Apple's new Smart Battery Case displays remaining charge on lock screen, boasts integrated antenna

Posted:
in iPhone
Earning its 'smart' moniker, Apple's new Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6s presents users with both a new lock screen battery display as well as compatibility with the Notification Center battery widget, giving the accessory capabilities that just aren't possible with third-party battery cases.


Apple Smart Battery Case lockscreen display, via The Wall Street Journal.


The $99 Smart Battery Case was released on Tuesday by Apple, compatible with both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6. The Apple-built battery pack extends the life of a handset by up to 25 hours.

In the product description, Apple notes that an "intelligent battery status" is displayed on the iPhone lock screen, as well as in Notification Center.

That stands in contrast to third-party battery cases, like those from Mophie, which rely on LED lights and power buttons on the rear of the device for charging and checking remaining battery capacity. Apple's own Smart Battery Case was designed in tandem with iOS 9, meaning there is no need for an external indictor, or for users to turn on the battery.

By intelligently using Apple-built software, the Smart Battery Case negates the need for user interaction, simplifying the accessory. In her review of the new Apple case, Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal noted that an iPhone paired with the Smart Battery Case will drain the case's power first, saving the integrated iPhone battery for last.


The case also works with Apple's battery widget. Via The Wall Street Journal.


Stern revealed that Apple's Smart Battery Case features an 1,877mAh battery that can recharge a completely-dead iPhone 6s to about 80 percent battery level. With an integrated Lightning port, she was able to completely recharge both an iPhone 6s and the case in just over two hours.

Stern also revealed that Apple has integrated a passive antenna into the Smart Battery Case to improve reception.

It should be noted that with a "chin" at the bottom, the case may not work with all headphones. In Stern's case, Apple's EarPods worked fine, but Beats Solo HD headphones simply didn't fit into the case's cutout for the iPhone 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple opted to place a "hump" in the back of its new battery case, which allows for the top and bottom of the accessory to remain thin while still protecting the iPhone. This allows the Smart Battery Case to remain compatible with docking accessories, including Apple's own official Lightning dock.

Users also flex the thin top of the case in order to wrap it around the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. The device is made of silicone, making it somewhat pliable and in a single piece, unlike hard plastic, two-piece offerings from most third-party battery case makers.

Orders for the iPhone Smart Battery Case deliver between Dec. 10 and Dec. 14 with expedited shipping, or Dec. 11 through Dec. 15 with free shipping. It can also be shipped to stores, but is not yet in stock for in-store pickup.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member
    Let the bitching, whining, and complaining begin!
    gordy
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Clever move. Now Apple can ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 – but still have it in the thicker battery pack.
    bdkennedy1002
  • Reply 3 of 50
    lkrupp said:
    Let the bitching, whining, and complaining begin!
    Apple is doomed.™
  • Reply 4 of 50
    With only about nine and a half months remaining on my contract, I think I'll pass, but it's nice to see the option. The headphone jack would be an issue for me though. I use EarPods out and about, but at home I use more serious headphones with a thick plug. The Leather Case accommodates those better. 

    Just a a few more months until iPhone 7 time, yay!
  • Reply 5 of 50
    I think it's a wonderful add-on for when-needed use, with some thoughtful features built-in. If I was a road warrior, this would be a must-have accessory. 

    Some additonal color choices would have been nice, though. 
  • Reply 6 of 50
    Mixed on this one. How about making a thicker iPhone with a bigger battery?
    slprescottgatorguydamonfjackansi
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Mixed on this one. How about making a thicker iPhone with a bigger battery?
    One would assume Apple has data on that and most people are OK with the tradeoff. Heck there are phones out there thinner than iPhone 6S. People say they want a thicker phone but my guess is if they got one they'd be complaining about the phone being too heavy and bulky.
    SpamSandwichtgr1
  • Reply 8 of 50
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member
    The knee jerk reaction to this here and elsewhere appears to be, “Hah, Apple admits its battery life sucks!” But unbiased reviewers like Andy Ihnatko (who doesn’t use an iPhone for his personal device) has repeatedly said that the iPhone has the best battery life of most phones out there, as well as the best camera.
    rogifan_oldlostkiwi
  • Reply 9 of 50
    Mixed on this one. How about making a thicker iPhone with a bigger battery?
    One would assume Apple has data on that and most people are OK with the tradeoff. Heck there are phones out there thinner than iPhone 6S. People say they want a thicker phone but my guess is if they got one they'd be complaining about the phone being too heavy and bulky.
    You may well be right about this, but do you agree this is one of their ugliest products ever?
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Mixed on this one. How about making a thicker iPhone with a bigger battery?
    One would assume Apple has data on that and most people are OK with the tradeoff. Heck there are phones out there thinner than iPhone 6S. People say they want a thicker phone but my guess is if they got one they'd be complaining about the phone being too heavy and bulky.
    You may well be right about this, but do you agree this is one of their ugliest products ever?
    No. Dalmatian and flower power iMacs, hockey puck mouse, original iBook, iPod socks were all worse than this IMO.

