With its new pair of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus flagships, Apple promises to deliver a longer battery life than its previous 6S and 6S Plus. In fact, the company reported that the iPhone 7 lasts up to two hours longer on certain tasks (like video playback) than the 6S, and the iPhone 7 Plus lasts an hour longer than its predecessor.
While we continue to run final battery trials to test these claims, anecdotally, CNET reviewer Scott Stein noticed that there was a practical boost in battery life, but nothing too dramatic.
If you're a power user, a couple of hours of extra usage time and a "practical boost" doesn't sound very reassuring. Though there are some steps you can take to minimize battery drain, these methods can only go so far. Given enough time, you're bound to run out of reserves and a power outlet isn't always guaranteed to be nearby.
To power up your iPhone while still on the go, you may be interested in a protective case that has its own battery built in. A flick of a switch or push of a button will recharge your phone, without you having to crawl around looking for power or carrying around a separate power brick.
The bad news is that apart from Apple, our favorite charging case companies haven't announced their models for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The good news is that I expect most of them to release these juiced-up accessories in due time. To get an idea for what's in store, you'll find my top picks for the iPhone 6S below. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus charging cases should look similar enough, but with two major changes: a wider camera window for the 7 Plus' double-camera, and no headset jack passthrough because, well, there's no headset jack.
Of the cases included in this list, the Smart Battery Case for iPhone 7 is available now on Apple's site. Though it's expected to remain costlier than its competitors (at $99 in the US, £79 in the UK and AU$165 in Australia), and it still has that unsightly bulge in the back, enthusiasts will like that it's the only official battery case from Apple. Unlike all the other third-party battery cases, this one also charges via Apple's proprietary eight-pin Lightning port -- the same as the iPhone itself. Lastly, the new Smart Case has 26 percent more power than before. Read the full review here.
With a beefy 3,300mAh battery, Mophie's battery case can fully charge your iPhone 6S in one go and still have plenty of juice left over. Sturdily designed by a company that jumped into the industry early, the accessory is pricey ($119.95 and £109.95; Australian pricing is not available but converted it's about AU$167), but it's one of the most well-known and reliable cases available. Read the full review here.
If you're looking for a case with power and some extra durability, the Resurgence Power Case was built tough and will protect your iPhone from everyday bumps and drops. Sure, it's bulkier than your usual battery case and it requires some muscle to attach and remove, but you'll have extra peace of mind, too. Though the Resurgence Power Case won't be available for the iPhone 7, OtterBox will begin shipping out its uniVerse case for the iPhone 7 at the end of September. This modular-like case lets you slide different components, including a backup battery, into its frame. Read the full Resurgence Power Case review here.
Featuring a clean, unfussy design and a timely charging rate, the Atomic S Battery Case is one of our favorites for its price range of $79.95 (or about £60 and AU$105 converted). Its large, oval-shaped opening in the back (which makes room for the camera), is a little funky -- but considering its affordability, we'll get over it. Atomic S cases for the iPhone 7 are available now and the 7 Plus is scheduled for mid-October. Read the full review here.
Although I had some gripes with its design (like its few inelegant seams) the Offgrid Express is still a decent battery case that doubles your iPhone's battery life with its built-in 3,000mAh battery. In addition, at $80 (or £60 and approximately AU$110), it's competitively priced, too. Incipio is expected to launch the Offgrid Express for the iPhone 7 in late November or early December. Read the full review here.
At just $40 (or £30 in the UK; the price converts to about AU$53 in Australia), the Ultra-Slim Battery Case is one of the cheapest charging cases available. While I don't like the fact that its charging lights continuously stay on while it powers up an iPhone, the case doesn't make many more compromises beyond that. Read the full review here.