Review: Prong PWR Case Adds a Folding Plug to Your iPhone 6/6s

by

While there are numerous battery cases for iPhones, the Prong PWR Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s differentiates itself with a built-in, collapsible wall charger. The folding prongs enable you to charge your iPhone by simply plugging it into a wall outlet, making it ideal for work, home, travel, or wherever receptacles are available.

IMG_2774
Better yet, the PWR Case eliminates the need to have a Lightning charging cable wherever you go for cord-free convenience. But, as with all battery cases, there are important variables to consider before making your purchase, ranging from size and weight to battery capacity and price. Find out how the PWR Case stacks up ahead.

Design

The Prong PWR is a two-piece case consisting of a detachable outer battery pack with rear folding prongs, and a slimmer inner case that resembles a typical silicon bumper for iPhones. You place your iPhone in the bumper case, which slides into the sled-shaped, tapered battery pack with a built-in male Lightning connector.

IMG_2807
You could technically fit a naked iPhone, or use another case, but the device would fit loosely inside the battery pack and could fall out.

The battery pack has a smooth polycarbonate finish that easily collects fingerprints and smudges, especially if you have oily or sweaty hands. The outer case has a small lightning logo between the folding prongs, but otherwise it has no outward-facing branding or markings. Inside the case is a debossed Prong logo and a regulatory label.

IMG_2815
Meanwhile, the inner case has thermoplastic edges that should offer average protection against minor drops and scratches, and provide added grip that the iPhone 6s so desperately needs. The rear is covered by clear plastic, except for the area between the top antenna band and upper edge of the smartphone, which is exposed to avoid obstruction of the rear camera and dual-LED flash.

The side power button and volume controls are both covered by plastic that is easy to press, while there are small pass-through cutouts for the Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker, and bottom microphone. When the outer battery case is attached, these ports are all covered by the thick polycarbonate shell.

IMG_2791
The PWR is undeniably thick and heavy, which was likely an unavoidable design tradeoff in order to integrate folding prongs. As someone who wears skinny jeans, one of my main concerns with battery cases is pocketability, and the PWR has a noticeably tight fit in my front pocket that leaves little to no room for my keys or wallet.

The PWR is also tall, adding about half an inch of height to your device. While the iPhone 6s form factor allows for acceptable one-handed usage, using this case will move you into two-handed usage territory unless you consistently rely on Reachability. If you deliberately avoided a Plus-sized iPhone for this reason, you may find this to be a nuisance.

Prong-side-by-side
The two-piece design, however, helps to mitigate these problems if you are okay with leaving the outer battery pack behind at times.

This half-inch chin contains a wide speaker grille that channels the iPhone 6s audio from the bottom to the front of the smartphone, but the sound quality becomes somewhat muffled and tinnier in the process. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack opening with an extension adapter included in the box.

Functionality

PWR Case has a built-in 2,600 mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery pack that delivers on Prong's promise of up to 100% additional battery life. Comparatively, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s have 1,810 mAh and 1,715 mAh battery capacities respectively, so the PWR Case provides just over double the milliampere-hours on a full charge.

The folding prongs can charge both the internal iPhone battery and external battery pack simultaneously, or just the battery pack. The case took about two hours to fully charge from 0%. The charging level is indicated by four LED lights on the back of the case that can be seen on both the inside and outside of the shell.

IMG_2817
A square button on the bottom of the PWR Case can be pressed to check the battery pack level and activate iPhone charging from backup battery. Holding the button down for 2-3 seconds will turn off the charging. Prong's FAQ details how to reset or put your PWR Case in Sleep Mode.

The case delivers output of 5V/1A (5 watts), which is equal to Apple's 5W USB Power Adapter and is the maximum charge rate that Apple allows for iPhone charging accessories. Prong also includes a Micro-USB cable in the box as a backup charging method, or to sync your iPhone with iTunes without detaching the outer battery case.

Meanwhile, the case has universal input that works with any 100-240V AC power outlet. However, the folding prongs can only be used with plugs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and select countries in South America. Elsewhere, a plug adapter is needed. Prong says PWR Case has both UL and FCC safety certification.

Value

PWR Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s is available for $99 with a 2,500 mAh lithium polymer battery through Amazon and Prong's website in four colors: black, clear, blue-black, and red-white. A larger 3,500 mAh capacity model is also listed for $119, but it is listed as out of stock on Prong's website. PWR Case is not available for iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6s Plus models at this time.

At least one contributing factor to the PWR Case's higher price is that it is certified under the MFi Program, meaning the accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPhone and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. MFi accessories are often more expensive than uncertified products.

The baseline for comparison should be Anker's Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case, which Wirecutter ranks as the best battery case for iPhone 6/6s. Anker's MFi certified case is just $40, slimmer, and has a larger 2,850 mAh battery capacity, so your decision should primarily be based on whether you think folding prongs are worth 2.5x extra.

Many other MFi-certified iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s battery cases without folding prongs are available in the $50 to $130 range, including models from Incipio, iBattz, Odoyo, PowerSkin, LifeProof, Boostcase, OtterBox, and other accessory makers, so Prong's PWR Case is on the higher end of prices compared to the overall market.

Pros

  • Folding prongs

  • Two-piece design

  • Up to 100% extra battery life

  • 1.0-1.2A quick charging

  • LED charging level indicators

  • MFi certified

  • Sleep Mode

  • Nice book-like magnetic packaging
Cons

  • Big and bulky

  • Higher-end price

  • Makes one-handed usage difficult

  • Speaker sounds muffled

Bottom Line

$60.

That's the price difference between Prong's PWR Case and Anker's Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s.

If folding prongs are something you are looking for, the PWR Case is your best bet. Otherwise, consider Anker or other brands.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
60 months ago
I'm... actually far more interested than I thought I'd be, honestly.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Plus, it's a great way to hang the latest headlines from MacRumors on your wall! :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...