Apple revealed its first Mophie-style “Smart Battery Case” on Tuesday, though the design looks a bit rushed. The new accessory promises to add up to 25 hours of extra battery life and integrates directly with your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s.
The case, which comes in white or black and costs $99, features a soft silicone design that’s easy to remove. It also wraps around the edges of the device to protect it from falls. Our only real issue is that hump in the back, which looks pretty silly compared to more elegant solutions from Mophie and others.
On the plus side, Apple’s Smart Battery Base boasts direct integration with the iPhone. That means you’ll see your secondary battery life displayed on the lockscreen and in the Notification Center, making it easy to track how much power remains. It also features smarter charging and a built-in passive antenna to avoid any cell signal issues.
For now the new case is limited to Apple’s 4.7-inch phones, which seems like a pretty strong admission that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s still struggle with battery life. It’s unclear if the iPhone 6s Plus will get the same treatment, though based on our own experience that might not be a bad idea. Even the larger battery included in the 5.5-inch smartphone starts to suffer after the first year of use.