After I bought my iPhone 6 Plus last year, I fell in love. I use it for everything from streaming video to managing my work calendars. Because it does everything, I use it non-stop. I stream constantly, use Skype, Facebook Messenger, and play games with my kids throughout the day, so I use up the battery by midafternoon. I broke down and considered an extended battery case for the first time. I settled on the PowerShadow from SpyderStyle, and I’m glad I did.
If you’ve ever shopped for a phone case with a built-in battery, you know the struggle. Too many products, too heavy, too expensive, poorly rated, the list goes on. So I was immediately skeptical of the 4.6-star rating on Amazon. With only 10 (at the time) reviews, I thought that, surely, the reviews are misleading. But I trusted the reputation of the manufacturer, and I tried the PowerShadow on for size.
Size is an operative word with the PowerShadow. It’s tiny! As far as I can tell, it’s the thinnest on the market. Unfortunately, it makes the phone a little longer (which is only to be expected), bringing the total length to 5.9″. If you own a iPhone 6 Plus, you’re probably used to it fitting in nothing but large pockets anyhow, so this wasn’t a big hiccup for me. It’s only .6″ thick, including a small buffer that provides a lip around the screen. Score! And it’s only as wide as a standard case.
Power is the function, though, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty. The battery more than doubles the power of the phone. I can run it about 20 hours now, making it ideal for my needs. When your phone’s battery level drops, turn on the case battery by pressing a discreet button on the back, and voila! Even during use, the phone with recharge pretty quickly. In my experience, the case charges the phone faster than an outlet does, which helps a lot.
The recharge function is also wonderful. The case charges the phone first, then the case, meaning you retain your natural battery life, even if you don’t charge it to full capacity. The iPhone has a capacity of 1810mAh, and the PowerShadow has an additional 2750, an increase of over 150% base capacity. Although Apple has a death grip on the Lighting port, Spyder has managed to solve the data-transfer issue with the PowerShadow. Using a microUSB, it connects easily to my PC, and facilitates a seamless connection.
The dirty? There are two small problems with the case. The first is that the base has covers on both the power port and the audio jack. While I appreciate the protection, it comes with a cost–the audio jack is too far in there! While they supply a 5″ adapter cable, which works wonderfully, it can be a pain to keep up with. I just keep it attached to my headphones, and it’s not much of an issue for me.
The second issue is overnight usage of the phone. Because the phone charges first, then switches to the case, if you’re using the phone, it will begin to use it’s normal battery while the case is charging. I sometimes wake up to 10% of the battery having been used. Not ideal, but I don’t actually need a full 20 hours of active use, so it’s not a problem for me.
Overall, I’d strongly encourage folks to use the PowerShadow, especially if you travel a lot or use your phone constantly during your normal daily routine. The price point is a little high at $99, but I think it’s worth every penny. I’ll be getting a second one for my son. I’d also encourage a Zagg InvisibleShield Glass screen protector. They make a great protective pairing, and I’m much more confident in the safety of my phone.
TLDR: Great case, 4.5 stars from me. Increases battery life by 150%. A bit expensive at $99, but worth it. A minor issue with the audio jack requires the use of an (included) adapter to use some headphones.
Disclaimer: the author received a unit for review purposes.