Are Battery Extender Cases Worth The Hype?

27 January 2015
 Categories: , Articles

As a smartphone owner, there's nothing you hate more than a dead battery when you least expect it. But that's just the nature of the beast. Thanks to smartphones offering faster processors, better graphics and more storage space for handling all of the latest apps, it's no surprise that battery packs are struggling to keep up.

In addition to battery saving apps and other tricks, many smartphone owners are turning to cell phone battery extender cases for an extra boost in juice. These cases are an option that's growing in popularity:

The Benefits

Battery extender cases, like those from outEDGE Power Products, are designed with two things in mind: smartphone protection and, of course, extended battery life. The cases themselves are designed to cushion your smartphone against accidental drops, bumps and scrapes that could easily damage the edges and back of your phone. Combined with a durable screen protector, these cases offer nearly-complete protection against the bumps and bruises that typically occur throughout the average smartphone's life.

Then there's the extra battery. In a recent test conducted by Expert Reviews, researchers found that the average single-charge lifespan for their smartphones ranged from 10 hours to 13 hours and 25 minutes. Considering that a typical smartphone lasts for one to two days on a single charge under light use, users need all the battery life they can get.

For this reason, battery extender cases have a spare battery built into the case design. Once it's plugged into the case, you can double or even triple your smartphone's battery life. Most cases feature their own charging port or have provisions where you can charge both the original battery as well as the spare. A select few even feature solar panels as an alternative way to maintain your phone's charge without the need for a charging cable, in most cases.

The Drawbacks

As nifty and convenient as they are, battery extender cases aren't perfect. There are still plenty of caveats that can impact your choice whether to buy them or pass them up:

Size and weight – Smartphones are typically designed to be as thin and lightweight as humanly possible. With a battery extender case, there's a good chance you'll exchange those qualities for added visual and tactile bulk. Although most case makers try in good faith to keep their products slim, the addition of an extra battery often adds more weight and makes it harder to carry in your pocket or on a belt clip.

Design – Some smartphone cases blend in harmoniously with their phones better than others. This is especially true when looking at battery extender cases from a price perspective. The more expensive varieties of battery extender cases tend to integrate more neatly with the overall design of the phones they're made for. It can also be a bit difficult to plug in add-ons such as headphone jacks, card readers and even the charger for your original battery.

Charging time and performance – Some users complain about long charging times while others are disappointed by the relatively weak battery performance. Keep in mind that the batteries in the battery extender cases tend to differ from one another in performance and longevity. Some manufacturers and suppliers have a handle on battery design and output better than others.

Durability – While many battery extender cases offer excellent durability, others might not stand up as easily to ordinary abuse as others. This is especially true for cheaper cases that are built down to a price and not up to a standard.

Final Verdict

Cell phone battery extender cases offer quite a few compelling points, as well as their fair share of drawbacks. However, the allure of having extra battery life and a protective shield for your phone makes battery extender cases irresistible to many. Despite generic cases are available for as little as $9, you're better off sticking to more expensive and higher quality cases.