    I do wonder though if there are things Apple designers really don't care about but are pushed by marketing or retail and so their heart isn't in it. I think the 12" rMB is one of the most beautiful things Apple has ever designed. I love my iPad Pro. My sport watch band is the most comfortable watch band I've ever worn. But this seems like something they were told to do rather than something they wanted to do.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    Here's what Joanna Stern from the WSJ tweeted:

    [QUOTE]And yes, I'm buying it. I’ve had Mophies, Boostcases + more. They’re all ugly, chunky, hard to hold in comparison. [/QUOTE]
  • Reply 12 of 50
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,363member
     
    rogifan_old said:
    this seems like something they were told to do rather than something they wanted to do.
    I thought there was an obvious reason Apple designed it the way they did:
    I don't know I'm just guessing. I obviously don't have either to test it out. There obviously is a reason Apple designed it the way they did and I doubt it was aesthetics.

  • Reply 13 of 50
    I personally like the option to accessorize for what I plan to do for the day.  Apple has done an excellent job of engineering their phones to be thin and get a days worth of battery life.  I have had near every iPhone since the beginning and feel this is Apple's goal.

    I do not want to carry the extra weight of an extended battery pack for everyday use, but if I am traveling, I would not mind the thickness to get protection and added battery life. It makes sense to have this optional. This is what Apple is addressing.  I do not think this is admission of guilt, but an admission that users have differing needs. 

    I also have the option to put a waterproof case for when I am going near the water. 

    I can add lenses. Etc. 

    The amazing thing is because the iPhone is so thin even with these cases the iPhone isn't huge or very heavy.
    nolamacguylostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 50
    mac_128 said:
     
    rogifan_old said:
    this seems like something they were told to do rather than something they wanted to do.
    I thought there was an obvious reason Apple designed it the way they did:
    I don't know I'm just guessing. I obviously don't have either to test it out. There obviously is a reason Apple designed it the way they did and I doubt it was aesthetics.

    I wasn't talking about the design, I was talking about the product itself. I highly doubt Jony Ive's design team decided they needed to design a battery case. My guess is marketing or retail made that decision. I still think it was designed the way it was for a reason. That reason could be engineering, could be, something design didn't really cars about so chose not to waste a lot of time on it, could be anything. Or maybe this is something that just looks ugly but is much better in use (what Joanna Stern seems to be saying). Pretty much everyone knocking this hasn't actually seen one in person or used it. And the biggest knock in the reviews seems to be that there are just as good of options for cheaper (no surprise there).
  • Reply 15 of 50
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,363member
    I love how the Wall Street journal suddenly holds so much credibility with members of this forum.
    jackansi
  • Reply 16 of 50
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,363member
    You may well be right about this, but do you agree this is one of their ugliest products ever?
    Have you seen it in black? ;-)


    edited December 2015
  • Reply 17 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,461member
    I think this is the first time new physical product from Apple has ever been announced and launched in December.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,363member
    macapfel said:
    Clever move. Now Apple can ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 – but still have it in the thicker battery pack.
    This is a good point. This battery pack would be easier to make if it doesn't have to be compatible with every 3.5 headphone out there, just Lightning connectors. And they can easily incorporate an outboard 3.5mm Jack and DAC into the battery pack itself, giving hardcore 3.5mm traditionalists a dongle free existence, likely with higher quality audio, while giving them protection for their iPhone, since many people use cases already, as well as extended battery life.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    lkrupp said:
    The knee jerk reaction to this here and elsewhere appears to be, “Hah, Apple admits its battery life sucks!” But unbiased reviewers like Andy Ihnatko (who doesn’t use an iPhone for his personal device) has repeatedly said that the iPhone has the best battery life of most phones out there, as well as the best camera.
    No, the knee-jerk reaction is that it's fugly, and that's a tough pill to swallow given that it's from Apple. Had Samsung come out with a similarly ugly case, this forum will be lit up like a christmas tree on how Samsung is clueless about design.
    damonfjackansi
  • Reply 20 of 50
    lkrupp said:
    The knee jerk reaction to this here and elsewhere appears to be, “Hah, Apple admits its battery life sucks!” But unbiased reviewers like Andy Ihnatko (who doesn’t use an iPhone for his personal device) has repeatedly said that the iPhone has the best battery life of most phones out there, as well as the best camera.
    No, the knee-jerk reaction is that it's fugly, and that's a tough pill to swallow given that it's from Apple. Had Samsung come out with a similarly ugly case, this forum will be lit up like a christmas tree on how Samsung is clueless about design.
    They are knee-jerk reactions because no one has used this yet! Design isn't just about how something looks. Every review I've read so far says this product works well even if it won't win any beauty contests. 
    edited December 2015
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