Review: Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6 & 6s

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  • Reply 21 of 102
    dugbugdugbug Posts: 283member
    What about the antenna reception enhancement 
  • Reply 22 of 102
    kpomkpom Posts: 657member
    satchmo said:
    the "baffling" design decisions aren't baffling. you just didn't understand why they did them. Gruber does:

    http://daringfireball.net/2015/12/the_curious_case_of_the_curious_case
    Gruber, Rene Ritchie and Jim Dalrymple get it. And since there are third-party options, which are even sold Apple stores, what's there to complain about. Buy something else if you don't like this option.
    Not so sure about Ritchie and Dalrymple's views...those two are getting annoyingly fanboyish. At least Gruber dares to cross the line and admits it's a very 'un-Apple like design'.

    However, writing a lengthy article to justify something so 'ungainly', is excuse-making at it's best. When has Apple neglected aesthetics and beauty in it's products? How many times have we heard Jobs or Cook gush over the 'gorgeous' design of an iPhone or MacBook.

    I'm all for functionality and usability. Heck, I wish there was more of it from Apple. To start, give me an iPhone that isn't so slippery to the touch. But let's just stop with the bullsh*t and apologizing for clearly, a case that never should have been needed in the first place.
    Not everyone "needs" this case. iPhone battery life has never been at the top of the market, so this is nothing new. Anyway, accessories have never been held to the same aesthetic standard as core devices. Apple under Steve Jobs sold iPod Socks, tacky bands to "convert" iPod nanos to watches, and the hockey puck mouse. 
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 23 of 102
    kpomkpom Posts: 657member
    I'm not sure what an external LED brings to the table. There are no LED indicators on the iPhone, so it's no surprise there are none on the case except on the inside (for those times when someone decides to charge the case separately). Otherwise, that's what the widget is for. This review makes no mention of the smart features, like the passive antenna, and how it prioritizes charging of the phone vs the case. 
  • Reply 24 of 102
    I love how people complain about people that hate a product that they've never owned but when a person reviews a product they own and give it a bad score you hate on them for not loving it. 
  • Reply 25 of 102
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  • Reply 26 of 102
    I don't see anybody else mentioning this here and for a review this is a glaring omission, but there is a fundamental difference from the way that the apple battery case operates and how the other cases in this segment function: if both batteries are fully charged, the Apple Smart Battery Case will deplete it's battery before allowing the phone to deplete it's internal battery.  This puts the charge cycles on the external battery, which is cheaper and easier to replace than the internal battery.  This saves you money and keeps your $600+ device younger, longer.  Other options in this segment are designed to recharge your internal battery once it is depleted, adding additional charge cycles to your usage pattern.

    You touched on one of the many good features of this case instead of complaining about the "hump". This case clearly had a well thought out design. From the internal antenna, the slim bottom to fit in existing docks, your point regarding how it charges and uses power to the ease of putting on and taking off the case. It's been awhile since Jobs has died and Apple is doing just fine. The MacBook is a wonderful, innovative design regardless of what color you pick. A little underpowered, so was the original MacBook Air, and yet it too was a ground breaking design so much so that Intel had to subsidize other computer manufacturers to get them to compete.  Jobs was a great visionary, but he also had a great engineering and design team. He is gone, but Apple still has a great engineering and design team that still knocks it out of the park. Are they perfect, no, but neither was Jobs. This battery case is great for those that need it, and no it doesn't mean the iPhone has shitty battery life, but rather gives customers that need it another option that incorporates some unique features.  If I needed one, I would probably get it for the lightening connector alone. Why didn't Morphie think of such a simple idea give their experience with battery cases? Or the internal antenna?  Could it be because their products would cost as much as Apple's? Or have they lost their innovation?  Should we be worried about Morphie, given the lead they had in making external battery cases?  With all the products Apple has, it is nice to know they sweat the details with even their accessories. 
    rogifan_oldkpom
  • Reply 27 of 102
    I'm fond of using the "Steve wouldn't approve ..." line myself, but you aren't offering any actual evidence of this here.  Steve Jobs would arguably be far more incensed by the gold painted laptops than this case, but you don't see anyone using the trope over those laptops. 

