I was recently given this Magnetic Battery Case for an iPhone 5S to review and whilst it’s generally a well made case that does exactly what it says, there are a few quirks you need to be aware of.
First up, what is it?
It’s a slimline, hard case for the iPhone 5 or 5S with an add-on high-capacity battery that can sit on the back. Hidden in the back of the phone case are a few strategically placed magnets that mate up with the battery pod, easily holding it snugly in place and then there’s a short lightning cable that plugs into the phone to charge the phone’s internal battery.
The case itself is a regular case that protects the surface of the phone from scratches and small bumps (although it’s not shock resistant or anything like that) and it’s available in a few different colours to suit your phone or suit your mood.
The battery pod has the same colour on the rear with a smooth white acrylic front surface that seems to hold onto the rear of the phone case quite well (along with the magnets holding it in place)
The battery pod has a great level indicator, reminiscent of the battery indicators Apple used to use on laptops, that lights up to show the charge level at the press of a button. There’s also a small lightning port on the bottom of the battery pod that you can use your existing lightning charger to recharge the external battery.
First the good; The case is well made, it’s got a metallic rubberised texture on the back of both the slip on case and the back of the battery pod. The battery has a quoted 2800 mAh capacity that can more than double the usage you can get out of your phone. The pod doesn’t need a separate charger as you charge the battery pod with the same lightning cable and power adapter you use to charge your phone. The battery indicator on the pod is also quite useful to see at a glance how full the battery is.
The case is made well, it fits the phone tightly and securely – at no stage does it seem like it’s ever likely to come off of it’s own accord. The battery sits in place by itself without having to be clicked or snapped on to anything and is just as easy to take off again.
Now for the not so good; The first thing I noticed was that this isn’t licensed under Apple’s Made for iPhone program with the result being that, every time you plug the charge cable from the battery pod into the phone, you get a notification on the phone’s screen “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone”. Personally, I find these little details kind-of annoying to have to dismiss every time. Granted it’s better than having a flat battery though. My other main gripe with the battery pod is that the cutout for the camera is not quite big enough – it really needs to be tapered somewhat as with the wide-angle of the iPhone’s lens, you get some vignetting in one corner of the picture when the battery is in place.
All in all though, it’s a decent case at a good price if you often find yourself running short of juice and are not in a position to recharge your phone. Having the battery pod being external to the case is an excellent way to keep the bulk of the case down for everyday use. If you think it’s not your cup of tea however, you can always head over to MobileZap (who supplied this case for review) and see what else they have in their huge range of iPhone 5S cases.