not always 100% confident in the $40 cases. the ThinCharge is interesting though.

    • Merman123

      You returned something you “loved” ? Weird.

  • Samsung should help people charge their iPhones? Thought they were trying to draw people AWAY from iPhones.

  • If they made this for the Plus I would get it in a heartbeat. Design wise it might not look amazing but the fact that it just works is what attracts me to it. A friend of mine got one for his “6” and it’s not bad to hold at all.

  • Andre

    Jeff, I feel the same way about the Smart Battery Case. When I first saw pictures of it prior to getting it I was not so sure about it. But after seeing it at the Apple store and picking one up and using it my thoughts are that I LOVE this case. I actually may be one of the few but I actually like the way it looks. It feels great in your hand. I don’t even think about my phone running out of power now. I like the “it just works” element about it. Just put it on and go. I am very pleased with it which is surprising because I was so skeptical when I first saw and read about it. So don’t knock it until you actually use it is my point I guess.

  • Tommy

    might get it once a jb comes out bc battery gets eaten up so quick when im jailbroken.

  • Don

    Jeff, have you noticed that if you turn your phone completely off while inside the case to charge, only the phone charges and not the case?

  • Fevostone

    The case is all good just the prices has always when it comes with Apple.

  • QuarterSwede

    If it makes it the size of a Plus why not just get one and get the added benefits (larger better resolution screen, optical image stabilization, etc.).

    • Nathan

      You forgot to mention the bad frame rate drops..

      • QuarterSwede

        I thought the 6S Plus resolved that.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    I wouldn’t use ring true twice when writing an article :p

  • iPhoneWINS

    where is the version for the plus?

  • Martynet

    I want one for 6s Plus. Maybe the bump for 6s Plus could be a little smaller.

  • Carter Davidson

    That already exists. Apple makes them

  • AwkwardApple

    It should have had wireless charging.

  • No matter what anyone says, this case is complete crap and I wouldn’t be caught dead using it. I wouldn’t be caught using any case that takes away from the iPhone design anyway, but definitely not that hideously ugly thing. Easily the oddest and ugliest design ever released by Apple.

  • JB


  • jay

    100$ more I buy a 6s plus and have all day battery life

  • Ruther Ng

    @JeffBenjam:disqus I just got the Battery case. I have a few questions I hope you dont mind me asking. Since there is no physical power on/off switch, will the battery case stop charging once the IP has reached 100%? Assuming that after 1 full charge, the battery case still have some power left, when or at what IP battery % will it recharge the phone again? Is it safe to use the Smart battery case as my permanent case? Will it put harm to the Iphone battery hence shortening its life? TIA.

    • It’s ambiguous, but you will notice the iPhone charging and stop charging periodically. There is a method behind the madness to be sure. I don’t think it will harm your battery at all.

  • Zach

    Jeff, you aren’t finicky. You literally just purchase every single
    product apple produces and pretend like each one of these products is
    god’s gift to this planet earth.

  • One month later it still looks bulky and it’s still overpriced.

  • M_Hawke

    Nice review. I guess I’m sold on this case that looks like it’s pregnant.

  • Jerry

    I was just about to order this apple one until you mentioned thincharge. I have to say this case looks amazing and having virtually 200% battery deff is more then enough to last you a whole day. Thank you. And thank god that awful chin is gone

  • Alonso Martinez

    Hey great review! Are you still using the case? On a daily usage or regular? And how does the case is holding up?