    I've actually never used that line before... not really a member of the "Steve was god" camp, since Steve was wrong about many things that have proven to be very successful for Apple--he thought phablet-sized phones were a joke, and felt the original iPad was the perfect and only size needed. Of course, no one can say with certainty what he would have thought of current Apple products, but as far as "gold painted laptops," there's a long history of Steve signing off on multiple colors, dating back to iMacs and iBooks in an assortment of "fruity colors," not to mention the entire iPod lineup. In fact, the gold that Apple is using is about the most subtle additional color they've ever offered, with the exception of black/space gray. 

    While beauty remains in the eye of the beholder, my particular eye sees The Hunchback battery case as the ugliest industrial design that Apple has released since Steve returned to lead the company a second time. 
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 28 of 102
    kpom said:
    satchmo said:
    the "baffling" design decisions aren't baffling. you just didn't understand why they did them. Gruber does:

    http://daringfireball.net/2015/12/the_curious_case_of_the_curious_case
    Gruber, Rene Ritchie and Jim Dalrymple get it. And since there are third-party options, which are even sold Apple stores, what's there to complain about. Buy something else if you don't like this option.
    Not so sure about Ritchie and Dalrymple's views...those two are getting annoyingly fanboyish. At least Gruber dares to cross the line and admits it's a very 'un-Apple like design'.

    However, writing a lengthy article to justify something so 'ungainly', is excuse-making at it's best. When has Apple neglected aesthetics and beauty in it's products? How many times have we heard Jobs or Cook gush over the 'gorgeous' design of an iPhone or MacBook.

    I'm all for functionality and usability. Heck, I wish there was more of it from Apple. To start, give me an iPhone that isn't so slippery to the touch. But let's just stop with the bullsh*t and apologizing for clearly, a case that never should have been needed in the first place.
    Not everyone "needs" this case. iPhone battery life has never been at the top of the market, so this is nothing new. Anyway, accessories have never been held to the same aesthetic standard as core devices. Apple under Steve Jobs sold iPod Socks, tacky bands to "convert" iPod nanos to watches, and the hockey puck mouse. 
    And don't forget the iPhone 4 bumpers that were needed because of an actual design flaw in the product. 
    kpom
  • Reply 29 of 102
    xamaxxamax Posts: 135member
    isteelers said:
    I don't see anybody else mentioning this here and for a review this is a glaring omission, but there is a fundamental difference from the way that the apple battery case operates and how the other cases in this segment function: if both batteries are fully charged, the Apple Smart Battery Case will deplete it's battery before allowing the phone to deplete it's internal battery.  This puts the charge cycles on the external battery, which is cheaper and easier to replace than the internal battery.  This saves you money and keeps your $600+ device younger, longer.  Other options in this segment are designed to recharge your internal battery once it is depleted, adding additional charge cycles to your usage pattern.

    You touched on one of the many good features of this case instead of complaining about the "hump". This case clearly had a well thought out design. From the internal antenna, the slim bottom to fit in existing docks, your point regarding how it charges and uses power to the ease of putting on and taking off the case. It's been awhile since Jobs has died and Apple is doing just fine. The MacBook is a wonderful, innovative design regardless of what color you pick. A little underpowered, so was the original MacBook Air, and yet it too was a ground breaking design so much so that Intel had to subsidize other computer manufacturers to get them to compete.  Jobs was a great visionary, but he also had a great engineering and design team. He is gone, but Apple still has a great engineering and design team that still knocks it out of the park. Are they perfect, no, but neither was Jobs. This battery case is great for those that need it, and no it doesn't mean the iPhone has shitty battery life, but rather gives customers that need it another option that incorporates some unique features.  If I needed one, I would probably get it for the lightening connector alone. Why didn't Morphie think of such a simple idea give their experience with battery cases? Or the internal antenna?  Could it be because their products would cost as much as Apple's? Or have they lost their innovation?  Should we be worried about Morphie, given the lead they had in making external battery cases?  With all the products Apple has, it is nice to know they sweat the details with even their accessories. 
    People are simply arrogant or dumb to start vomiting not well thought out opinions against a company that is all about design function and design form/aesthetics.

    With Apple's history of product conception, how well they craft their products by thinking them over from scratch, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand they simply cannot afford of not doing so at this point. So not departing from that starting point makes for extreme incompetence. Or maybe something else.

    All of a sudden the world is full of designers. People are just all too ready to spit venom and defile the knight in shinning armor that Apple still is amidst all the vipers.

