iPhone Battery Review: PhoneSuit Elite 5 Battery Case for iPhone 5/5s
The PhoneSuit Elite 5 is a high quality, high capacity battery case for the iPhone 5/5s. The PhoneSuit Elite 5 fits the iPhone 5/5s like a glove; sliding on and off easily but not so easily that you would worry about it coming apart unintentionally. As battery cases, go, it's no bulkier than any other, but if you are migrating from a non-battery case, be prepared to approximately double the weight of your phone. Most of this extra weight is, of course, the battery; which results in a much thicker phone once installed. However, the PhoneSuit Elite adds almost no width to your phone, and the extra height (or length, depending on your phone's orientation) is only about 0.5".
Features and Quality
PhoneSuit competes with several other well known manufacturers for the high-end of the battery case market. For these extra $$ you will get a higher capacity battery (2100mAh), reliable internals, and a snazzy LED readout with a hidden button that serves both as an on/off switch and to trigger the display. Although previous versions of this seemed to suffer from quality issues related to case durability, the version I tested was made of very sturdy materials, particularly the end cap, which was a source of significant consternation among early adopters. The PhoneSuit Elite leaves all controls and ports (except for the Lightning Port) uncovered so you will have full access to everything at all times. On the downside, this also means that it doesn't offer any protection from moisture. One particularly nice design feature is the clever way it gives you access to the headphone port without forcing you to use a rigid adaptor like some other battery case makers. For those unfamiliar with this issue, it has to do with the fact that the headphone port on the iPhone 5 is located at the base, which is also where battery case makers must house their electronics and the necessary lightning pass-through port. Usually, this extra bulk results in a heavily recessed headphone port, which is inaccessible without a rigid adaptor (unless you want to pull out your headphones by the wires). PhoneSuit has gotten around this by tapering the edges of the bottom portion of the case and building in a small cleft on the edges. It's a welcome solution, and works quite well.
While doing my research for this review, I noticed that some users were complaining about getting an error message telling them that the PhoneSuit Elite "may not be supported" when they plugged it in. This particular error message is common for all battery cases, and is not due to an unsupported, unlicensed, or faulty device. It happens when you attempt to charge your case and phone at the same time (most often when the case is fully depleted or very low) from either a low-quality cable or, more often, from an adaptor that cannot provide enough juice to charge both the case and phone at the same time. When this happens, either charge them separately, or plug them into an adaptor that can handle the load. Lastly, the mini-USB charge cable that ships with the PhoneSuit can also sync your phone without removing it from the case.
The PhoneSuit Elite 5 has a nice soft-touch, slightly rubbery finish that helps to hide scratches and scuffs. It is available in black or white.
The PhoneSuit Elite 5 is a solid battery case that won't fail you. With it, you can double the battery capacity of your iPhone 5 without having to sacrifice features like Bluetooth, or screen brightness to do it.
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5 What's Hot: High quality. Large capacity. No headphone extension required. Large LED readout that displays remaining capacity. What's Not: End cap is at top of phone so entire phone must be removed to access Lightning Port. No moisture protection. Price: $99.95 Web site:PhoneSuit