Review: Naztech Power Case for iPhone 5/5s
Naztech's Power Case for iPhone 5/5s ($90) doesn't have the most original name, but we expected big things based on the the 2400mAh battery inside, as it's one of the highest capacities we've seen inside a case. Available in black or white, the case shares a common structure with many other battery cases: there's a plastic sled, and a frame that snaps in place around the edges of the iPhone to hold it. The company includes three different color frames with the case, and incorporates a kickstand into the back -- a less common design feature -- while including the standard micro-USB cable and headphone extender.
In both size and shape, Power Case reminds us of any number of battery cases we’ve covered over the past year. Naztech chose to skip over button protection, opting instead to leave the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons exposed through the plastic frame, along with the ringer switch. In an odd move, instead of a camera hole that’s approximately the size and shape of the lens and flash setup, Naztech’s runs all the way across the back of the case.
You’ll certainly need the headphone port extender, as the port is very deeply recessed. The placement of the micro-USB charging port is slightly unusual—it’s on the right edge of the back panel, right where the pieces snap together—but it’s not a problem. Prying the kickstand out can be difficult because of how tightly it fits, but having it is a good thing regardless. As for phone call performance, our caller on the other end reported that there were no voice issues.
So just how well did that big battery perform? Based on the average results from dozens of past tests with the iPhone 5, we were expecting it to come in somewhere around 110%. With Wi-Fi and AT&T LTE connected, Bluetooth and the display turned off, and no media playing, it only provided 96%, missing the mark. This isn’t a terrible result—and it’s possibly attributable to differences in iOS 7 battery performance relative to iOS 6—but compared to the performance of other high-capacity battery cases, it was disappointing.
The market for battery cases has evolved a lot over the last few months, so based on price and performance, there are plenty of battery cases that are better picks. Power Case isn’t bad, but it’s a fairly generic design with less efficiency than we’d expected from its high-capacity battery—just good enough overall to be worthy of our general recommendation. On sale, it’d be a pretty good pick, as you’re still getting almost a full charge from the unit.