If you’re one of the millions of people who opted for a 4.7-inch iPhone 7 over a 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, you may find that your hands thank you, but you need to make the occasional pit stop at the coffee shop to plug in for some extra juice. When we tested the iPhone 7, it lasted for 5 hours and 45 minutes of LTE video streaming, which should be enough to get you through most of the day, if not quite all of it.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of portable charging solutions. Battery cases are the most convenient option because they combine the portability and protection of a case with a built-in battery to keep your phone topped off without having to carry around a charging cable. All the battery cases we’ve reviewed include built-in or detachable Lightning connectors, letting you charge your phone no matter where you are. But there are other things to keep in mind.
Size and Protection
Battery cases can get quite bulky, especially the ones that add the most extra juice to your phone. If you want a case that doubles your battery life (one with a battery around 2,500mAh and above, according to our tests), you’re looking at a significant increase to you iPhone's thickness and weight.
Most cases offer a decent amount of protection due to their chunky plastic builds, but some go a step further with bumpers or raised edges to protect the screen. One thing you won't find is waterproofing. Batteries and water don't exactly mix, so be sure to keep your phone dry.
You should also take into account whether you want a battery case that uses a Lightning port or micro USB to charge. Most of the cases out there plug into your phone's Lightning port and then charge via micro USB. They make it difficult to easily access the Lightning port to use wired headphones or connect the phone to your computer. Some cases get around this by leaving your Lightning port exposed, via detachable Lightning cable or other means, which we prefer. Additional features to look for include cases that add wireless charging and magnetic backs for compatibility with car and desk mounts.
If you don’t want to add bulk or weight to your phone, check out The Best Battery Packs we've reviewed for a portable power bank you can slip in your bag or pocket for whenever you need an extra charge. And if you use a battery pack, you have a much wider selection of traditional iPhone 7 cases to choose from.
ZeroLemon Slim Juicer (4 stars)
The ZeroLemon Slim Juicer adds an extra 4,000mAh of battery capacity in a durable build, doubling the life (5 hours, 48 minutes) of your iPhone 7. It's bulkier than some of the other cases on this list, but it also costs significantly less for the amount of power it provides. That makes it our Editors' Choice. at
Anker PowerCore Case 2200 (4 stars)
The Anker PowerCore 2200 is a light and grippy battery case. With its 2,200mAh capacity, it added 3 hours and 27 minutes to our iPhone 7. It has a built-in Lightning cable that tucks away when you don’t need it, leaving your phone's port free for wired headphones. at
Trianium Atomic Pro (4 stars)
The Trianium Atomic Pro strikes a nice balance between form and function. It has a 3,200mAh battery that adds a healthy dose of power (5 hours, 25 minutes), and a protective bumper along the sides to keep your phone safe from drops. It's also fairly lightweight. at
Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case (3.5 stars)
Apple's own Smart Battery Case looks similar to the iPhone 6/6s model that came before it, but features altered port cutouts and a bump in battery capacity to 2,365mAh, giving our iPhone 7 an extra 3 hours, 28 minutes of juice. It's a unique-looking case with a pleasant, grippy feel. It's a solid choice for Apple fans, as well as anyone else who values a slim case that leaves their Lightning port easily accessible. at
Flux Battery Case (3.5 stars)
The stylish Flux Battery Case is an exception to the rule that battery cases add a ton of bulk to your device. It's the thinnest, lightest iPhone 7 case we tested, and features an innovative design with a detachable Lightning connector that doesn’t cover up your phone’s Lightning port. At 1,500mAh, it only gave us an extra 2 hours, 14 minutes of power, which isn’t as much as larger cases, but it also weighs half as much as those options. at
Mophie Juice Pack Air (3.5 stars)
The Mophie Juice Pack Air isn't the longest-lasting case we tested, but its 2,525mAh battery added 3 hours, 49 minutes of extra power to our iPhone 7 in a slim and lightweight build. It also supports wireless charging and is compatible with magnetic mounts. at
Mophie Hold Force PowerStation Plus Mini(3 stars)
The Mophie Hold Force PowerStation Plus Mini is the answer to anyone who wishes their iPhone 7 had a removable battery. It's a 4,000mAh backup battery you can carry around on its own, or attach magnetically to the back of Mophie's $39.95 Hold Force Base Case. It more than doubled our iPhone 7's battery life, adding 6 hours, 58 minutes, and leaves the Lightning port free for wired headphones when not in use. But it's a slightly clunky solution, and when you buy the case and battery together, it ends up being more expensive and less convenient than a dedicated battery pack or battery case. at