I like the iPhone 6 quite a bit. Outside of it lacking a decent Amazon Kindle app, I still prefer my Lumia 830 overall, but the iPhone 6 is a very close second. If absolutely necessary, I could live happily with the iPhone 6 as my daily driver.
Battery life, however, isn’t a particular strength of the iPhone 6. When I’m using mine on a consistent basis, which is a mix of a few phone calls, some texting, using a variety of apps, and taking copious notes in OneNote, mine lasts from when I get up at around 7:00am to around 3:00pm in the afternoon. I usually put it to charge at around 30%, which means that I can’t quite go a full work day (say, ending at 5:00pm) before beginning to worry that I’ll completely run out.
With the Lumia 830, I can carry an extra battery and swap out when running low. No such luck with the iPhone 6’s non-removable battery. And so, an external battery case becomes an important consideration, and given the iPhone’s popularity, there are quite a few from which to choose.
The concept is simple. Instead of a simple case, which protects the device, a battery case adds both protection and extra battery capacity. The result is a much thicker device, particularly in the case of the ultra-thin iPhone 6, but significantly increased standalone battery life to go with it.
I received a review unit of the iBatteryCASE from LifeCharge, and put it to the test over a few days. My conclusion: it’s a well-built case that provides decent protection and good performance. Read on for a few details.
Build Quality and Design
At $69.99 retail, the iBatteryCASE isn’t the most expensive battery case on the market, nor the cheapest. It’s good thing, then, that it has a quality feel, making it a moderate bargain. It’s a little creaky at times, given its design–the iPhone 6 slips into the case and plugs into a Lightning connector, and then a thin border snaps over the top to secure everything in place. The tabs snapping the border into place can give a little as the assembled case is gripped at the sides, but it’s nothing terrible.
The case adds quite a bit of thickness, making for a chunky carry. Adding in a large battery will do that, of course, but the iBatteryCASE does a good job of maintaining an elegant look and provides easy access to all buttons and ports. There’s an audio cable to plug into the headphone jack that works well without an apparent loss of quality, Finally, the unit uses a microUSB charger, which is a real plus if you find yourself surrounded by standard charges and with no Lightning charger in sight.
In terms of protecting the iPhone 6, I’d be comfortable that the case could provide sufficient protection for moderate drops and bumps, but I wouldn’t rank it as providing military-grade protection. I didn’t perform any drop-testing myself, but if I had to guess (very unscientifically), I’d say the case might protect the iPhone 6 but wouldn’t survive itself if dropped from any significant height to a hard surface.
Once the iPhone 6 is slotted into the case, hitting a small circular button on the lower ride corner starts charging and shows the case’s battery life for two seconds or so. When the iBatteryCASE is plugged in with the smartphone in place, priority is given to charging the iPhone 6 and then charging the case’s batteries. The charging/battery check button was easy to press accidentally, a bit of a flaw to the design.
From what I could tell, the case provided power to the iPhone 6 for a period of time before going into a standby mode. I expected the case to keep the iPhone 6 fully charged until running out of power itself, but I noticed on occasion that the smartphone would run down and I needed to press the charging button to get it charging again. I’m not sure if this is the case’s design, a flaw, or if I was accidentally pressing the button and turning charging off.
In any case, the 3000mAh battery performed exactly as expected, providing about 1.5X the iPhone 6’s native battery life. I was able to go two full days of use and until sometime in the morning of the third day without plugging in. Nothing scientific, but it’s safe to assume that you’ll get the mathematical increase in longevity, which is excellent.
The iBatteryCASE is a quality product, performing as advertised and providing a moderate level of protection. It definitely impacts the iPhone 6’s svelte form, but that’s to be expected when packing in a large battery. It’s available in black and gold, and can be bought via Amazon Prime for $69.99. Highly recommended.