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iPhone XS, iPhone XR: What you need to know about Apple's smart battery charger

Apple surprised everyone earlier this week with the launch of the new smart battery compartment for 2018 iPhone ($ 999 on Apple) . The cases are similar to the previous version, and do the same basic job – providing extra battery life on your iPhone.

You can order cases right now from Apple, with stock availability expected next week. Here's what you need to know about the Smart Battery Case, your iPhone and how they work together.

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How deep can the iPhone XS and XR go?




The new Smart Battery is available for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max ($ 1,100 on Amazon Marketplace) and iPhone XR ($ 749 on Apple) . Whatever the model, all costs $ 129 and comes in black or white.

With the iPhone X and iPhone XS similar to the design, the Smart Battery Cover for XS will work on X. However, the speakers and microphone cannot line-up, but it will charge your phone.


You must charge the Smart Battery Cover before you can use it. I put my iPhone XS Max in my case and it wasn't enough charging if the iPhone would recognize it.

You can use the wall adapter and the flash cable that came with your iPhone or a wireless charging plate

On the inside of the bag, near the bottom, is a small light that shines with an orange color when the bag is loaded. When fully charged, the light turns green.

  iphone-xs smart battery case

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

When you put your phone in the case, you see a familiar charge animation in the upper right corner of the phone display. If your phone is locked, two battery symbols appear on your screen – one for your phone, another for the case. You can also view the battery status in today's view as long as you have the battery widget enabled.

The smart battery cover will empty all day. Only after it is empty will your iPhone start using its internal battery.

You should have no problem using flash accessories, such as Apple's Lightning EarPods.

Smart Charging

Charging the case can be done a couple of different ways, and how the case and your phone work in tandem for both to be charged depends on the charging effect of your wall adapter. This is all built into iOS and something your iPhone handles without you having to do anything.

Apple calls the Smart Charging feature.

Here is the core:

  • With the 5W charger With your 10W or 12W wall adapter, the phone and the case are simultaneously charged at a speed of about 5W each.
  • With an 18W wall adapter, the iPhone will quickly charge, and then do the same.
  • A 30W or higher wall adapter charges both iPhone and case simultaneously.

With the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR all with wireless charging, it's just useless to Apple built wireless charging in the Smart Battery Case. If you have been installed on your iPhone, you can place it on a Qi compatible wireless charging plate and your phone and your case will start charging.

The case works with the same 7.5 W charge rate as the iPhone, with your phone charging first and then the case doing so afterwards.

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