I've been a fan of PhoneSuit's products for a few years now, which is why I was excited to get my hands on its latest PhoneSuit Elite 5 battery case that powers the iPhone 5 and 5s. Before I get to the main function of the case -- keeping your iPhone charged -- let me talk about design, because that's where this case really shines.
Most battery cases I've tried are capable, but ugly. The PhoneSuit Elite 5, on the other hand, looks great. It's only 15.5mm thick, which means it doesn't triple the bulk of the iPhone 5 and 5s like many other battery cases do. It weighs 79 grams. The case itself comes in two colors, metallic black and ice silver, and is made of a polycarbonate composite with a scratch-resistant coating. With my iPhone in the case, I felt like it could take a beating. I wasn't brave enough to drop my US$600 phone on the ground, but part of me was confident that if I did, it would be protected.
PhoneSuit also seems to have given a lot of thought not to just the design of the case, but also to the design of the iPhone itself. The PhoneSuit Elite 5 doesn't block the headphone jack, the Lightning port (due to the pass-through port) or the camera and its flash. Matter of fact, it doesn't even make it hard for one to plug in the included USB cable that allows pass-through charging to the Lightning port, or a headphone cord -- something that can't be said for a lot of cases. As for the opening around the iSight camera, the PhoneSuit Elite 5 was designed so that it doubles as a lens hood, which helps eliminate flares from the sun and other lighting sources when you are snapping pics.
But the real point of a battery case isn't its looks. It's to prolong the use of your iPhone between charges. At that, the PhoneSuit Elite 5 performed exceedingly well. For the first time ever, I used my iPhone 5s for 36 hours straight without plugging it in. It was a totally different experience for me because, as a heavy iPhone user, I find myself usually looking for a power source by the afternoon. The power benefits come courtesy of the integrated high-capacity, 2,100 mAh battery found in the rear of the case. PhoneSuit says it can provide a full 100 percent charge to the iPhone 5 and 5s in less than two hours and in my tests, I found that accurate. The company also advertises up to 20 hours talk time, up to 20 hours video time and up to 80 hours music time with the case. I didn't have the time to test each of those metrics individually, but as I said, doing a mix of all those things and more with this case on gave me a running time of 36 hours on my iPhone.
If you're looking for an iPhone battery case for yourself or your loved ones this holiday season, I highly recommend you check this one out. The PhoneSuit Elite 5 costs US$99.99.
Post edited to correct spelling of PhoneSuit.