Amazon and B&H Photo this week have introduced the first straight price discount on Apple's just-released Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The sales are discounting the price of the new accessory by about $11.
The cases are priced mostly the same, but Amazon does beat B&H Photo's sale by a few cents for the iPhone XS and XS Max Smart Battery Case in Black. Check out the full list below, and note that Apple sells each case for $129.00 on its website.
Priced at $129, the Smart Battery Cases come in either black or white and are made from the same material as Apple's silicone cases. From our hands on article:
How does it work?
The Smart Battery Cases are similar in design to a silicone case but with an extra bump on the back that houses the battery pack. While attached to the iPhone, the Smart Battery Case functions like an external battery pack, providing additional power to the iPhone.
A Lightning connector built into the case connects to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but Lightning access remains available due to an additional Lightning port in the case itself.
When you have the Smart Battery Case on your iPhone, your iPhone will use all of the charge in the case before expending its own battery.
What's the capacity?
Each of the Smart Battery Cases features two 1,369mAh battery cells inside. Because there are two battery cells wired together, the cases run at a higher voltage that offers 10.1Wh of energy, making them higher capacity than previous battery cases introduced for iPhone 6s and 7.
How much extra battery life does it add?
Apple lists the approximate battery life you can expect from each iPhone while in the case, broken down into different use cases.
- iPhone XR total battery life with case - Up to 39 hours talk time, 22 hours internet use, and 27 hours video playback.
- iPhone XS total battery life with case - Up to 33 hours talk time, 21 hours internet use, and 25 hours video playback.
- iPhone XS Max total battery life with case - Up to 37 hours talk time, 20 hours internet use, and 25 hours video playback.
So, if we compare those totals with the normal battery life for each of these devices, we can see how much additional battery life each case adds. Normal battery life estimates for each iPhone:
- iPhone XR: Up to 25 hours talk, 15 hours internet, 16 hours video
- iPhone XS: Up to 20 hours talk, 12 hours internet, 14 hours video
- iPhone XS Max: Up to 25 hours talk, 13 hours internet, 15 hours video
The estimated additional battery life added with each Smart Battery Case:
- iPhone XR: +14 hours talk time, +7 hours internet time, +11 hours video playback
- iPhone XS: +13 hours talk time, +9 hours internet time, +11 hours video playback
- iPhone XS Max: +12 hours talk time, +7 hours internet time, +10 hours video playback
These are, of course, estimates from Apple based on certain tasks on the iPhone. The actual battery life that you get from each Smart Battery Case is going to vary based on what you're doing, but in general, these cases are adding 50 to 75 percent additional battery depending on task.
How does the case charge?
Apple built Qi wireless charging into the Smart Battery Case, so both the case and the iPhone can be charged using any Qi wireless charging accessory.
You can also charge the case via Lightning, and if you use a USB-PD compatible charger (aka a USB-C charger paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable) the case will charge up even faster. For fast charging, you can use one of Apple's USB-C Power Adapters for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook, but third-party USB-C chargers over 18W also work.
Your iPhone will always charge before the case if the battery is low, and once the iPhone's battery is full, the case will charge. You can also charge the case all on its own without your iPhone inside using any of these charging methods.
Note: The Smart Battery Case does not come with a Lightning cable for charging purposes, so you will need to supply your own.
Can I use the Lightning port with the case on?
The Smart Battery Case’s Lightning port acts as a passthrough, so you can use Lightning-based accessories like headphones and adapters with your phone while it’s inside the case.
How can I check remaining battery life?
When the Smart Battery Case is attached to the iPhone, the battery life of the case is displayed on the Lock screen when you put it on a wireless charger, attach it to an iPhone for the first time, or attach a Lightning cable.
You can also check the battery life at any time by swiping to the right on the Home screen to open the Today view of the Notification Center. There's a battery widget that lists the battery life of the iPhone, the case, and other attached devices like AirPods or the Apple Watch.