    I'm not expressing my opinion here about the case, many of the intelligent Apple users like the a.m. have pointed out highly valuable advantages of this case over others. One of which is simplicity! I mean, one must be really mental to describe the lack of an external led light as a disadvantage. That's like stating that one of the Mac Mini's disadvantages is not having a tower case you can open under the desk and be with the butt pointing towards Meca like the other great computers out there. Yes it's that dumb. Yes it's that dissonant or ill intended. Bad faith.

    I don't know who bought AppleInsider but ever since there was a management change there seems to be a lurking Anti-Apple agenda.

    Even articles from DED sometimes just have murder titles that (don't!) ignore the fact that many people just read the titles and see them in Google News.

    I mean this guy has a chip on his shoulder, he starts this pseudo-review with ill intention, almost stating it is a crap product, in hatred. He knows many don't get past the first paragraph. And he certainly doesn't have the well developed brain and intelligence behind Apple design driven engineering and thus its users.

    I for one just downloaded the 9to5Mac App and will surely give it a go as my preferred Apple News source. Tired of the lower quality and sometimes simply destructive self serving articles that are on the other end of what I once was used from AppleInsider.

    By the way, do you want a shinny iPhone? Well, take the charger off and get a life.
    kpomdanhmessagepad2100
  • Reply 30 of 102
    sacha said:
    I honestly don't mind the idea of this, but it's flaws make it useless. There are much better options available on Amazon, so there isn't really a reason to get it. Good review.
    What flaw makes it useless?
    Soli
  • Reply 31 of 102
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    techlover said:

    The headphone jack not working with some headphones like some of Apples own Beats headphones seems like an inexcusable oversight.
    Nah, it won't matter at all when the iPhone 7 comes out without a headphone jack at all. Apple's just trying to prepare their customers to require an adapter if they want to listen to wired headphones that don't plug into the Lightning jack. ;-)
  • Reply 32 of 102
    This is a very weird (and pretty obviously biased) review IMO.  

    It goes on for a while about all the great features of the product, then it makes a single, wildly unsupportable claim ("... in normal mixed use ... we were left with ... about what you'd expect from an iPhone on its own."), then it depends into endless petty griping.  
    Yeah, that was awful. Wow. "we were left with a 12 percent charge on the case by the end of the day, about what you'd expect from an iPhone on its own." Wait, what? RLY?

    I dont care care if it's just 50% more battery, you'll have more at the end of the day than without. Maybe the reviewer struggled with the concept of charging the battery before deciding to lambast it poorly. ;)
    kpom
  • Reply 33 of 102

    the "baffling" design decisions aren't baffling. you just didn't understand why they did them. Gruber does:

    http://daringfireball.net/2015/12/the_curious_case_of_the_curious_case
    Gruber, Rene Ritchie and Jim Dalrymple get it. And since there are third-party options, which are even sold Apple stores, what's there to complain about. Buy something else if you don't like this option.
    Actually who "got it" first was Joanna Stern. This is a well-integrated, high quality battery for hard core iPhone 6/s users who needed more juice before the end of some days. It's an admission from Apple that the non-plus phones were underpowered for some.

    The end.  Full stop. There's no reason for twice the original battery life to get a power user through the day when the original was so close. Why add the bulk?  And this is the only case with Lightning (hello, Sherlocking), iOS integration, and maybe the only one with an integrated antenna. High quality, Apple stuff. 

    if you're not a power user who gets antsy about battery after 4pm, this isn't the case for you. But that also means it's probably the case for most people for whom the original phones' design fell a little short. 
    kpom
  • Reply 34 of 102
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,119member
    I like and agree with this unbiased and highly objective review.  Indeed, it's nice to see this review on a staunchly pro-Apple site like AppleInsider (my personal go-to site for all things Apple), simply because we Apple fans more often than not tend to be overly defensive of the status quo and of Apple's "infallible" design choices.  It comes with no surprise at all that many AppleInsider readers immediately trample upon the review and its author, praising Apple for the best battery case since sliced bread, ripping apart anyone and everyone who dares say otherwise, citing multiple sources that seemingly give their defense credibility.   Well, I break with those people and say otherwise.  

    That case looks awful.  I personally don't care if some of you think it would win a Miss Universe contest.  That thing looks horrendous, and is certainly not worthy of the typical praise Mr. Ive receives for his Mac designs.  Perhaps he was on vacation in the UK during the design of that case, having given authority over it to someone else.  In any case, one cannot effectively make the case for this humpty dumpty case!

