There are so many iPhone battery cases in the market but Third Rail Mobility’s offering is the most intriguing, and honestly, the most practical concept I have come across so far. The Third Rail iPhone 4/4S battery case is being offered as a three in one solution – it is a slim protective case, a power backup for the iPhone, and also a power backup for other devices. How is this possible, you ask? Third Rail made the battery pack detachable from the slim iPhone case, so when you want to charge other devices, the detachable power pack connects through these devices through a micro-USB port.
There are other iPhone cases with detachable battery packs like the Boostcase, which I had the chance to review. But unlike these battery packs, the detachable power pack in Third Rail, which it calls Smart Battery, can charge other devices. It can be used to charge Android phones and tablets, BlackBerry phones, and practically any device that charges through micro USB or USB.
What’s more, users can stack as many Smart Batteries as possible. So if you have three Smart Batteries, for instance, you can either swap them individually, or stack them over each other. This makes the iPhone thick and almost impractical to carry but if you simply want to charge your phone, this is quite helpful.
The Third Rail case, called Slim Case, is an elegant case, combining glossy and matte finishes. The very bottom of the Slim Case shows a power switch and a micro-USB port. At the back of the case, the connecting port for the Smart Battery can be seen, along with four openings in the corners. When attached to the iPhone, the Third Rail Slim Case does not add too much to the thickness or weight of the iPhone. It is very thin and very light. An iPhone with a Third rail protective case is almost as thin as an iPhone without the case. It adds length to the iPhone though as the Third Rail has a connecting dock at the bottom.
The 1250 mAh Smart Battery itself is thin and small, with 4 legs in the corners that serve as locks when attached to the protective case. So when additional power is needed, you simply attach the Smart Battery on the back of the case by dropping the 4 legs of the Smart Battery into the 4 openings.
The Smart Battery has an on/off switch that can be used to control the flow of power to the iPhone. When it is switched on, power will flow to the iPhone and will charge the iPhone’s battery. So when your phone is fully charged, you have the option of turning off the Smart Battery.
Like I previously mentioned, the Smart Battery can be used as a standalone backup battery to charge other devices. The Smart Battery is equipped with a USB-in port for receiving power from a power source and a USB-out port for powering external devices. To charge a non-iPhone device one simply has to connect the same to the OUT port of the Smart Battery using the supplied Third Rail USB Adapter. This can be done even if Smart Battery is attached to the protective case.
As a backup battery juice, the Third Rail is quite useful. A fully charged Third Rail Smart Battery adds about 8-10 hours of battery life to the iPhone. It’s very handy and very light so it’s really very easy to carry. The Smart Battery slips into any pocket.
The Third Rail Slim Case is compatible with all Third Rail Smart Batteries so one can borrow Smart Batteries from others. Smart Batteries are on the other hand compatible with existing and future Third Rail cases, so when new cases are made for future phones, there is no need to purchase a new Smart Battery.
The complete Third Rail set that includes the Slim Case and Smart Battery is priced at Php3,850. You can buy the Slim case alone, which costs Php1,850, or an additional Smart Battery, which costs Php2,650. You can get the Third Rail iPhone 4/4S battery case from these stores:
- Beyond The Box
- Digital Hub
- Digital Hub – Limketkai Center CDO
- Digital Walker
- Digital Walker – Abreeza Davao
- Digital Walker – Harbor Point Subic
- Digital Walker – SM Cebu
- E-Central – Cebu
- Gadgets in Style
- iCenter – Abreeza Davao
- iCenter – Gaisano Davao
- Metrovii – General Santos
- Power Hub – Chimes Davao
- SKT Digital – Bacolod City
- The A Shop