Does the XS case work with the iPhone X?
Yes, with some caveats. The case is designed for the iPhone XS and while the iPhone X and XS are nearly identical, there are a few minor differences. For this reason, the speaker and microphone holes on the case don't line up right on the iPhone X, and the camera cutout is a little off.
You can get the iPhone X in the case, though, and it will charge, but you might run into some problems and need to do a little troubleshooting.
Attaching the case to the iPhone X might result in a popup suggesting the iPhone is not compatible with it, but if you dismiss this popup, it should still charge. If charging does not work, you may need to restart or update your version of iOS to iOS 12.1.3, which is currently in beta testing.
Where can I buy the Smart Battery Case?
Apple sells the Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR both online and in its retail stores. The cases are priced at $129.
Apple is offering the Smart Battery Cases in black or white, and while there are separate versions for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, each case costs $129 and appears to have the same capacity.
The cases look similar to the prior Smart Battery Cases Apple offered for the iPhone 7, consisting of a silicone shell with a bump at the back that contains the battery. The cases are easy to grip, but bulky, and the iPhone XS Max version adds a decent bit of weight.
There's a 10.1 Whr battery inside of the cases, which is higher capacity than previous Smart Battery Cases. You can expect to get about 50 to 75 percent additional battery from each case, depending on what you're doing.
Specifically, on the iPhone XS Max with the Smart Battery Case, you'll get up to 37 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback.
The iPhone XS with XS Smart Battery Case offers up to 33 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback, while the iPhone XR with iPhone XR Smart Battery Case offers up to 39 hours of talk time, up to 22 hours of internet use, and up to 27 hours of video playback.
The cases support Qi wireless charging, so you can charge them using a Qi-based charger (though it won't fit on some upright models) or a Lightning cable. You can even fast charge if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable and a compatible USB-C power adapter, such as the 30W MacBook charger. You don't have to use Apple's solutions -- any 18W+ USB-C PD power adapter will work.
You need to attach the Lightning connector in the case to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but because the case has its own Lightning port, you can use it as a passthrough for Lightning accessories like headphones.
With the Smart Battery Case attached, you can check how much battery life is left in the case using a widget in the Today section of the Notification Center or via the Lock screen. Your iPhone will always use the battery provided by the case before expending its own battery, but when charging, your iPhone will charge first.
All in all, the Smart Battery Case is one of the simplest ways to get extra battery life for the iPhone because it doesn't require an extra external accessory or a cable and there are multiple ways to charge it, but that convenience definitely comes at a cost.
Do you think Apple's Smart Battery Cases are worth shelling out $129? Let us know in the comments.
Apple yesterday debuted new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, and review units are in the hands of members of the media and some lucky people who received early deliveries.
Many iPhone X users have been wondering if the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case will work with the older model given that the two devices are nearly identical in design, and the answer appears to be yes, though there is some uncertainty.
This morning, iMore's Rene Ritchie put an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2 in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case and received an error suggesting the iPhone X was not compatible with the case. It did not charge.
He updated the iPhone X to iOS 12.1.3, however, and was able to get the iPhone X to charge in the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case.
Update: iOS 12.1.2 DID NOT work for me with iOS XS case. iOS 12.1.13 DOES work for me.
iPhone XS Max case DOES charge X for @chriswelch on iOS 12.1.2. It DOES NOT for me, even on 12.1.13.
A MacRumorsreader was also able to get the iPhone X to charge in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case, and Chris Welch of The Verge said in his testing, the iPhone X was able to charge an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2 in an iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case.
Nothing but XS Max charges in my XS Max case, not even XS or XR. What version of iOS?
So it appears, based on this limited amount of testing, that the iPhone X is going to charge in an iPhone XS Smart Battery Case, though there could be some compatibility issues on iOS 12.1.2. We will be keeping an eye out for further testing to confirm the status of the iPhone X with the iPhone XS case.