    Apple is not infallible, folks.  You don't always need to defend the status quo at Cupertino.  And no, you are not joining Microsoft or Google or the Dark Side by offering our beloved fruit company some constructive criticism from time to time.  This is one of those times where we need to gnash our teeth and admit this case does not empower us with the same level of beauty and function that other Apple products usually offer.  

    Better luck next time, Apple Design.  We love you, but this battery case is one that only the Hunchback of Notre-Dame could love.
    mr oRobJenk
  • Reply 35 of 102
    Yeah I think Apple, was saying to itself "Why don't these guys make/put a lightning connector on their designs, we put out the spec and allow the use.  And they said, "That's it make a lighting battery case", but, "Nope, get it out the door"...
  • Reply 36 of 102
    "Really there should be an external LED readout like other cases, which would do away with having to... swipe down on notifications just to gauge how much life is left."

    Disagreed. Might as well put external LED lights directly on your iPhone to view its battery life as well then.

    "Apple's other design choices are just bizarre... There's no switch to turn the case off and save reserve power"

    So? Why would you save power for a case designed to help your phone itself save as much power as it could? That makes no sense. Power is first drawn from the case to maintain your iPhone's own battery life.

    Lets say Apple added the external battery directly into the iPhone 7's design, doubling the battery capacity. Should it also have an option to "save reserve power" by turning off half the battery cells? Do you see how that would make no sense? It's no different than saying your external battery should be turned off.

    "The case's flaws might be overlooked except that Apple is charging $99 for a bare-bones product. That's almost criminal when you can get a decent Anker case for $40..."

    Does the Anker case have two passive antennas to maintain signal strength, thus preventing your phone from consuming more power than it otherwise would to connect to the nearest cellphone tower?
    edited December 2015 kpom
  • Reply 37 of 102
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    rezwits said:
    Yeah I think Apple, was saying to itself "Why don't these guys make/put a lightning connector on their designs, we put out the spec and allow the use.  And they said, "That's it make a lighting battery case", but, "Nope, get it out the door"...
    I think we all know why the other manufacturers don't use a lightning connector ... License fees. But here's the bigger elephant in the room -- universal connectors. If someone uses a Mophie case, they can grab a charging cable from a non-Apple user. And those micro-usb cables are much less expensive. And let's face it, you use a Mophie case, you don't likely plug much into the phone besides a charging cable ever, relying on wireless to sync everything.

    Now consider Apple is moving to Lightning connectors on all of its peripherals, mainly for charging and nothing else. But they maybe using it as new headphone jack. And despite the obvious popularity of USB-C there's still going to be a need for a micro mobile connector (maybe Apple thinks they can replace micro usb) And they look around and realize anybody using a third party charging case can use any USB cable they want, which cuts Apple out of a lot of cables and accessories.  So they design their own, and because they don't really want anybody using a battery case they design it kinda homely-looking, so only those people who really need it will buy it. And they put Lightning in there so the people who are increasingly expanding their ecosystem will appreciate being able to use cords they have and buy it despite its looks because nobody else is doing it, but more lightning cords and overall embrace Lightning, for their add on accessories like headphones as well.

    i don't know ... I bet there's a lot of truth in there somewhere.

    but I will bet Moohie and the others offer a Lightning model in the very next update, depending on how big a chunk of their sales Apple takes.
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 38 of 102
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Does the Anker case have two passive antennas to maintain signal strength, thus preventing your phone from consuming more power than it otherwise would to connect to the nearest cellphone tower?
    I thought passive antennas were debunked in the late 90s, and actually do little if anything.
  • Reply 39 of 102
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    .

    i hope they make one for a 6s plus and I will buy it.
    But don't you see, they probably won't since the 6/SPlus doesn't need one. That's why in some way, this is an admission on Apples part that the battery in the 6/6S isn't adequate. If any part of my Lightning connector theory is correct, many Apple employees are walking around with Mophie cases and management noticed. And somebody realized that they were going to get cut out if even their own employees felt they needed battery cases.
  • Reply 40 of 102
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    mac_128 said:
    I thought passive antennas were debunked in the late 90s, and actually do little if anything.
    Where did you hear that?
    suddenly newton
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