PEMOTech Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s/7 review
Finding a battery case for your new iPhone 7 is a straight choice between Apple’s own Smart Battery Case for iPhone 7 and a trickle of much cheaper products from China. So far there is no Mophie battery case for the iPhone 7, or others from respected manufacturers. See what we consider the best battery cases for iPhone 6/6s and Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case review.
Also see: Best Black Friday Gadget Deals
At the time of writing we could find only one proper non-Apple battery case for the iPhone 7: the PEMOTech 3,200mAh Ultra Slim Extended Backup Power Bank Battery Charger Case Cover with Kickstand For Apple iPhone 7. Even that isn't quite what it seems.
Note that there are other battery cases claiming to be for the iPhone 7, but on closer inspection are just rebadged iPhone 6/6s battery cases that may partially obscure the iPhone 7’s rear camera. See our round of the best iPhone 7 battery cases.
Indeed, this PEMOTech Battery Case claims its compatibility as for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7. It has a giveaway redundant port for a headphone jack – remember that the 7 has no such port itself. But the camera cutout is large enough to let the iPhone 7’s larger rear camera to be unobstructed, which cannot be said for some others we've seen online. See iPhone 7 review.
The charging port uses Apple’s Lightning rather than MicroUSB, which is appreciated. Apple users really don't want to have to go anywhere near a fiddly MicroUSB cable. But its position to the right-hand side of the case means you can’t use wired headphones while your phone is in this case – Lightning adapter or not. That leaves you needing wireless headphones; see our list of the best Bluetooth headphones.
While the Apple Smart Battery Case costs a chunky £99/US$99/€99 the PEMOTech Battery Case has an RRP of just £29.99/$39.99, and is available on Amazon for a mere £12.99 / $15.99 (+ £2.99/$2.99 delivery). There’s no other word for that: cheap!
Its 3,200mAh battery capacity is also greater than Apple’s 2,365mAh. And a battery case is judged first on its ability to recharge your ailing iPhone for as long as possible. That said, we got little more than a single full recharge from this case, which was the same for the Apple case.
We found the Apple Smart Battery Case kept an iPhone charged for long enough, but having the extra charge is no bad thing. We do, however, trust Apple’s battery management system between case and phone better than this one.
We were concerned that we could hear a slight hiss when the phone was being charged from the case. And you should bear in mind that – despite its claim to be “vertified (sic) by FCC/CE/ROHS” – this case has not been officially approved by Apple.
Plug in the Lightning cable and you can supposedly sync and charge at the same time, just as with the Apple battery case.
When we first received the case it didn’t appear to work. You need to fully charge it before it will work, but after the initial problem it worked fine. That said, if you plug the phone-in-case to a pwer source it charges the case first and then seems to forget to charge the phone itself. This is annoying, as it means you need to charge each seaparely or just start charging the phone from the case straight away, which is rather pointless.
The design is pretty slim for a battery case, and lacks the (some find ugly) bump on the case back that you get with the Smart Battery Case.
It feels well made and reasonably robust in terms of protection, although the volume-button side of the phone is not protected as it is with the Apple case.
It’s two-part design (the top part pulls off so your can slip the iPhone into the case) isn’t as durable as the one-piece Apple construction, but you can both sync and charge with the phone in the case so you shouldn’t need to remove it from the case very often.
Four LED lights on the front indicate available case battery charge. The silver button to their left is the on/off control for charging. This works in a different way to Apple’s method of keeping the iPhone always charged at 100% while there’s power in the case. With this case you can choose when you recharge the phone from the Battery case’s power bank.
At the back the case features a kickstand so you can lean the phone on a flat surface if watching a video.
It is available in Black, Gold or White.
PEMOTech Power Bank Battery Charger Case for iPhone 6/6s/7: Specs
- 3,200mAh battery capacity
- 3,200mAh battery capacity
The PEMOTech 3,200mAh Ultra Slim Power Bank Battery Charger Case fits the iPhone 7, as well as the older 6 and 6s. It holds more charge than the Apple Smart Battery Case (but gives about the same 100% recharge) and is a lot cheaper. A lot cheaper. At this price you may consider it too good to be true, and you do gamble buying unknown brands from China. Its charge management isn't as good as the Apple case, and forgets to charge the phone as well as the case when plugged in to a power source. If you can live with the risk (over-heating batteries being the biggest worry, although we used ours for a couple of weeks with no problems) and the fact you have to charge phone and case separately then it’s hard to reject this inexpensive option. At the very least it’s a decent enough case with a backup battery there when you need it.