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Unboxing Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS/Max

A close-up look at Apple's newest battery case, bulge and all.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
iPhone Smart Battery Case
1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's most recent iPhones now have Apple-made battery cases: the XS, XS Max and XR. We have the XS and XS Max versions here: let's take a look.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
2 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple first released its own battery cases for the iPhone starting with the iPhone 6S. The new $129 cases aren't all that different in concept.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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The rubberized elastomer stretches back, and the iPhone slides in.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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The microfiber inside keeps things scuff-free. A Lightning port inside the case docks with the iPhone, and it's connected. 

iPhone Smart Battery Case
5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Case and phone can charge together, or the case can charge separately over Lightning or wireless Qi charging.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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It's bulky. Here's the bottom, with the case's Lightning port pass-through and speaker/mike holes.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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The bulge has moved down a bit from the older case's mid-body bump. The same 1,369mAh battery is on both XS and XS Max battery cases.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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Charge status for the case shows up in Apple's battery widget on the iPhone.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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Side profile: You'll need sizable pockets.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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Both cases feel comfortable to hold, though, and protect the iPhone reasonably well.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
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Plugging in the case to charge on its own. So far, the case has enough juice to top off the iPhones well through the day, but the battery capacity is less than what's in either iPhone.

iPhone Smart Battery Case
12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

There's a little LED light that glows orange then green when fully charged, but the case doesn't show battery status otherwise. Read more impressions as we keep testing them.

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