While Apple is offering leather and silicone cases for the new iPhone SE, there is not a Smart Battery Case specifically designed for the device. That being said, it does appear that the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 7 works with the new iPhone SE — with one likely caveat.
Wirecutter’s Nick Guy decided to test the iPhone SE with the Smart Battery Case designed for the iPhone 7. Even though Apple does not promise compatibility with the iPhone SE, “it does appear to work,” according to Guy. Theoretically, the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s should also work with the iPhone SE, but we haven’t received confirmation of that just yet.
There is one likely sacrifice you’ll have to make, though. The new iPhone SE supports Qi wireless charging, whereas the iPhone 7 did not. This means that if you use the iPhone SE with the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 7, you won’t be able to charge your device wirelessly.
Apple doesn’t promise iPhone SE compatibility for the iPhone 7/8 Smart Battery Case, but it does appear to work. pic.twitter.com/cAP6PXHchK
— Nick Guy (@thenickguy) April 22, 2020
This is a drawback compared to the Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS and newer, which do support Qi wireless charging. This tradeoff might be worth it for some users, especially while traveling and really stretching the limits of the iPhone SE’s battery life, though.
By itself, you can expect the iPhone SE to offer battery life that’s roughly the same as the iPhone 8. As we detailed in our full iPhone battery comparison post, this includes:
- 13 hours of video playback
- 8 hours of streamed video playback
- 40 hours of audio playback
- 1821mAh battery
But when you pair the iPhone SE with the Smart Battery Case, you can expect even longer battery life. The iPhone 7’s Smart Battery Case features an additional 2365mAh of power, so you can expect around double the battery life. The Smart Battery Case also features deep integration with iOS, making it easy to monitor battery status via your iPhone’s Lock screen and settings. When plugged in, the Smart Battery Case and iPhone also work intelligently to charge simultaneously, Apple says.
Whether or not Apple has a Smart Battery Case designed specifically for the iPhone SE remains to be seen. Notably, a Smart Battery Case was never released for the iPhone 8, which would have been perfect for the new iPhone SE as well thanks to Qi charging on both devices. Even if Apple doesn’t release a Smart Battery Case for the iPhone SE, we expect other accessory makers to do so soon.
The iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case is still available from Apple directly for $99. You can also get it on Amazon in three colors for slightly less.
We’ve already highlighted many of the cases designed for the iPhone SE while also noting that cases for the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 will fit almost perfectly. You can check out our full iPhone SE accessories roundup for more details here.