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Apple Smart Battery Case vs Mophie Juice Pack Access: Which should you buy?

The breakdown

While the Apple Smart Battery Case is available right now, the Mophie Juice Pack Access is also a good option to consider once it's released sometime in Q1 2019. Let's break each one down to see which is the better buy.

Apple Smart Battery CaseMophie Juice Pack Access
Cost$129$120
Battery Capacity2738mAh (1369mAh for each cell)2000mAh or 2200mAh (XS Max)
ProfileSlimSlim
ChargingWireless via Qi-certified charging mats or LightningWireless via Qi-certified charging mats or USB-C
InteriorSoft fabric liningUnknown
ExteriorSoft-touch siliconeSoft-touch finish
Priority chargingYesYes
iOS Battery Status DisplayYesNo
Fast chargeYesUnknown
Compatible with iPhone XNot officiallyYes
Color optionsBlack or whiteBlack, gold, blue, red

As of right now, our pick is the Apple Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The Smart Battery Case has a fairly slim profile that I like, and the "hump" on the back helps retain a good grip on our phones. The inside is lined with a nice and soft material to protect your phone from scratches and scuffs as it's going in and out of the case, and the soft-touch silicone exterior feels good. And honestly, I've loved the elastomer hinge since it was introduced in the first iteration of the Smart Battery Case because it's much easier than having to pry apart a two-piece case.

The Smart Battery Case is also a big improvement in terms of cell batteries. It's using two cells instead of one, so the total capacity is a whopping 2738mAh, which easily beats Mophie's Juice Pack Access. Regardless of the model you go with, each Smart Battery Case will provide at least 30+ hours of talk time, 20+ hours of web browsing, and 20+ hours of video playback. Plus, the Smart Battery Case charges wirelessly via Qi-certified charging mats or Lightning, so you don't need any additional cables unless you want to fast charge with a USB-C power adapter and Lightning to USB-C cable. And since this is Apple's product, you get the integrated smart battery status display right on your Lock screen so you know how much charge is remaining in the battery case.

However, we shouldn't dismiss the Mophie Juice Pack Access just yet. It won't be available until sometime in the first quarter of 2019, but it has a lot of promising features as well, plus it's cheaper by $10. It is designed with the bottom of the case exposed, so you can freely use your Lightning port for headphones or other accessories without worrying if they're too thick. The Juice Pack Access also has raised corners like their previous cases, so it provides more protection from drops, scratches, and cracks. It also has wireless charging capabilities, but you do need to use a USB-C cable to charge the case itself if you don't have a Qi-certified charging mat.

But one huge advantage of the Juice Pack Access over the Smart Battery Case is there is a version specifically made for the iPhone X. Oh, and you can choose from several color options too, which is nice.

For now, we are sticking with the Smart Battery Case as the winner. However, once the Mophie Juice Pack Access is available, we will be doing a hands-on comparison between the two to see which one is the better pick.

Please note that this comparison is based on the current specs that we have for the Mophie Juice Pack Access. We will have a hands-on comparison of the two battery packs once the Juice Pack Access is released.

Christine Chan
Senior Editor

Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.