Are Apple’s New Smart Battery Cases Hurting iPhone XS, XR Battery Performance?

Iphone Xs Smart Battery Case Credit: Sarah Tew / CNET
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While Apple’s iPhone XS and XR offer some of the best battery performance in their class, the company earlier this month unveiled a collection of advanced, self-branded Smart Battery Cases designed to push these batteries further than ever.

Inspired by the many silicon-clad Smart Battery Cases past, Apple’s latest offerings for the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR are available now for a cool $129, promising seriously significant battery gains across the company’s entire range of flagships.

They also offer some unique new tricks for 2018, including the ability to charge wirelessly, through the case, via the Qi wireless charging standard.

Unfortunately, while they’ve only been available for about two weeks, some early adopters of the latest Apple-branded Smart Battery Cases are reporting that they’ve noticed a decrease in their handset’s ‘maximum battery capacity’ since they began using it.

What Are Users Saying?

Maximum battery capacity, as explained by Apple, is “a measure of the battery capacity relative to when it was new,” and that “lower capacity may result in fewer hours of usage between charges.”

That seems to be the problem, though, according to complaints lodged on Twitter this week.

The chief complaint, initially posted by user @circleback, inquired of iMore’s Rene Ritchie whether he believes Apple’s Smart Battery Case is “bad for internal battery?” 

The user noted in their Tweet that within the first four days of using the case, their iPhone XS’ maximum battery capacity appeared to drop from 98% down to 94%. “Never had this bad decreasing,” they noted.

While Ritchie, in response to dkcblog’s post, noted that he’s not currently experiencing the same issue, at least one other Twitter user, Ricardo Cañedo, replied to the thread noting that he’s not only noticed a similar drop in maximum battery capacity since using the case, but that he’s decided to return it in light of this and some “peeling” that he noticed on the case, itself.

What Should I Do?

At present, these are the only verifiable complaints of this issue we can find, which actually suggests it might not be such a big issue to begin with and certainly not as big as some of Apple’s previous battery blunders.

Still, if you’ve picked up the $129 Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max or iPhone XR already, it obviously wouldn’t hurt just to check and see if your device’s original battery is performing at its Maximum Capacity.

To do this, you can use Apple’s intuitive Battery Health feature implemented back in iOS 11.3 by navigating to:

  1. Settings
  2. Battery
  3. Battery Health

(Note: if it appears you might be facing a similar issue as outlined above, then you’d be best served by contacting Apple Support and opening a new claim.) To learn more about ways you can improve your iPhone’s battery performance, click here.

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