If you’ve dismissed battery cases because they add too much bulk and weight to your iPhone 6 Plus, the 3,500mAh Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case might make you reconsider. Its sliding design lets you ditch the battery section of the case when you don’t need it, and offers better performance than the similarly priced Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus when you do. It’s an excellent value for $99, and a worthy recipient of our Editors’ Choice award.
Design and Features
At 6.80 by 3.40 by 0.65 inches (HWD), there’s no question that the Energi will add considerable bulk to your iPhone 6 Plus—more than any other battery case we’ve tested. And you’ll certainly feel the extra 5.12 ounces in your pocket. That said, the Energi’s sliding design lets you shed 4.16 ounces of weight, as well as the majority of the bulk, when you slide the case section out of the battery section.
The case is made of premium-feeling, soft-touch matte black plastic. On the bottom edge of the battery section you’ll find a micro USB port for charging both the case and your iPhone 6 Plus simultaneously; it also acts as a pass-through for syncing. Towards the bottom back of the case, you’ll find a button with four LEDs that indicate battery charge status when you press it.
There’s a recessed port hole for the iPhone’s 3.5mm audio port on the bottom edge, but it won’t fit any connectors wider than Apple’s EarPods. Unfortunately, Tylt doesn’t include a headphone extender, like the Juice Pack and i-Blason UnityPower do. However, Tylt includes a note with the case saying you can contact the company to receive a free adapter in the mail.
The Energi doesn’t boast any official protective standards, like the OtterBox Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 6 does with its military-rated shock protection. This means the case will likely protect your iPhone 6 Plus from a few minor impacts, but might not fare as well if you often drop your phone on hard surfaces.
Performance and Conclusions
In our battery rundown test, the 3,500mAh Energi gave our depleted iPhone 6 Plus 3 hours, 26 minutes of video streaming time over LTE until iOS’s 20-percent battery alert popped up. As with all our battery rundown tests,the screen’s brightness was set to max, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off. That result fits right between the Juice Pack’s 2,600mAh battery and the UnityPower’s 4,700mAh battery. Those cases gave 2 hours, 39 minutes and 3 hours, 54 minutes of LTE video streaming time, respectively.
Tylt claims the Energi outputs power at 2.1A, which could technically charge your iPhone faster if it supports that standard. We tested this claim on the iPhone 6 model of the case, and found that the higher output made no difference in the speed of charging.
Either way, the Energi is a better value than the Juice Pack, as it gives more power for your iPhone 6 Plus for the same price tag. And its versatile design lets you shed the battery’s weight when you don’t need it. You’ll need some sort of carrying bag if you’re out and about and you want to store the Energi’s battery section for later use, and in that case, you might want to consider an external battery like the 10,000mAh uNu Superpak. It can charge your iPhone 6 Plus several times over on a single charge, or keep your iPhone streaming video over LTE for close to 12 hours, all for nearly half of the price of the Energi. But if you don’t want to deal with charging cables, the Energi offers a great combination of performance and versatility, earning it our Editors’ Choice.