It’s a great time to buy an iPhone 6 battery case. Last year, there were zero Apple-certified options, but today, there are a handful of good to great choices at various price points. They may look similar to each other in the picture above, but the sea of black shells masks some important differences in iPhone protection, battery recharging capabilities, and pricing. One stands out as a particularly excellent combination for the iPhone 6, and we also have a good pick for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Which iPhone 6 battery case should you buy? Read on…
All of the iPhone 6 battery cases here are nearly identical in size.
They’re all Apple-certified.
Batteries vary from 2,600mAh (full recharge) to 3,200mAh (120% recharge) for iPhone 6.
Each includes a micro-USB cable for recharging.
None had signal strength issues.
MSRPs range from $80 to $100.
Street prices can be much lower.
Incipio offGRID Express
Cleanly designed with great button protection and hand/pocket-friendly curves, offGRID Express is our top pick. Incipio’s battery cases get better every year, and this version combines the best features of its iPhone 5 offGRID with design elements drawn from Mophie’s more expensive Juice Packs. offGRID Express also delivers the best recharge we’ve yet seen for the iPhone 6: 121% additional power using an efficient 3,000mAh battery. It also includes a headphone port adapter.
Similar to offGRID Express in size and shape, DX-6 also includes a 3,000mAh battery (here with a 116% recharge), and has the same $80 MSRP. While it lacks offGRID Express’s nice button protection, instead using somewhat rough-edged button holes, it includes screen film and uses a slider-style design that some people may prefer. A headphone port adapter is included, as well.
The brawniest of the iPhone 6 battery cases is Resurgence, which still manages to be virtually identical in size to the other cases in this roundup despite using dense plastics and a fiberglass filling. Drop-safe but not water- or dirt-resistant like OtterBox’s signature cases, Resurgence provides a nice balance of rugged protection and usability. Full button and switch coverage is built in, as is a unique four-bar remaining power indicator circling the rear power button. A 2,600mAh battery is on the small side compared with the others here, but can bring a dead iPhone back to 98% or 100% power.
Armed with the largest iPhone 6 battery in this roundup (3,200mAh), the Energi Sliding Power Case came very close to matching offGRID Express’s 121% recharge with a 120% test result. But they’re otherwise very different cases: the more expensive Energi includes a slim soft plastic case that can be used with the iPhone 6 at all times, letting you slide the battery on and off as needed. The ergonomics are a little awkward when the parts are together, but the two-piece design has its virtues. Tylt will offer a free headphone port adapter to customers who request it.
Different from its rivals due to a very open-edged design, PowerArmour is akin to the basic hard plastic shells some companies sell as iPhone cases, but with a 2,800mAh battery grafted on to the back. We were able to get a 109% recharge from PowerArmour, which is respectable for the price, and if you have a 2.1-Amp wall adapter or USB port, you can refuel it quickly at 2-Amp speeds. That said, you lose a lot of protection compared with offGRID Express. A unique sliding Lightning connector is the most distinctive feature of this case, which ships with a headphone port adapter.
Most manufacturers have shied away from making iPhone 6 Plus battery cases, noting that this is Apple’s first iPhone with enough built-in power to actually last for a full day of active use. But MOTA has managed to pack a 4,000mAh cell into an enclosure that surprisingly doesn’t make the already-large iPhone 6 Plus more difficult to hold, while delivering 86% additional power — enough for 20 hours of additional calling time. The case comes with two differently-colored bumpers and a headphone port adapter; the black one has a $56 street price, with brightly colored versions starting at $40. While not Apple-certified, the case worked perfectly in our testing.
There are enough iPhone 6 battery cases at this point to give you a reasonable choice of features, capacities, and prices to meet your needs — Apple-certified, high-quality options start at $67 (street price) and offer various case styles with different levels of protection. Our top pick, Incipio’s offGrid Express, has the best overall combination of performance, protection, and pricing we’ve seen, while no other upcoming alternative we saw at CES struck us as definitively better. If you need something with even more iPhone body coverage, be on the lookout for yet-to-be-released iBattz and Incipio cases that will offer ruggedized protection at higher prices. We’ll cover them here, along with other new options, as soon as they’re available.