Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple on Wednesday unveiled new Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, offering up extra battery life for its newest flagship smartphones.

The first Smart Battery Case orders are arriving to customers today and the cases are in stores, so we picked one up to give MacRumors readers a heads up on the features and the differences compared to last year's Smart Battery Cases.


Design wise, the Smart Battery Cases for the ‌iPhone 11‌ and 11 Pro models look identical to the prior-generation battery cases, with the exception of the square-shaped camera cutout to accommodate the dual and triple-lens camera systems in the new iPhones.

This year's case has the same bump at the back, which houses the battery that charges the iPhone, and it's about the same thickness as last year's model.

smarbatterycaseback
There are volume up buttons at the side, a power button, and, on the right side, a brand new button that's designed to be a camera control. You can press the button to automatically launch the camera app, regardless of whether the ‌iPhone‌ is locked or unlocked.

smartbatterycasebutton
Pressing the button the first time opens up the camera app, but when the app is opened, pressing again takes a photo. Pressing and holding captures a QuickTake video, and the single press also works with the selfie camera.

smartbatterycasebutton2
Apple is offering the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and Pro Max Smart Battery Cases in black, white, and pink sand, while the ‌iPhone 11‌ ‌Smart Battery Case‌ is limited to black and white. The black shade of the new cases has shifted. Last year, Apple used a black case with a charcoal logo, but this year, the entire case is the lighter charcoal color with a deeper black logo.

There are two 1,430mAh battery cells inside of the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ version of the ‌Smart Battery Case‌, up from the 1,369mAh battery cells used last year in the ‌iPhone‌ XS Max ‌Smart Battery Case‌. The two battery cells are wired together into one battery, allowing the cases to offer 10.9Wh of energy (vs. 10.1Wh in the prior XS Max model).

smartbatterycasefit
Apple says that all of the new battery cases will add up to 50 percent more battery life to the iPhones, which translates to 9 hours of additional video playback for the 11 Pro, 10 hours of additional video playback for the 11 PRo Max, and 8.5 hours of additional video playback for the ‌iPhone 11‌.

With the ‌Smart Battery Case‌ attached to an ‌iPhone‌, the ‌iPhone‌ will drain the case first before using the built-in battery, and this is automatic and can't be shut off. Battery life of the case can be viewed on the Lock screen when placed on a charger or in the Today view of the Notification Center.

smartbatterycasecharging
Charging the case can be done using a Lightning cable or a Qi-based wireless charger. The ‌iPhone‌ will always charge before the case when charging the two together. For those with Lightning-based headphones and accessories, the Lightning port on the ‌Smart Battery Case‌ does have passthrough capabilities.

smartbatterycaseremoval
The Smart Battery Cases can be purchased from the Apple online store or from Apple retail stores, and all three new cases cost $129.

Top Rated Comments

kpeex Avatar
28 months ago
Next feature will be straps to carry it like a backpack.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
28 months ago

So thicc!
Yes. It’s a battery.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velcrovan Avatar
28 months ago
An underappreciated benefit of a battery case is that it reduces wear on the lightning port and the original battery, increasing the useable life of your phone.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ruslan120 Avatar
28 months ago

Dan is somehow annoying. Not sure what it is.

These cases seem largely unnecessary with the insane battery life in iPhone 11.
For day-to-day usage for most people, I would agree.
For trips abroad (for me personally) or for long flights (for many people) or for any profession that requires extended travel, this would be terrific.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
28 months ago
Dan is somehow annoying. Not sure what it is.

These cases seem largely unnecessary with the insane battery life in iPhone 11.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aston441 Avatar
28 months ago
Jony's legacy. He will be most remembered for this.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...