OtterBox is best known for its bulky yet protective Defender series of iPhone cases, which let you find creative ways to abuse your iPhone while keeping it in like-new condition. The same goes for the company’s battery cases, and the Resurgence ($99.95) does what most iPhone 5/5s battery cases do; extend your phone’s battery life at a cost of added general bulk and weight. It won’t keep your phone running anywhere near as long as Mophie’s Juice Pack Plus or PhoneSuit’s Elite. And if you’re looking to stay below the $100 mark, uNu’s DX and Seidio’s Innocell Plus still provide more battery life with very attractive price tags. But few provide as much protection for your iPhone 5/5s as the Resurgence.
Design and Features
Despite their similar appearance, all battery cases are not created equal: At 5.65 by 2.55 by 0.69 inches (HWD), the Resurgence is marginally smaller than Mophie’s Juice Pack Plus in every way, but weighing in at 3.05 ounces, it’s 0.37 ounces heavier. The case is available in all black, pink and black, gray and white, or teal and gray.
The main piece covers your iPhone’s back and has a pleasant, lightly rubberized texture. The other piece, which fits over your iPhone’s front and clips to the case’s back, has a shinier finish that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the back or other all-rubberized cases. The front piece also has a prominent lip that raises above the iPhone’s screen, too, which protects the screen from scratches if your phone lands face-down. The Resurgence’s extended bottom means the 3.5mm audio jack is deeply recessed into the case, so you’ll need the included extender if you want to use headphones.
On the case’s underside, you’ll find a standard micro USB port to charge the case and the phone with the included micro USB cable. Your phone will charge first, and the case will follow once your iPhone’s battery is full. You’ll be able to sync your iPhone through the case’s micro USB connection, so there’s no need to remove the case—and thankfully so, as it’s really quite difficult and sometimes painful to remove.
The Resurgence will turn on and charge your phone when you hold down the button on the front, bottom right of the case. It will stop charging automatically when your phone is fully charged, but you do have the option to manually turn off the charging by long-pressing the button again. Four white LEDs, each representing 25 percent of the total charge, will blink around the button to indicate how much juice is left in the case when you simply tap it.
Performance and Conclusion
During a drop test from a height of around five feet, the Resurgence lived up to its military-rated MIL STD 810G drop-and-shock protection by holding together and protecting our iPhone 5s. The Resurgence’s two-piece design is very finicky to open, but that’s okay; if it was any easier to open, the case’s components could scatter across our lab’s floor, like Seidio’s Innocell Plus did in a similar drop test. The Resurgence’s extra protection comes from the solid case itself and the padding on the main piece that contains the extra battery and Lightning connector.
The 2,000mAh Resurgence added a relatively short 4 hours, 36 minutes of talk-time to our drained Verizon iPhone 5s (with the phone’s LTE turned on, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off). That’s almost three hours less than the Mophie Juice Pack Plus (which is $20 more expensive) and a little over two hours less than Seidio’s Innocell Plus (which is $30 less expensive), both of which are in the same 2,000mAh capacity range. Cases in the 1,500-1,700mAh battery range, such as Mophie’s Juice Pack Air and Helium even added more juice than the Resurgence in the same test (6 hours, 57 minutes and 6 hours, 20 minutes, respectively).
Mophie’s Juice Pack Plus adds more battery life than the Resurgence, but doesn’t boast military-rated protection. The Seidio comes in a close second thanks to its lower price, but it’s not as protective as either the Juice Pack Plus or the Resurgence. If your iPhone happens to be running out of battery as well as storage space, you should take a look at Mophie’s Space Pack, which adds more than eight hours of battery life and additional storage for your media. But if you need a strong case and just some additional battery life, the Resurgence is a solid pick.