Review: Apple’s Smart Battery Case for iPhone XR, XS & XS Max

Apple’s second-generation Smart Battery Case for the latest iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max smartphones is definitely a solid accessory. But at a somewhat pricey $129 a pop, is it really worth basically a $100 more than inexpensive third-party alternatives on the low end?

iDownloadBlog’s video editor Harris Craycraft explores the new case in his hands-on video walkthrough which I’ve embedded below, so do give it a quick watch now.

Harris separately published an unboxing video.

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To reiterate, this case increases your iPhone XR, XS or XS Max talk time to up to 37 hours, Internet use to up to 20 hours and even longer audio and video playback.

  • iPhone XR: 39 hours of talk time, 22 hours of Internet use and 27 hours of video
  • iPhone XS: 33 hours of talk time, 21 hours of Internet use and 25 hours of video
  • iPhone XS Max: 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of Internet use and 25 hours of video

Harris concludes that Smart Battery Case is a very solid accessory, but perhaps not worth it if you’re looking at cheaper third-party alternatives. Of course, being a first-party product is beneficial in ways more than one.

It’s still only available in White and Black.

The case is nicely integrated with iOS: the charge is displayed in the Battery widget and it supports the USB Power Delivery protocol so you get a fast-charging feature that lets you juice up the battery from dead to 50 percent in 30 minutes using a Power Delivery charger.

More importantly, it works with Qi wireless chargers, meaning:

  • You can charge just the case’s battery wirelessly
  • You can charge both your iPhone and the case wirelessly

And because there’s no chin at the bottom anymore, the appearance of this case is nicer than before although that unsightly battery hump is still present, unfortunately.

You can get the new Smart Battery Case in Black or White for your iPhone XRiPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in exchange for $129, a $30 increase from the previous edition.

What do you think of Apple’s new battery case?

Would you recommend it over third-party options?