Review: Spyder PowerShadow Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s Plus
Spyder's PowerShadow ($99) is a battery case for iPhone 6/6s Plus. The case uses a 3500 mAh battery which Spyder claims should deliver a full recharge to a depleted iPhone 6 Plus or 6s Plus battery — there's also also an iPhone 6/6s version which was not reviewed. PowerShadow is also said to be shockproof up to 5 feet, with a water-resistant, dustproof unibody design. A power button is located on the bottom rear of the case, with a power meter nearby. The case comes with a headphone jack extender and a micro-USB cord for recharging. A contact at the bottom of PowerShadow allows an iPhone to charge and sync through the company's PowerShadow Dock ($50), which is sold separately, and was not included as part of this review. PowerShadow comes in black or a titanium silver for Apple's largest iPhone.
Some users may value the matte polycarbonate unibody design or claimed water-resistance of PowerShadow. Like other unibody battery cases, the iPhone slides into PowerShadow and the battery’s extra bulk is stored on the back of the case. Spyder claims that PowerShadow has “no extra bulk” and is “thinner than most non-battery protective iPhone cases.” This simply isn’t true. PowerShadow isn’t massive — it only weighs 4.25 ounces — but there’s still a definite hump on its rear. The port covers at the bottom of the case are easy enough to remove, and button coverage is responsive. It’s also easy to access the ringer switch, which isn’t always true with these cases.
In our testing, PowerShadow turned off on its own a few times in the early stages of recharging an iPhone — it’s hard to say if this was a blip or a true long-term issue without extended testing, but seeing it happen twice is enough to give us some concern. After those early hiccups, however, we hit the button once more and PowerShadow recharged our iPhone 6s Plus with no more issue. It got up to a 96 percent charge, falling a bit short of its claims, and did so in about 3 hours, which is pretty standard.
In comparison to iPhone 6/6s, there aren’t as many battery cases for Apple’s larger iPhone 6/6s Plus, which makes PowerShadow interesting enough to begin with. It doesn’t add a ton of bulk for what it does, which is especially important for the biggest iPhone. The battery turning off by itself is a concern, considering most people probably won’t want to oversee their iPhone’s charge as it’s happening. Whether it’s a longterm issue has yet to be determined, but since we saw it happen twice in a relatively short period of time, it’s enough for us to limit our recommendation slightly on an otherwise perfectly fine battery case.