The new iPhone battery case I refer to as The Hunchback of Cupertino is a great move on Apple’s part. The company makes a killing selling high-margin iPhone accessories like cables and leather cases, and iPhones have relatively weak battery life compared to the competition. As such, companies like Mophie have made battery cases a big business, and Apple can capture a sizable chunk of it by offering its own first-party option.
My main problem with the case is that it’s ugly. Really ugly. The design makes sense in some ways but aesthetically, I believe that it completely ruins the look of the iPhone. I’m not sure any battery case might be considered attractive (though Spyder’s sleek battery case might at least come close), but I have another option for iPhone users with a similar hump design that is much, much cooler than Apple’s new offering.
Stacked is a very nifty and novel iPhone charging solution made up of three separate pieces. The first component is the case that holds the iPhone, and it is far slimmer than any other battery case I’ve tried — mainly because it doesn’t actually house a battery. Instead, a separate 2,750 mAh power pack and a special wall charger are included in the system.
The separate power pack that ships with Stacked attaches to the back of the case magnetically and transmits power wirelessly through the case to your iPhone. The same power pack also connects to the wall charger magnetically to be recharged, and one wall charger can wirelessly charge as many as five power packs at a time. This way, you can charge and carry multiple packs so you always have power waiting to juice up your iPhone.
You can also connect the iPhone case directly to the wireless wall charger to charge your phone at home or at your desk without the need for a power pack.
Stacked’s design is particularly cool because you don’t need to deal with a big, bulky case all the time. When you need power, you slap a power pack on it. When you don’t, you can remove the pack and your phone is reasonably slim once again.
Here’s a quick video that shows the Stacked iPhone case in action:
I’ve been testing the Stacked iPhone case for some time now, and I’m impressed. I am not personally a fan of battery cases because of the thickness they add to smartphones, so this solution is smart for people like me because I can remove the power pack whenever I want and the bulk of the case’s girth goes with it. Then when I need to juice up, I slap a pack on only until my iPhone is charged.
Regarding charge time, Stacked says its cases charge with 99% efficiency compared to being plugged into the wall with an Apple charger. I would say that’s a bit ambitious but roughly accurate, though I didn’t time any charges.
Apple is going to sell a whole lot of battery cases in the years to come, but I’m not sure the company’s current design is something anyone will seek out with any real enthusiasm. And the design isn’t as terrible as some people have suggested, but it’s not very attractive and I think many of the people who buy and use one won’t even care for it very much.
It’s not “the iPhone” of iPhone battery cases.
On the other hand, the Stacked solution is very smart. It’s novel, it works well, it charges quickly, there is no noticeable signal loss when the phone is in the case, and having wireless charging on your iPhone is a cool bonus.
Stacked is available for the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus for $129.99. The black model is sold on Amazon with free Prime shipping while gold and white models can be purchased for the same price on the Stacked website. All models ship with one power pack, and additional packs are sold separately for $58 each.