I love using my iPhone for work. Virtually everything, including writing articles, can be done using my iPhone. The downside of that is that by 2 p.m., my battery level is usually already down to about 30%. I’ve tried lots of charging options, including tethering my phone to a charger in the office or car, power cases, and portable battery packs.
The problem with these methods is that, because I’m still using the device while it’s charging, it often results in tremendous heat emitting from the phone, which is bad for the lithium-based battery and tiny electronics within the device. The proper way to charge a phone is by using slow, or better yet trickle, charge so its internal battery and internal electronics never go warm, let alone hot.
By accident, I found a CoBattery unboxing video on YouTube, and I immediately contacted the company. They replied right away and sent a set over to me. The package includes an odd-looking phone case, two rechargeable Lithium batteries, a charging dock to charge the batteries, and a USB cable to power the charging dock, for US$80. Versions are currently available for the iPhone 5/5S/SE, 6/6S, 6+/6S+, 7, and 7+.
After fully charging both batteries and my phone overnight, I started my experiment the next morning.
After inserting the external battery into the phone case, I immediately understood how the case works. The external battery continuously trickle charges the phone’s battery while the phone is being used. Therefore, for most people, the phone battery will be at 100% for essentially the entire day. With me, it’s a different story as my phone usage is extremely high. Surprisingly, however, with only a single CoBattery external battery, my phone battery levels usually never went below 70% by the end of my 14-hour day. Using both batteries, my phone was always at 100% for the entire day, without the internal battery ever getting hot.
I tested the CoBattery system, which launched as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2015, for a full month in order to ensure the ups and downs of my daily activities are represented properly. From a “normal” 14-hour day to the occasional 18-hour day, I have yet to experience my phone battery level going lower than 100%. Remember, my day includes multiple hours of phone calls, heavy use of WhatsApp, Facebook, Waze (a power-hungry GPS app), e-mails, article writing, note taking, camera use, and constant Bluetooth use for my hands-free headset.
The one downside: you need to use the CoBattery case, which means potentially leaving your favourite stylish case behind. But although it may not be the prettiest looking case out there, the fact that I can use my phone extensively for the entire day without using my internal battery or needing to recharge mid-day is a big plus. This way, in theory, my phone could potentially last longer, due to the lack of heat that can impact the lifespan of the battery and internal electronics. And with the price of new smartphones getting more expensive each year, customers may be looking to keep their phones longer than the typical two-year period.
Photos: David Susilo