Apple

A case of weak battery performance

The Smart Battery Case took 1hr 59min to charge an iPhone 6 from 50 per cent to 95 per cent. But in doing so, the case totally expended its charge.
The Smart Battery Case took 1hr 59min to charge an iPhone 6 from 50 per cent to 95 per cent. But in doing so, the case totally expended its charge.PHOTO: APPLE

Core setback of Apple's first battery case saps its appeal

It is the first battery case launched by Apple. Designed specifically for iPhone 6 and 6s, the Apple Smart Battery Case comes in white or charcoal grey (version tested).

At first glance, it looks like Apple's Silicone Case. But look closer and you will notice the much-maligned hump on the rear that houses the battery.

Inside the case and at the bottom is a Lightning connector that charges the iPhone. On the outside bottom is a Lightning port and headphone jack access.

The Smart Battery Case comes in one piece, unlike other battery cases that require you to fix two or three pieces together. Just fold the top of the case backwards and slowly push your iPhone down into place. Once inserted, the case will start to charge the phone. There is no button to start or stop the charging process.

You can see the battery status, in percentage terms, on the iPhone Lock screen and in the Notification Centre. With other battery cases, you cannot see see the exact percentage of charge left.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $148

    BATTERY CAPACITY: 1,877mAh

    WEIGHT: 101g

  • RATING

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

The microfibre lining on the inside helps prevent scratches, while its rubber exterior prevents slippage. The rear hump might look weird, but it allows for a really good grip of the case. My only gripe is that the rubber exterior picks up lint easily.

The Smart Battery Case took 1hr 59min to charge an iPhone 6 from 50 per cent to 95 per cent. But in doing so, the case totally expended its charge.

This was done with several apps and games running in the background, the display on at full brightness all the time and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on. I also repeated the same process to test the other battery cases in this roundup.

I am disappointed at the performance, as other battery cases still have at least 50 per cent juice left after charging the iPhone 6 to 100 per cent.

And despite its price, Apple did not include any accessories - not even a Lightning cable for you to charge the case.

  • Verdict: The rear hump of Apple's Smart Battery Case is not its Achilles heel; its weak battery is.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'A case of weak battery performance'. Print Edition | Subscribe