Last year I wrote about the Prong PocketPlug, an iPhone case outfitted with what I considered an ingenious amenity: fold-out wall prongs so you could recharge your iPhone by plugging it directly into an outlet -- no cable required.
Given the size of the case, however, it seemed to have one thing missing: a supplemental battery to extend your iPhone's runtime.
It took awhile, but that missing element has arrived: The Prong PWR Case for iPhone 5/5S adds a battery to the mix. But not where you think -- the battery lives outside the case.
Huh? The Prong PWR consists of two elements: A basic bumper designed to protect your phone and a battery-equipped sled. The former slips into the latter when you need extra juice, and the sled itself has prongs for keeping plugged right into an outlet.
This is not exactly what I expected, as the original PocketPlug seemed like it had plenty of room inside for a battery. However, I can see the advantage of this design: Backup power when you need it, but no extra bulk when you don't.
Indeed, a colleague of mine uses a similar product -- the Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case -- and swears by it. Plus, you can continue using your iPhone while the battery charges, which was something of a limitation with the previous version.
Like that one, the PWR has a Micro-USB port in the bottom just in case you do want corded charging. It stocks a 1,500mAh battery, which is on the small side for an extended-battery case. (The aforementioned Energi has a 2,500mAh cell inside -- but no wall prongs.)
However, at $80 the PWR costs less the Tylt ($100), and if you pre-order now, you can get one for $65 (plus $5 for shipping). It's available in your choice of four colors.
If you're tired of dealing with wall warts, charging cables, and, especially, dead batteries, this might be just the case you need.