It is worth noting that while the iPhone X may charge in the iPhone XS Battery Case, the fit is imprecise. The speaker and microphone holes do not line up, and the camera cutout is a bit off.
Apple's Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, (and presumably XR), feature 10.1Whr batteries that extend the life of each iPhone.
The iPhone XS Max normally offers up to 25 hours talk time, 15 hours of internet use, and 15 hours of video playback, which is extended to 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of internet, and 25 hours of video playback with the Smart Battery Case.
The iPhone XS alone features up to 20 hours of talk time, 12 hours of internet use, and 14 hours of video playback, which is extended to 33 hours of talk time, 21 hours of internet use, and 25 hours of video playback with the Smart Battery Case.
The iPhone XR features up to 25 hours of talk time, 15 hours of internet use, and 16 hours of video playback, which is extended to 39 hours of talk time, 22 hours of internet use, and 27 hours of video playback.
While reports today suggested that Apple's new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have lower battery capacities than previous versions for iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models, it turns out the new cases actually have larger capacities than the old ones when taking voltage into consideration.
The new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max cases are rated at 1,369 mAh, lower than the iPhone 6/6s case at 1,877 mAh and iPhone 7 case at 2,365 mAh, but according to Rene Ritchie, there are actually two such cells in the case.
As a result, the new cases run at a higher voltage that yields a total of 10.1 Wh of energy compared to 7.13 Wh for the iPhone 6/6s case and 8.98 Wh for the iPhone 7 case.
Also, New Battery Cases have more/higher density batteries than previous generations.
They use 2 cells now instead of 1. So, you’re getting around 1.4 additional watt hours and almost 400 more milliamp hours.
Paired with Smart Battery Cases, Apple says the iPhone XS gets up to 33 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback, while the iPhone XS Max gets up to 37 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback.
Of course, real-world testing will prove more valuable than tech specs, so we'll see how the new cases truly stack up in the coming days.
Apple introduced Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR yesterday. All three are priced at $129 in the United States, with deliveries and in-store availability slated to begin this week. Apple says the cases are not compatible with the iPhone X, but results have varied so far.
Most notably, Guy notes the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max cases each have 1,369 mAh battery capacities, making them the lowest-capacity Smart Battery Cases ever released. Apple's older battery cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 have capacities of 1,877 mAh and 2,365 mAh respectively.
Both iPhone XS and XS MAX Smart Battery Case have a 1369 mAh capacity. iPhone 7 version was 2365, iPhone 6 was 1877. pic.twitter.com/MtJdFC98qQ
Apple says the iPhone XS paired with the case offers up to 33 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback, while the iPhone XS Max paired with the case offers up to 37 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of internet use, and up to 25 hours of video playback.
He also notes that the iPhone XS case weighs 3.46 ounces, while the iPhone XS Max case comes in at 3.81 ounces.
Guy provided close-up photos of the new cases and compared them to the older versions. The biggest difference is the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max versions no longer have a chin extending past the bottom of the iPhone.
6/6S, 7, XS, XS Max. Notably, XS is the same height as the 6/7 series models, thanks to the lack of a chin. pic.twitter.com/hpeRtgQJHO
Apple introduced Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR yesterday. Each is priced at $129 in the United States, with deliveries and in-store availability slated to begin Friday. Apple says the cases are not compatible with iPhone 8 or iPhone X models, but we'll see how true that is soon.
An icon depicting what appears to be a Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS has been spotted in action on an iPhone running iOS 12.1.2, providing yet another clue that Apple may be planning to release such an accessory.
The discovery was made by a Reddit user named Tom, who decided to significantly trim down Apple's Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 7 to fit his iPhone X. Not only did the case function, but it also revealed the iPhone X-esque Smart Battery Case icon with a slimmer design and a vertical camera cutout.
Apple discontinued the iPhone X in September, so the icon likely applies to the iPhone XS, which sports the same physical design.
Rambo also uncovered references to three model identifiers for the case in iOS code, including A2070, A2071 and A2171, suggesting that Apple could release the case in three different sizes for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Another identifier supposedly hinted at a 2018 release, which did not happen.
