The new Kensington iPhone 4 battery case offers a straightforward design, color options, and a slot plus card that function as a stand.
Kensington PowerGuard Battery Case
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the case was how lightweight it is compared to similar cases I used with my iPhone 3G and 3GS. It is also very compact, about ⅛ inch thicker than any regular case I have on hand for comparison and less than ½ inch longer than those cases. The package includes a card (about the size of a credit card) that functions as a stand, the power cable and a manual.
Available colors are black, white, and blue and the MSRP is US$59.99. I found it on-line at prices ranging from US$40.00 to US$64.00.
The manufacturer claims that this unit adds four hours of extra talk, five hours of videos, or two hours of music with the caveat that as the unit ages, there will be a decrease in productivity.
PowerGuard Case with card stand
There is an LED battery indicator and built-in volume control button. The PowerGuard presents with the usual Kensington two-year warranty.
Using the product
I charged the battery case fully and let my iPhone 4 battery completely discharge. Then I put my phone in the PowerGuard case. The front of the case comes off and then pops back on when the phone is in place. Getting the case apart is simple once you figure out how to do it, but the directions in the manual are dreadfully unclear. The manual shows a picture of a finger sliding the case apart when in fact you need to twist a coin to easily get it open. My phone recharged to 100 percent within three hours and retained the charge at 100 percent until I used the phone a couple of days later for some serious downloading.
Do I recommend it?
I do. Anyone with an iPhone 4 knows that the batteries last longer than in previous versions of the iPhone, and for many there may not be a need for a battery charger. But for those that do have that need, this is a charger that deserves evaluation. As noted, it is lightweight, not much bigger than any other iPhone 4 case, and it carries the customary Kensington two-year warranty.