How do I charge Apple's Smart Battery Case?

Apple's has finally released battery cases for the 2018 iPhone models, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. You can charge these battery cases in several different ways, including fast charging and wirelessly with Qi-certified charging mats. You can also do this in a more traditional way using a regular Lightning to USB cable and charger. Here's how to do this.

Note that we used an iPhone XS for this guide. If you have an iPhone XR or iPhone XS Max, you're going to need the Smart Battery Case for your specific model.

Products used in this guide

How to charge your Apple Smart Battery Case

Plug in the power adapter. Apple's 5W (mentioned above) or 12W USB Power Adapter will work.

usb to lightning cable

If you're unsure of what Apple adapter you have, you can easily check by taking a look at the bottom of the adapter. It will say the wattage number in a square. You can also use a third-party USB power adapter.

Plug your Lightning to USB Cable into the port on the power adapter. Then plug in your Smart Battery Case on the Lightning end.

smart battery cable

If your phone is inside the Smart Battery Case, the iPhone will charge first, and once it reaches 80 percent, the Smart Battery Case starts charging. You can charge the Smart Battery Case on its own. The light on the inside of the Smart Battery Case is solid red color while it's charging and green when it's fully charged.

Our top equipment picks

To get the most out of your iPhone's battery, you're going to need the new Smart Battery Case.

The iPhone XS Smart Battery Case is a great battery case for those who want to get more life out of their smartphone throughout the day. The soft inner lining protects your device from scratches and scuffs, and the exterior has a silky, soft-touch finish silicone material that gives you more grip. The elastomer hinge makes it easy to get your phone in and out of the case, and the intelligent battery status display on iOS lets you know how much charge you have left.

Your iPhone XS already comes with a charging cable. Purchase one separately as needed.

Your iPhone XS already comes with one of these power adapters. Purchase a separate one as necessary.

Additional Equipment

Here are your options for Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS Max and XR.

iPhone XS max smart battery case

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case ($129 at Amazon)

With this case, iPhone XS Max users will get 37 more hours of talk time, 20 extra hours web browsing, and 25 more hours of video playback.

iPhone XR smart battery case

iPhone XR Max Smart Battery Case ($129 at Amazon)

If you have an iPhone XR, then get this case. It adds 39 hours talk time, 22 hours of web browsing, and 27 hours of video playback.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.