Some of us spend a lot of time in the field or on the road so we need our phones to last longer than one day. My Apple iPhone 6s Plus, see my full review, lasts longer than any other phone I own or have tested. However, there is still a need for more battery capacity and that is where either an external battery pack or battery case come in to save the day.
I've tried and enjoyed using Mophie Juice Packs in the past. I also have a battery pack stocked away in my gear bag, but that requires a cable and another hand or pocket to carry it around.
Spyder sent along its PowerShadow battery case for the iPhone 6/6s Plus for me to test out. I've spent more than a week with my iPhone 6s Plus inside the case and am convinced Spyder has a real winner here.
The Mophie Juice Pack provides 2,600 mAh for $99.95 while the Spyder PowerShadow provides 3,500 mAh for $99. That's another 900 mAh of battery capacity for the same price. The PowerShadow is also 3 mm shorter and 1.1 mm narrower than the Mophie Juice Pack. It is 0.5 mm thicker, but you wouldn't notice from holding both of them side-by-side.
There are directions for insertion and removal provided inside the case. Make sure to slide your iPhone down onto the Lightning connector and then work it into the case from bottom to top.
The Spyder PowerShadow is rated to provide shock resistance up to 1.5 meters while providing dust and water resistance. One aspect that is unique is the antimicrobial product protection provided by SilverSeal. This coating is designed to inhibit the growth of microbial bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungi on the case surface.
The case has a matte soft touch finish and feels great in the hand. There is an opening for the ringer switch while buttons cover the power and volume buttons.
There is a cool blue LED mounted next to the Spyder logo. Up to five lines of lights appear to show the battery status when you press in on the center button of the case. Pressing in on the button also activates the battery and initiates charging up your phone.
The cases are similar in size, but the PowerShadow has a better in-hand feel than the Mophie.
There is a large opening for the camera and flash on the back of the Spyder PowerShadow. My testing shows that the camera is not impacted when mounted in the battery case.
The iPhone speaker works better while mounted inside the PowerShadow case because the audio is redirected forward, facing the listener.
There is a thick water resistant cover over the headset jack and an included extender so you can use your existing headset.
On the other side of the bottom, you will find another cover with a microUSB port under the cover. Spyder designed the case to connect to the Lightning port on the bottom of your iPhone that then connects to the microUSB port on the right side of the bottom.
An interesting design feature of the Spyder PowerShadow case is the bottom connector pins. These are designed so you can drop your iPhone into a PowerShadow Charge/Sync Dock. The interesting aspect of this dock is the ability to charge your iPhone and battery case while also connecting to your computer for syncing.