Confirming rumors that have circulated for the past month, Apple today officially released a series of Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Although third-party accessory maker Mophie showed its own Juice Pack Access cases at CES last week, Apple’s will likely be the first officially licensed battery cases to hit the market for these particular models.
The new Smart Battery Cases sell for $129, a $30 premium over earlier versions, and come in two colors: white or black. Each has a silicone rubber exterior with a bulging backpack-like hump below the rear camera, and includes a Lightning port for recharging. Button covers on the sides protect each iPhone’s volume and sleep/wake controls.
Interestingly, the latest Smart Battery Cases are now capable of being recharged with Qi-certified chargers, and promise “even faster” charging with wired USB-PD chargers. They also work with Apple’s non-power Lightning accessories for iPhones, including headphones and Digital AV Adapters.
Just as with the phones themselves, Apple promises different battery lifespans depending on the model and usage scenario. The iPhone XR fares best, with up to 39 hours of talk time, 22 hours of internet use, and 27 hours of video playback. Talk time is up to 33 hours for the iPhone XS, with 21 hours of internet use and 25 hours of video playback. For the iPhone XS Max, talk time is said to be 37 hours, with 20 hours of internet use and 25 hours of video playback.
Availability differs by model. All three of the cases can be ordered today through Apple’s online store, but the iPhone XS and XS Max models show in-store dates of January 17, versus the iPhone XR model on January 31. Home delivery dates for shipped iPhone XR orders may be up to a week earlier.
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