iPhone 6s is just big enough to make iPhone 6 battery charging cases useless

With changes in a fraction of a millimeter, all those nifty iPhone 6 cases are now unusable.

Apple iPhone 6s iPhone 6 battery charging cases
Credit: Martyn Williams

Some months ago I ran a feature on the variety of iPhone 6 battery cases that can more than double your phone's battery life by offering a 120% recharge for your phone. What that means is they can recharge your phone from a complete drain, plus another 20% charge.

Now Apple has come out with its S release of its smartphone, like it has done since the iPhone 4, where it alternates between a version number and that version number with an S on the name. Apple typically doesn't make changes in the S version in terms of dimensions, but with the 6s, Apple changed it just enough to be annoying.

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I made the upgrade from an iPhone 6 for a number of reasons, not the least of which was storage. I had a 16GB and felt like I was constantly clearing things out to make room. With 64GB, I have room to breathe.

When I got home and attempted to insert it in my battery cases, it was a no go. I still had five of the six sitting in the garage after the tests and was using the Mophie (my preference, the Trianium, is broken). None of them would fit into the case. The only protective case I could use was a non-battery case because it was mostly rubber and had some give. 

Despite a number of reports that said the iPhone 6s was the same size as the 6, it's not.

092815 iphone 6s dimensions chart

The dimensions are minuscule and pretty much hard to spot with the naked eye, but the tiny bit of added width makes it uncomfortable to get into the case, and worse, the 0.2mm increase in depth means that the Lightning power adapter in the cases is off. You can't get the 6s into the old cases without force, and that's never a good idea.

I'm sure the case makers will make new ones for the 6s without grumbling publicly, because who wants to get on Apple's bad side (besides me)? But seriously, Apple, were those microscopic changes really necessary?

On the subject of iPhone 6s cases, I found a real beast. It was sold through an online retailer called Wish, which has a checkered history, to say the least. Apparently, the merchants on Wish are primarily Chinese and have a very questionable track record when it comes to delivering products, especially clothing. I don't buy clothing mailorder, and all of my orders have been delivered. So no complaints here.

092815 iphone 6s case

Anyway, I spotted this hulking case for just $12 and thought why not [Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed that this case was made by Lunatik. In fact, it is a knockoff product. You can see Lunatik's product lineup at its site]. I ordered it along with a few other items and it was the most impressive. It's heavy, weighing 11.1 ounces with the phone. My standard Trident case and phone weigh in at just 7 ounces. But it can take a drop, as I tossed it around, probably more than I should have.

The case is made of solid metal with a thick rubber interior to protect the phone from shock. Instead of snapping things in place, it uses six screws to hold the case together. There is a thick plastic screen over the iPhone display, but I had no problems with finger tracking accuracy. I'm not sure if it will mess with the 3D Touch of the 6s, though.

The Lunatik knockoff illustrates the risk in dealing with merchants from Chinese. They are shameless in their knockoffs. That’s why the product is so cheap. That said, it was not a flimsy case at all. It’s solid metal with a thick rubber insulation. So shame on them for stealing a legitimate company’s name. But that’s the risk you take with e-tailers like this.

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