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Mobile Accessories

iStand 6 battery case has a few cool tricks up its sleeve

At first glance, this iPhone 6 case looks like a typical battery backpack. Turns out it's a bit more.

The iStand 6 features a kickstand that also lets it function as a desktop dock. Wirelessky

If you bought an iPhone 6 last fall, you might just be getting to the point where battery life isn't what it used to be. All smartphone batteries lose capacity over time, hence the necessity for external power solutions.

A mobile charger is one option, but that makes for some awkward juggling when you're actually using the phone. If you don't mind some extra bulk, your best bet is often a battery case, which adds extra power without anything dangling from the charge port.

Take, for example, the Wirelessky iStand 6, a new extended-power case for iPhone 6. It packs a 3,500mAh battery into a surprisingly thin backpack, thus giving you nearly 200 percent more run time. (The iPhone 6 has a 1,900mAh battery built in.) And because it's a wraparound (as opposed to clip-on) case, it provides drop protection as well.

Ah, but wait: there's more. Though it looks virtually identical to every other battery case, the iStand 6 has a trick up its sleeve: The front bezel is hinged at the bottom and can fold all the way around behind the phone, effectively turning the case into a stand. (You knew the word "Stand" was in the name for some reason, right?)

Now you've got an easy way to prop up your phone for reading, photo viewing, FaceTime chats and whatnot. In fact, the iStand can also function as a desktop dock if that's your preference; it's admirably easy to slide your iPhone in and out.

There's one other handy feature that will especially appeal to global travelers: a tiny SIM-card drawer where you can stow an extra card. That's great for when you visit another country, need to swap SIMs and want a safe, convenient place to store the original.

The iStand is available in white, black, gold and gray, and it's currently available for sale only through Amazon. Price: $59.90. For sake of comparison, Anker's popular Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case sells for $40, but has a lower-capacity battery (2,850mAh) and doesn't perform any Transformers-style tricks. Think iStand is worth the extra $20?

Update: Exclusively for CNET readers, Wirelessky is offering the iStand 6 for $49.90.