What's the best battery case for Galaxy S6?
We know the Galaxy S6 doesn't have the best battery life, and though wireless and quick charging help minimize that issue, it doesn't help when you're mobile. Cases that integrate external batteries can potentially fix battery woes, and while they aren't a new idea, they may be on your radar for the first time since picking up a Galaxy S6.
We've rounded up a handful of popular battery case options for the Galaxy S6 and put them side-by-side to see which one offers the best trade-off on battery, size, protection and value — here's how they rank!
- Mophie Juice Pack
- PowerBear Extended rechargeable battery juice pack (3,500 mAh)
- ZeroLemon Slim Power battery case (3,500 mAh)
- Is a battery case right for me?
Mophie Juice Pack (3,300 mAh)
Mophie is sort of the gold standard when it comes to battery cases, and while that started with iPhone battery cases, it has smoothly transitioned to models for popular Android phones as well. There are two distinct Juice Pack models to fit the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge (and different color choices), but in either configuration they offer full device protection with a single case that also integrates a battery.
The Juice Pack is dramatically better made than any of the offerings here, as you'd expect for the increased price. It has a hard plastic shell that's rigid and tough, and on the inside has a soft touch coating to hold the phone tightly.
The Galaxy S6 fits in it with amazing precision, with just a very small lip over the front of the phone. It's just as large as any other battery case, and while the hard plastic coating is slicker it does have some grip to it. There's a standard "chin" at the bottom where the USB port joins up with the phone, and because of its thickness there's a headphone extension jack to use if you don't have headphones with a small jack on them.
The 3300 mAh capacity lands between the other cases in this roundup, and Mophie gives it the claim of "up to 100 percent" additional battery for your GS6. Just like your phone's internal battery, it's rated for 500 full recharges, and you choose when to have it powering your phone with a convenient hardware switch on the back.
We tested the Juice Pack's capacity just the same as the others and found it added 90% battery to the phone in just under three hours, even while the phone was in use on mobile data. That's not bad — it charged more and faster than the other cases, despite having a smaller overall capacity. That just shows what you can get from the higher quality components in the Juice Pack.
It's pretty clear that if money is no object, the Mophie is the best choice, simply due to its fantastic build quality, slick design and highly-rated battery. Of course price is a factor for most picking up a battery case, and $99.95 is a steep asking price for something you may not want to use all of the time.
PowerBear Extended rechargeable battery juice pack (3,500 mAh)
PowerBear's 3,500 mAh juice pack is a one-piece case that allows you to charge it and your Galaxy S6 simultaneously, all in a sleek and slim package that won't add a ton of weight to your pocket, which is really what you want out of a battery case, since they're supposed to be "power on the go".
PowerBear claims that you get an extra 130% charge out of this case, but it's more like the ZeroLemon case in this roundup – you're more likely to get about 50%, taking anywhere from three to four hours to charge.
This case has a handy on/off switch, so that you're not wasting power when you don't need to, which makes it a great everyday case or an excellent emergency case.
The PowerBear's design is pretty typical, but it's still fairly thin for a battery case and it fits quite seamlessly, so if you like your Galaxy S6 to be in a case but not feel that way, then the PowerBear is likely the best choice for you.
If you regularly kill your phone before day's end and want a battery case that will last you a while, then check this one out, since PowerBear offers a 2-year warranty, which should get you through the lifespan of your Galaxy S6 until you upgrade.
ZeroLemon Slim Power battery case (3,500 mAh)
The ZeroLemon Slim Power Battery isn't quite the same setup as the others, as its battery and case are actually separate. The 3,500 mAh battery is a self-contained slab that has two USB ports on it — one for input, the other output — and a removable U-shaped USB connector so that it nestles up against the back of a Galaxy S6. The case is just a basic rubber affair, but it's designed so that the battery and phone can be held together inside comfortably while charging.
The battery is fully operational with other cables and can be used without the case, though the implication is that you'll be using the whole thing together most of the time. The case itself wraps the whole phone for a bit more protection than others, but the design means that the ZeroLemon setup is larger than others and offers a lower capacity. It also ships with a headphone jack extension cable due to its size, which is burdensome to say the least.
It has similar charge rates to the others, and when combined with the simple 3,500 mAh cell it was only able to charge up the Galaxy S6 by 50% — and that took about 3 hours and 45 minutes to do it. That's not very fast, and for a battery case that's bigger (and more expensive) than some of the others we expected to get a little more out of it.
The one benefit ZeroLemon has going for it is an explicit 180-day warranty — how much value you actually put in that is up to you.
Consider whether a battery case is even the best choice
Now that you know there are dozens of very similar battery cases to choose from for the Galaxy S6, you should probably take a step back before buying and decide whether a battery case is the best choice for you. The basic idea of having a battery case is the same for any phone — make it easier to stay mobile while also having a phone that isn't dead. Strapping the battery to your phone of course accomplishes that goal, but as we've seen it isn't a perfect situation.
Though there are differences between each battery case, they all present very similar problems in terms of actual use. No matter the size of the battery, adding an external cell in a big rubber and plastic case seriously hurts your ability to use the Galaxy S6 like you would normally. Being able to recharge your phone without a cable is great — but if you have to nearly double the weight and thickness of your phone for the whole time you charge, it isn't that great of a trade-off.
The concept of not having to worry about power or plugging in is an appealing one, but a battery case may not be the best way to handle this problem. If you have the right equipment, chances are you'll be far better off getting a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes from a quick charger when you're in your home, office or car. And when you have to be mobile, an external battery pack can charge your phone (and tablet, and friend's phone) for the same price and in one-fourth the time that these battery cases can — and when you're done charging there's no added bulk to your phone.
With wall charging and external batteries you're helping fix the battery issues while also reducing the number of additional issues you add to the experience — that can't be said about a battery case. For all but the most serious of road warriors who just cannot afford the time to plug in at any point during the day, a wall plug or battery will be the best choice. But if you're in that small minority that needs it, give these battery cases a look and find the best model for you.
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