The PowerCore 2200 is a light and grippy iPhone 7 battery case from the maker of our favorite battery pack, Anker. Though it doesn’t offer nearly as much extra battery life as the portable PowerCore 10000, the PowerCore 2200 ($51.99) is much lighter and slips right on your phone. And unlike most battery cases, it features a built-in Lightning cable that tucks away when you don’t need it, leaving the port free for wired headphones. With a 2,220mAh cell, it doesn’t offer quite as much additional power as you can get from some similarly priced cases, but if you use your Lightning port a lot, it might be a worthwhile trade-off.
Anker takes some design cues from Apple’s own Smart Battery Case, including a noticeable battery bump on the back and a soft-touch finish. Slipping your phone in and out of the case is easy. The sides are somewhat flexible, so you just need to bend back one of the corners in or out a bit.
The PowerCore 2200 measures 5.6 by 2.8 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.2 ounces, making it easier to grip than heavier, more rigid plastic cases like the Mophie Juice Pack Air (5.9 by 2.8 by 0.7 inches, 3.5 ounces). The ZeroLemon Slim Juicer offers more battery life than either of these cases, but is also the largest all around, at 6.0 by 2.8 by 0.6 inches and 5.3 ounces.
The case covers your phone’s power and volume buttons with clicky plastic toggles. There’s a cutout on the left for access to the ringer switch. As far as protection, the front of the case features a raised edge to keep your screen safe from drops, but it’s not particularly rugged.
On the back you’ll find a power indicator button. Pressing it lights up four LEDs to its left, showing you how much power you have. To charge the case itself, you need to connect it to a power source via the micro USB port at the bottom (a cable is included).
Unlike most battery cases, the PowerCore doesn’t cover your iPhone’s Lighting port. Instead, you’ll find a built-in Lightning cable tucked into the back of the battery case, near the bottom. When you want to start charging your iPhone, you just pull it out and plug it in. Charging starts automatically. This lets you use wired headphones (either Lightning or via an adapter) without needing to take the entire phone out of the case.
Performance and Conclusions
The PowerCore’s 2,200mAh cell added 3 hours, 27 minutes of battery life to the iPhone 7 while streaming full-screen video over LTE at maximum brightness. That’s a solid result, just shy of the 3 hours, 49 minutes offered by the 2,525mAh Juice Pack Air (3 hours, 49 minutes). Both fall short of the 4,000mAh ZeroLemon Slim Juicer (5 hours, 48 minutes), however, which is the longest-lasting battery case we’ve tested so far.
The Anker PowerCore 2200 is a solid battery case that offers a decent amount of extra juice and leaves your iPhone 7’s Lightning port free for use. The Flux Battery Case is another slim, lightweight case that doesn’t cover your Lightning port, but it’s more expensive and provides less juice than the PowerCore. If you don’t care about the port and are simply looking for the most charge for your money, the ZeroLemon Slim Juicer is our Editors’ Choice. And if you’d rather not put a case on your phone at all, you may want to consider a portable battery pack like Anker’s own PowerCore 10000.