Mophie has made an amazing business out of cases for smartphones with included batteries. In hindsight, it’s such a simple idea but the execution and timing made for a expansive empire. No original manufacturer, those who make the actual smartphones, has made a battery case to go with their fantastic smartphones. In a way, it’s admitting defeat or acknowledging a shortcut in a prized device. Apple has decided they need to give their new iPhones a boost. Granted, the iPhone 6 and 6s (Plus as well) are all incredibly thin; it’s a true feat of engineering. But people want their smartphones to work for as long as possible so now we have the Apple Smart Battery Case. It’s one of the ugliest things Apple has made in quite some time, is it worth the extra boost in battery life?

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Looks

I’ve already said it and I’ll say it again: this Smart Battery Case is not pretty. It’s rubber and flexible, built perfectly to spec for the iPhone 6. It adds a bit of a chin at the bottom but nothing obnoxious, especially considering relative chins on Mophie cases. It also comes in two colors: white and grey. However, the design choices made here are not one of carelessness or laziness. It’s the opposite because Mophie has very specific patents in regards to battery case design. So any sort of similarity would be copyright infringement and Apple would be in another lawsuit.

Then there’s the other side of the spectrum where there are a ton of other case companies making battery cases too and while copyright infringement isn’t a concern, Apple doesn’t want to be accused of being derivative. So in the end, we have a more elegant flexible one piece design with an unfortunate bulge on the back because that’s the corner Apple has been backed into.

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What It Does

As for functionality, the Smart Battery Case does exactly what you think it would do. It more than doubles your battery life so you can worry less and use more. A neat little feature which puts the “smart” in Smart Battery Case is how the remaining charge in the case is displayed. It actually shows up in the Notifications tab with a little percentage number next to it. A nice touch and no deciphering of blinking lights on Mophie cases.

In the end, all battery cases are ugly. The Smart Battery Case is no exception and adds a little bit of functionality as well as quality assurance with the Apple name in front of it. Is it worth $99 of your well earned dollars?

Meet Weston Lanpher

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.