Smart Bat­tery Case ex­tends iPhone’s life

Case boosts iPhone’s bat­tery life by 80 per­cent

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Peter Sayer

Sure, it’s just an iPhone bat­tery case, but what marks this one out from the many oth­ers is the man­u­fac­turer: Ap­ple. The £79 iPhone 6s Smart Bat­tery Case is the first sign that Ap­ple is ready to ac­knowl­edge that its phones are too thin to con­tain ad­e­quate bat­ter­ies. The case adds 80

per­cent to the bat­tery life – and about 100 per­cent to the thick­ness – of an iPhone 6 or 6s.

Un­like most third-party bat­tery add-ons, the back of the case isn’t flat, but has a bulge in the middle hous­ing the bat­tery.

Ap­ple claims the iPhone 6s al­lows you to surf the In­ter­net on LTE for “up to” 10 hours, a fig­ure that could reach up to 18 hours with the ex­ter­nal bat­tery. The bat­tery could also boost talk time from up to 14 hours to around 25, while video could play for up to 20 hours rather than 11.

The catch is in the words “up to”– and Ap­ple is by no means unique in us­ing them: Pretty much ev­ery elec­tronic de­vice man­u­fac­turer does the same.

If you spend your days in an of­fice with sub­dued de­signer light­ing in hy­per-con­nected Sil­i­con Val­ley, where the near­est cell tower is no more than a few hun­dred me­ters away, you’re go­ing to get some­thing close to the max­i­mum the­o­ret­i­cal bat­tery life as your screen dims and the phone whis­pers to the nearby net­work.

For the rest of us, light­ing is harsher and cell tow­ers more dis­tant, so our phones crank up the bright­ness and shout to the net­work, drain­ing their bat­ter­ies all the faster. That “all-day” bat­tery can of­ten be empty long be­fore it’s time to go home.

It used to be pos­si­ble to keep a spare phone bat­tery for sit­u­a­tions like that, but one of Ap­ple’s in­no­va­tions with the first iPhone in 2007 was to make the bat­tery

non-re­mov­able, a fea­ture it has repli­cated in ev­ery model since, and which other man­u­fac­tur­ers have since adopted, too.

One jus­ti­fi­ca­tion given for us­ing non-re­mov­able bat­ter­ies is that with­out the need for a re­mov­able pro­tec­tive cover and clips to hold it in place, the phone can be made thin­ner – or the bat­tery can be big­ger for a given thick­ness of phone.

Un­til now, Ap­ple has cho­sen the for­mer course (as have other man­u­fac­tur­ers), mak­ing phones ever thin­ner, frus­trat­ing many who would like to be able to use their phones for longer and who would barely no­tice if their phones were a mil­lime­tre thicker.

They’ll cer­tainly no­tice the ad­di­tional thick­ness of the iPhone 6s Smart Bat­tery Case, which ap­pears to add about 7 mm to the 7.1 mm iPhone 6s, to judge by the pho­tos Ap­ple has re­leased. Had Ap­ple cho­sen to make the iPhone 6s that much thicker to be­gin with, it may well have been able to boost the phone’s bat­tery life by 400 per­cent, not 80 per­cent.

Maybe it just wants a slice of the profit that the many other man­u­fac­tur­ers of ex­ter­nal bat­tery cases are mak­ing – or maybe Ap­ple is test­ing cus­tomer ac­cep­tance of a thicker new phone.

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