Apple has never released a Smart Battery Case for a plus-sized iPhone, however, and the larger iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max already deliver longer battery life, so it's possible the new case could be for the iPhone XS only if released.
Apple's first Smart Battery Case was for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, and was equipped with a 1,877 mAh battery that protruded out of the back of the case. Apple later released an iPhone 7 version with a similar design but larger 2,365 mAh battery. Both remain available to purchase for $99 in the United States.
By now, there has been plenty of evidence to suggest that Apple has at least considered releasing a Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS. Whether the plan comes to fruition remains to be seen — a release could certainly be soon.
Photos of Apple's rumored Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have been uncovered in a product merchandising guide for Apple Premium Resellers that was obtained by the blog Appleosophy.
The guidelines instruct Apple Premium Resellers how to organize Apple's various leather and silicone cases for the iPhone 7 through iPhone XS Max in their stores. While the photos are low resolution, two of the cases clearly have a battery pack hump and a cutout for the vertically-aligned rear camera on the latest iPhones.
The new Smart Battery Cases are listed as "leather" products, but this is likely a mistake, as they appear to be silicone in the photos like Apple's previous Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7.
The guidelines are dated "Fall 2018," suggesting that Apple planned to release the new Smart Battery Cases within the past few months. The season officially ends this Friday, December 21, so there's still some time. Of course, Apple may also delay the cases until 2019 or never end up releasing them.
Apple's first Smart Battery Case was for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, and was equipped with a 1,877 mAh battery that protruded out of the back of the case. Apple later released an iPhone 7 version with a similar design but larger 2,365 mAh battery. Both remain available for purchase for $99 in the United States.
At this point, ample evidence of Smart Battery Cases for the latest iPhones has surfaced, so all eyes are on Apple's online store.
Apple appears to be readying the release of a new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS, and possibly versions for the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR too, based on information uncovered by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo.
Rambo uncovered references to three model identifiers for the case in iOS code, including A2070, A2071 and A2171, suggesting that Apple could release the case in three different sizes for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Another identifier found in the iOS code reportedly points towards a 2018 release.
Apple's first Smart Battery Case was for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, and was equipped with a 1,877 mAh battery that protruded out of the back of the case. Apple later released an iPhone 7 version with a similar design but larger 2,365 mAh battery. Both cost $99 in the United States, with the latter still available.
9to5Mac earlier found an icon in the watchOS 5.1.2 beta that appears to correlate to the new Smart Battery Case. The icon suggests the case will have a Lightning connector, but it's unclear if wireless charging will be supported. It also looks like the new cases might not have a "chin" extending past the bottom of the iPhone.
It's not out of the ordinary for Apple to release new accessories in December, with the original Smart Battery Case launching this month in 2015 and AirPods launching in December 2016 after a multi-month delay.
It's been three years since Apple first debuted the $99 Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6, 6s, and eventually 7, which included a rear-facing protrusion that held a 1,877 mAh battery. Apple may be working on a similar accessory for newer iPhone models, according to a discovery made by 9to5Mac in the second beta of watchOS 5.1.2.
In previous versions of watchOS, Apple Watch had an icon that displayed a battery case with a bottom chin and horizontal camera, indicating this as the Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6, 6s, and 7. In the latest beta of watchOS 5.1.2, things have been changed and this icon now displays a battery case with no bottom chin and a vertical camera.
Image via 9to5Mac
While far from a confirmation, this suggests that Apple could be working on a Smart Battery Case for the latest set of iPhones with vertically aligned cameras, which would include iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. For previous generations, Apple never made Smart Battery cases for "Plus" iPhones, presumably because a major selling point for those devices was increased battery life sans battery case.
Unless Apple changes tune, this means we'd likely see a Smart Battery Case for iPhone X/XS. Still, the launch window for such an accessory -- if there even is one -- remains unclear.