Apple's new case gives your iPhone a big butt and better battery life.
The "Smart Battery Case" launched on Apple's online store Tuesday and promises up to 25 additional hours of battery life, depending on what you're doing with your phone. It works only with the normal-sized iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S -- not the "Plus" models.
According to a 1,300-word review on The Verge, it's not really worth the $99 price tag but "will probably sell like hot cakes" anyway. That's probably right. Poor battery life is a recurring problem for iPhones, and that sweet, sweet Apple branding is easier on the eyes than considerably less expensive battery cases from companies like Mophie.
Make no mistake: If you buy this case to improve your battery, you're essentially paying an Apple tax. Mophie's $59.95 Juice Pack Reserve is compatible with the same phones and offers a very similar battery boost. (Its battery capacity is 1,840mAh versus Apple's 1,877mAh.) Mophie also offers another battery case that -- for 95 cents more than Apple charges -- has a considerably larger 2,750mAh battery. Apple's case is soft while Mophie's is hard, but neither is winning a beauty competition.
Of course, as Wired points out, there's more to this case than just the battery boost. Unlike rival cases, this one doesn't have annoying blinking lights, doesn't require an on/off switch and comes all in one piece.
And yeah, it gives your iPhone a beefier tush. Maybe Apple should just go ahead and make its next iPhone thicker, though: A HuffPost/YouGov poll from earlier this year found that the vast majority of Americans would take a heftier phone if it meant better battery life.