If you've had your iPhone for any length of time, you've probably noticed a drop-off in battery life. For heavy users who can't go a whole day without a charge, or for those just looking for some added peace of mind, a battery case is a nice option that provides power and protection. Make no mistake, though, these cases will add some significant heft to your svelte smartphone - with some more than doubling its thickness. But you'll also gain the freedom to talk, text, or surf until you can find the next power outlet.
Design, battery capacity, price, and extra features are all factors to consider when choosing a battery case. As for design, some added bulk is a given, but not all cases are created equal. Some are thinner and lighter than others, and build quality varies from model to model. Battery capacity is important, but a larger cell doesn't always equal better performance.
Expect to spend upwards of £50 on a good battery case, but if you only need a short burst of emergency power, a smaller add-on device, such as the Mophie Juice Pack Reserve could be a good option, at only £20. In fact, if you don't want your phone to wear its battery, or you've already got a case for your iPhone, these types of add-on batteries are worth checking out too.
iPhone Battery Cases Featured in This Roundup
PhoneSuit Elite Battery Case (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: ten hours, thirty nine minutes
The PhoneSuit Elite Battery Case for the iPhone 4 and 4S adds more than double the battery life in a compact, classy, and relatively inexpensive package, edging out the Mophie Juice Pack Plus as best battery case. The PhoneSuit Elite also features a 5-watt/1-amp output, which makes for fast charging times - providing a full charge to a completely drained iPhone in less than two hours.
Mophie Juice Pack Plus (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: ten hours, forty three minutes
The Mophie Juice Pack Plus will effectively double your iPhone's life between charges - but it will also double the thickness of your phone. The pieces come apart a little too easily for my taste, but the mere girth of this case will assuredly protect your delicate iPhone from harm. You get a wide variety of colour choices including blue, pink, yellow, purple, red with black accents, all black, or like our test case, glossy white with a rubbery grey band around the case.
ChargeIt! 2X (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: nine hours, twenty five minutes
The ChargeIt! 2X for the iPhone 4/4S from Digital Treasures provides good battery life in a compact design, but so do plenty of other cases. The real standout feature here is its price. Whereas most battery cases will set you back about £50, the ChargeIt! 2X is available for £30 (plus international postage costs), which makes it worth considering if you're looking for some extra power on a budget.
Kensington BungeeAir Power (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: five hours, eleven minutes
The Kensington BungeeAir Power case is a nice option for people looking for extra juice and added security for their delicate phones and the sensitive information contained within. Simply snap on the case and attach the included key fob to your keys and you are all set. Press the alert button on the key fob and your phone will play the most recent song you listened to, as well as beep and vibrate. Walk too far away from your phone and an alarm will sound on the key fob.
Third Rail System (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: N/A
If you want the extra juice of a battery case without the bulk, the Third Rail System can't be beat - but the most power-hungry should look elsewhere. The Third Rail System uses a modular design, allowing you to choose when to add batteries or when you just want a slim, protective case.
XtremeMac Incharge Mobile (for iPhone 4 and 4S)
Added Talk Time: nine hours, seventeen minutes
The XtremeMac Incharge Mobile is a good looking battery case, with a nice rubberised feel and angular lines, but it doesn't quite match up to the PhoneSuit Elite or the Mophie Juice Pack Plus in terms of added battery life. The Incharge Mobile also features a built-in, metal stand, but to use it you must pop the top off the case, which is a bit annoying and impractical.
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