When the iPhone 7 debuted without a 3.5mm headphone jack, as many had feared, two things happened: a sizable chunk of Apple’s user base was annoyed, and a new industry for accessory makers was born. Many companies, like Incipio and Fuze, introduced cases that revived the headphone jack, in most cases alongside an external battery.
Many of these products are just fine, but there’s always room for improvement. A campaign launched a little over a week ago on Indiegogo aims to add a little more utility than just a headphone jack or extra battery, and it’s called ThinCase.
ThinCase is unique for a couple of reasons. First, despite packing both those features, it is considerably thinner than the competition — even Apple’s own Smart Battery Case with the awkward hump. ThinCase adds slightly less than 5mm of bulk to the back of the iPhone 7, and the company is offering the product for the iPhone 6 and 6S ranges as well.
Better yet, although it’s more slender than Apple’s first-party case, it packs a significantly larger battery — 3,000mAh, compared to Apple’s 2,365mAh. You’re not paying any extra for it, either and you’ll actually pay less, if you’re one of ThinCase’s early bird backers. The case is currently available for $60, with shipping slated to begin just around the corner in June. The campaign is already well over 400-percent funded, and at the time of writing there’s still 22 days remaining.
But ThinCase’s real party piece is its kickstand. The case is functionally comprised of two halves that utilize the base as a hinge, and that clamp together with your phone sandwiched in between. The front half has a raised lip, and you can rotate it back to prop your iPhone up on a surface.
It’s an elegant and useful feature that also calls attention to how easy the designers have seemingly made the case to put on or take off. While many cases are overly form-fitted and difficult to slip on without causing damage (looking at you, Apple silicone case), putting your iPhone in the ThinCase is really as simple as plugging it in to the Lightning port, and snapping the top half closed.
Speaking of Lightning ports, ThinCase has one — which is not as common as you’d think among battery cases for Apple’s smartphones. The product works as a pass-through, topping up your iPhone’s battery first before charging the case’s. LED indicator lights on the rear show you the level of juice in the case with the press of a button.
Few cases include all of these features — a headphone jack, external battery, and kickstand — and fewer still accomplish this integration while still being reasonably compact. Many battery cases don’t even work with Apple’s included Lightning EarPods.