Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS and Max: Pretty good, if you need the boost
The Good Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR provides solid protection, holds about a full day’s charge on its own, has pass-throughs for Lightning and all buttons and speakers or mikes, can charge on its own via Qi charging and integrates with iOS to show battery status.
The Bad Bulky case feels especially chunky on the XS Max. Price, at $130, is far higher than a regular battery pack that isn’t also a case. It’s not very attractive.
The Bottom Line Apple’s utilitarian battery case for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR offers a key battery boost and isn’t annoying to use. We’ll see if any other battery case ends up doing better.7.3OVERALL
The Apple Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS ($1,000 at Amazon), XS Max ($1,100 at Amazon Marketplace) and XR is a bulky way to make sure your phone doesn’t need a recharge. Apple has done this before, for the iPhone 6S. That battery case was mocked, but it was actually pretty good, if you found its $100 price and slightly bulbous design acceptable.
How long does the battery last?
I’ve been living with Apple’s new and even more expensive $130 iPhone battery cases on an iPhone XS and XS Max over the past few weeks. And you know what? Weeks later, they do the job. They protect the phones, feel sturdy and add a bit of padding. The two battery cases have the same battery capacity (1,369mAh/10.1 Wh), and in everyday use they ended up lasting just about a whole normal workday, and then dipping into the actual phone’s battery at the very end of the day. That means you could use these and not have to charge your phone overnight, if you were ever in a situation where you needed that option. I was on a long flight (9 hours) recently and was able to arrive and still have basically a whole charged phone but with a depleted battery case. Apple claims a combined 39 hours of talk time, 22 hours of internet use or 27 hours of video playback for the iPhone XS, or 37 hours/20 hours/25 hours on an iPhone XS Max. It’s nothing like the massive battery capacity of a stand-alone charger, but in real-life use it’s a bit more than I expected.