Through the miracles of hyper-efficient technology and hyper-aggressive power management, iPhone X gets roughly the same battery life as iPhone Plus despite being only about the size of the regular iPhone. Yet I want more. I need more.

Everything from Instagram to Snapchat, Pokémon Go to ARKit apps — which light up the screen, the radios, and location services — gobble up power faster than ever before.


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You can make iPhones thicker, but then they're heavier and harder to hold up for long periods of time, all the time. And if you can't use your iPhone for as long as you want, who cares how much battery life it has? Unless, of course, that extra thickness and weight can be put on and taken off only when and if you really need it.

Best Battery Packs for iPhone X

The really smart battery

One of my favorite Apple products of the last few years is the Smart Battery case. A lot of customers and even reviewers completely underestimated it at first. They couldn't see past the hump being hella ugly and the "milliamp cost" messing with their pricing preconceptions.

Previous battery cases were a mixed blessing. They often reduced radio reception, forcing the phone to amp up its radios just to maintain a signal, and burning power just as it was trying to recharge. The Smart Battery Case cut the sides away, leaving the hump, so as not to interfere, and then added a signal booster to improve reception and prevent the drain so the battery could focus on charging.

Likewise, many battery cases would put iOS into plugged-in mode where, with the expectation of unlimited power, it would turn on networking to download content updates, sync large amounts of data, stop worrying about race-to-sleep, and more. The Smart Battery Case would insist iOS stay in mobile mode so that none of those extra activities would fire, and none of their extra power demands would affect charging.

It all added up to Smart Battery case the best way to add extra power to your iPhone. The hump was form-over-function and "milliamp efficiency" the critical stat.

Whenever I went out with iPhone 6s or iPhone 7, I had the Smart Battery case with me. It got me through travel, where lousy airport reception and roaming would otherwise shred my battery life, and conferences and shows where there was often no time to plug in.

iPhone X battery life tips

The case for X

I've been using iPhone X for over a week now and it's been a champ, even under the grueling load of reviewing and writing about its every new flaw and feature. It manages to last almost as long as my iPhone Plus of yore but fits in my hand and pocket like the regular sized iPhone. It's blissful.

Because it's only about the size of a regular iPhone, it's made me wonder what already iPhone Plus level battery life would be like... with a Smart Battery Case option to go with it?

And what would a Smart Battery Case be like... in the age of inductively charging iPhones?

You can get a battery pack for iPhone X right now if you want one, and third-party battery cases are right around the corner. But a Smart Battery Case for iPhone X, with all the technology Apple could put into it? That would truly make iPhone X the ultimate road-and-air-warrior, AR gaming device. Screen on, data on, GPS on — it would fear no red icon.

I don't know if Apple has a Smart Battery Case for iPhone X on the roadmap or not. But I know I'd love it.

iPhone X + iPhone 8

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