Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS Max, a first look

One of the most sought after accessories by users who use the iPhone intensively during their day, or when traveling, are external batteries. It is a comfortable accessory, often almost the size of the same device, and they serve to charge not only our phones, but also other devices that we carry with us. It’s certainly those occasions where we know we won’t have energy charge anytime soon when we need them most (or miss them).

Precisely to prevent us from forgetting these batteries and also having extra protection, there are the battery cases: those that carry it incorporated in the cover’s own design. The main drawback of these cases is that they increase the thickness of the phone by adding the storage panels on the back, and in some brands, they practically double the thickness and the total wingspan of the iPhone.

For Apple’s phone, it’s the brand itself that offers a model designed by them, from the iPhone 6/6s. The exterior appearance is practically the same as one of its own silicone sleeves, only in the back it has an extra area for the battery, which in the case of the one offered by Apple does not fatten the whole wingspan since only the battery area is bulging. This concession in the design also brings interesting novelties that no other brand offers.

Unlike other battery-powered cases, Apple only bulks up the battery area, not expanding the whole set

Updated design

In the model just released, Apple repositions the battery area by lowering it to the base of the case – it no longer places it in the center of it, which gave a somewhat stranger feel. This new design is more natural and improves how we hold it by hand, keeping the upper area thinner.

This new design also helps when inserting or removing the phone from it: at the height of the end of the battery lump we have an elastomer coating that allows to bend the top and put the iPhone on the side guides , so that it fits perfectly into the internal lightning connector of the base.

The interior is lined with microfiber so as not to spoil the terminal, and the exterior has the same silicone as the rest of Apple’s regular cases. The sidewingsis not expanded by this case, even at the height of the Lightning connector. Once connected, and if we only looked at it in front, we would have a hard time differentiating it from a traditional case.

A self-managed holster

It doesn’t have any buttons and the only visual indicator we have is a small LED on the inside of the case, in case we want to charge the case separately from the phone. There is no button to check the battery level, as Apple has incorporated controls into iOS that allow you to view the battery charge from the lock screen or notification center.

This case is managed by itself: we do not have to tell you when to start charging the phone or the case, immediately when you insert the phone will start charging it and load it until it always keeps it 100%. At the same time, the battery takes advantage of it to charge internally more slowly – if we have the iPhone introduced – or at full speed if not. It is completely transparent to the user, and once the cover is put on, we won’t have to do anything else.

-The great advantage of the Smart Battery Case is the intelligent management of energy in combination with iOS, totally transparent to the user-

In a few days we will share in Applsphere an article detailing the level and charging times – Apple tells us that we can reach 37 hours of conversation and 20 hours of navigation. In my first tests for this first contact, the case has reached 12% with a 12W charger in 10 minutes. According to the technical documentation of the case, these new batteries have greater capacity than previous generations.

The new Smart Battery Cases now with wireless charging

The great novelty of this generation is that now the case has wireless charging compatible with the Qi standard – the same as the iPhones – so if we leave this case on top of a wireless charging dock, the power will start to charge both the iPhone , like the holster. We can also leave only the case on the wireless basis, to charge it individually: we don’t need to have an iPhone inside for it.

On a normal (non-fast) charging base for only the case, it manages to reach about 10% within 10 minutes of placing it on it. They are good numbers because we will also forget to charge case and phone: when we put it to charge, both will charge without having to choose between the iPhone or the case – giving evident priority always to the phone.

Improved for those who need extra battery and protection

In hand, especially in the model for the iPhone XS Max, the weight of the set is increased but the wingspan – despite the battery lump – does not increase as much as in other brands whose design surrounds the top and bottom of the phone. On the sides as I said, a ratio similar to any case is maintained and this makes it possible to hold it in the same way.

Apple’s solution is perfect when we want to worry about the battery, its charge, and how the power is distributed between it and the phone. However, we can not forget that it will increase the weight and thickness – the case is oriented to those who do not reach the end of the day with the battery of the iPhone without recharging, or who wants to be carefree on trips of running out of phone.

About the increase and the hours it offers us, as well as the loading times, we will see them in an upcoming article that as I have mentioned in the next days when we thoroughly test the cover in the day to day. As first impressions, I like the smart charging features and the addition of wireless charging – as well as the (albeit controversial) design not fully occupying the entire perimeter of the device. A priori, for things like integration with iOS, power management or wireless charging, it’s the best case with built-in battery that we can buy for our iPhones – although not the cheapest (149 USD).

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