Similar to battery cases from Mophie and Incipio, the $60 (£90 and AU$136) OtterBox Resurgence Power Case is a power pack that slips over your phone in an extra-large case. In addition to the battery reserves, it protects your phone from drops and scrapes, giving you extra peace of mind throughout the day.
The case features the battery charger, which you slide your device in to charge, and a thick bumper that goes all around the edges of the phone. Putting the case on and taking it off does require some muscle. When I put it on my phone, I had to press around the edges, snapping each side into place to make sure it was securely attached.
To take it off, I start by prying the top of the rim off, and the rest of the rim comes off. This takes some wrangling, and sometimes I had to pull so hard I thought I would break it. I'm sure this all helps keep the case snug and securely on the phone, but I don't really want to wrestle with this thing every time to take it off and put it on.
Its indicator light, which tells you the case's battery levels, encircles the power button on the back. These lights are hard to view outdoors in direct sunlight. Whenever I wanted to check my charge, I had to shade it with my hand in order to see if they turned on.
With this extra bulk, the case is going to add more weight and mass to your device too, necessitating a headphone extender (an unseemly but common requirement with these types of phone cases). I dropped the accessory with the phone inside on a cement surface several times (yes, on purpose), and the handset survived unscathed. There were times, however, when the rim would pop off after I dropped it, but it never broke apart -- I just had to snap it in place again. Of course, it'd be more reassuring if the accessory remained a solid piece after every tumble, but since it did well to protect the phone each time, taking the time to make to snap the case together again was a small price to pay than, say, a brand-new iPhone.
The case is equipped with a 2,600mAh battery, which isn't huge (compare it to the Mophie Juice Pack Plus or the Incipio OffGrid Express that have a 3,300mAh and 3,000mAh battery, respectively). This OtterBox case also won't fully charge your phone, but it will come close. One trial, it charged my iPhone to 97 percent (from 0 percent), while another time brought it up to 92 percent. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes for the case's battery reserves to completely drain. Indicator lights that sit around the on/off button show you how much battery you have left.
Compared with other cases, which have fewer seams, nooks and crannies, the OtterBox looks kind of rough around the edges. But it will protect your phone, and if you're a chronic phone dropper that fact alone will make it more appealing. Plus, at $60 (£90 and AU$136) it's still cheaper than some Mophie ($119.95, £109.95 and about AU$167) and Incipio cases. Get the OtterBox if you want a cheap durable phone case, that, yes, charges your phone, but doesn't do so completely. If that's a deal breaker, the Incipio OffGrid Express is a good-looking $80 alternative (or £60 and approximately AU$110) that will charge your phone to 100 percent.