Lenmar iBatteryCase for iPhone 4 Review
Lenmar’s iBatteryCase for the iPhone 4 features a 1700mAh battery in a fairly attractive and protective rubberized black case. While the iPhone battery case market is expanding, Lenmar has one unique thing going on with this case that is a card that they should keep close to really make the iBatteryCase a stand-out choice in a market that is getting more ubiquitous and improving every day.
The packaging is nice, standard fare, providing you with the case, a Micro USB cable for charging, and documentation. Upon first inspection of the case, it feels thinner than I expected. The iBatteryCase is a competitive size, with 1700mAh of power in a package that about matches the iPhone 4 in width and is just a few hairs taller in height. This is a small package for the amount of power you get compared to some other battery cases.
Competitors can offer battery cases with with about 10-20% less power in a case that is about 10-20% thinner than Lenmar’s offering, but competitors also sell battery cases that provide as much power as the iBatteryCase in a thicker package. The recessed curves of the case do make it feel thinner than it is, despite it actually being a little under twice as thick as an iPhone 4. Lenmar did a good job with the case’s recessed shape, the case does not feel or look like the brick you might assume that it would be. With an iPhone 4 inserted, there is a noticeable weight difference, but it does not really get in the way.
If you like a case that can keep up its appearance, than you will like the rubberized black plastic that the iBatteryCase is made out of. It is a quality plastic, anything that looks like a scratch will actually wipe off in my testing. An additional advantage of the rubberized plastic is that the entire case is soft, so you do not have to worry about scratching your iPhone. The iPhone can also be quickly inserted and taken out, making the case great if you like switching cases.
My iBatteryCase did fall about five feet once during my testing (without the iPhone 4 in it, thankfully) and the case managed to stay unmarred, plus the battery was undamaged. So at the least, you can expect the battery to maintain its reliability even if you do end up dropping the case. It seems to cover the iPhone 4 well enough that it would protect it during a drop as well. The only negative I found with the case’s build quality is that the top left of my case hangs off slightly (both prior to the fall and afterwards), but it is not a major issue.
Speaking of the battery, that is obviously the star of the case. You can expect to get about 4/5 of another charge from the case. I was able to charge my iPhone 4 from no charge to 80% fairly quickly before the case ran out of juice. If you begin your day with a fully-charged iPhone 4 and fully-charged iBatteryCase then you should get about 8-10 hours of mixed iPhone usage throughout the day, so it is enough extra power to help the iPhone last you the entire day. There is a bright LED indicator on the back to let you know how much power is left in your iBatteryCase. Holding the button on the back, which is smartly recessed slightly so it is not accidentally repeatedly pressed, will let you turn the charging capability on and off.
Lenmar does have a very solid, competitive offering with the iBatteryCase. The case is durable and protective, but even more importantly provides a few extra hours of iPhone usage in a decent-sized package. But that is not what places the iBatteryCase above its competition to make it a stand-out iPhone battery case offering. Though the case retails for $89.99, it can be found for around $30 from dozens of stores. $30 for an iPhone battery case is unprecedented, pushing the case over the top to become a very smart and recommended purchase. In fact, every iPhone user should have a battery case around for those times when they may need the additional power, and $30 for a quality battery case makes the iBatteryCase something you should really consider even if you were not looking for a battery case for your iPhone.
Written by Michael DeLisi