How to fast charge the Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Apple's new Smart Battery Cases can be charged several ways: regular Lightning to USB, wirelessly with Qi-certified charging mats, or fast charge with a compatible power adapter and Lightning to USB-C cable. The first two are self-explanatory. Here, we're showing you how to fast charge that new Smart Battery Case.

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

Products used in this guide

How to fast charge your Apple Smart Battery Case

Plug in the power adapter and make sure it's capable of fast charging. Apple's 18W, 29W, 30W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter (mentioned above) will work. Or you can use a third-party power adapter, but make sure it has USB-C Power Delivery (USB-C PD).

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.

30W adapter (Image credit: iMore)

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

If your phone is inside the Smart Battery Case, the iPhone will fast charge first, and once it reaches 80 percent, the Smart Battery Case starts fast charging. However, if you use a power adapter with a high output, like the 87W, then both your iPhone and Smart Battery Case will fast charge simultaneously. Otherwise, if your device is not in the case, only the Smart Battery Case will fast charge. The light on the inside of the Smart Battery Case will be a solid red color while it's charging. The light turns green when it's fully charged.

As long as you have the equipment for it, fast charging is the way to go. Fast charging started with the iPhone 8 and extends to all later models, and you can charge up 50 percent of the battery in about 30 minutes this way. Even though you may only need to charge up at night with the Smart Battery Case on your iPhone, utilizing fast charging means you'll be juiced up and ready to go in less time throughout the day. What's not to like about that?

Our top equipment picks

In order 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 iPhone XS 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.

Apple started moving to USB-C for their laptops a few years ago, and the power adapters that come with these laptops are the best way to charge up your iPhones and other USB-C devices. The power adapters provide good power output, enabling you to fast charge your iPhone and Smart Battery Case at the same time if it's strong enough. If the 87W is too expensive, you can also go for the 18W, 29W, 30W, or 61W power adapters, which are slightly cheaper.

If you have a USB-C to Lightning cable, you'll be able to fast charge your iPhone or iPad using a compatible power adapter (including third-party ones with USB-C Power Delivery), or through the USB-C ports on your laptop. The 2-meter length from Apple also gives you a bit more freedom when it comes to using your device as it charges.

Additional Equipment

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

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max
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iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case (opens in new tab) ($129 at Amazon)

iPhone XS Max user want this case. It adds 37 hours talk time, 20 hours web browsing, and 25 hours of video playback.

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iPhone XR Smart Battery Case (opens in new tab) ($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.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, 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.