PowerSkin Spare for iPhone 6

Since I got my iPhone 6 I've been trying to find an iPhone 6 battery case I can live with. Enter the PowerSkin Spare.

The Good

  • Doubles your iPhone 6 battery life
  • Less expensive than some competitors
  • Won't overload your iPhone battery

The Bad

  • Almost doubles iPhone 6 depth
  • Uses Micro USB instead of Apple Lightning
  • Headphone jack may not work with right angle plugs and other devices

The Spare case is made of ABS plastic and comes in colors to match your iPhone: Space Gray, Gold and Silver. The plastic shell is powder-coated for a soft finish and supple feel. A PowerSkin logo tastefully adorns the top of the case.

The case adds about 6 millimeters of depth to the bulk of the iPhone. It also adds about three ounces of weight. Some added depth and weight are physically necessary for a battery pack, so just be aware of the Spare's size before you get it.

Installing the iPhone 6 is a breeze: You simply line up the built-in Lightning dock with the Lightning port on the iPhone and slide it into place, it locks firmly.

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The Spare's edges are raised from the iPhone 6's glass, to give the iPhone some protection if it's dropped face-down; the case will take the brunt instead of the glass. You can add a tempered glass protector like Moshi's $25 iVisor to keep the glass from getting scratched too.

Press a button on the bottom of the back of the case and light up four brilliant LEDs that tell you how much juice is remaining in the Spare.

You can power off the Spare all together by holding the button, if you don't want to waste backup battery. It also has what PowerSkin calls "overcharge protection," which shuts down the battery when the iPhone is charged. This prevents the phone and the battery from overheating.

The Spare connects to a power supply using Micro USB, cable included, pretty standard for iPhone battery cases. I got a second Micro USB cable to use in the car in place of my Lightning cable. Your mileage, as in all things, may vary. The case adds some thickness; there are speaker and microphone cutouts, and a deep headphone jack. It'll work with Apple Earpods, but if you have earphones with a right angle plug, it might cause problems.

Directions are included but not terribly necessary; the Spare is pretty plug-and-play.

The Bottom Line

The Spare should give Mophie and other iPhone battery case makers some trouble. It's $20 cheaper than their Juice Pack Air, which offers similar capacity. Just make sure your headphones or earbuds will fit in the jack.

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