Unlike thick, single-piece external iPhone batteries that require you to remove your phone case before you can use them, the Boost Case Hybrid comes in two pieces: The first is a light protective shell that can stay on the phone at all times; the second piece is the actual extended battery.
The half-ounce shell comes in black, white, yellow, grey, blue, red-orange or--ahem--"nude" (clear plastic). It snaps firmly onto an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and has a small, pear-shaped opening on the back that serves as a keyhole for the sliding lock on the detachable 2.2-ounce, 1900 mAh lithium polymer battery. The case and battery have cutouts that allow the iPhone camera and flash to work unimpeded.
The concept, said a Boost Case representative, is to keep the bulk and weight of the extended battery out of your pocket until you really need it. Once connected, the Boost Case Hybrid doubles the available talk time of the iPhone 4 or 4S, he said. The battery is charged via a micro USB port.
When you plug it in with an iPhone attached, the Boost Case Hybrid will recharge the phone first before it recharges itself. The battery has a power level indicator and it can stay attached while the phone is synced with a PC.
The Boost Case Hybrid is available from Amazon.com.
Robert S. Anthony is a New York-based technology journalist. He writes a tech blog called The Paper PC
For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2012.
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