Spigen’s wireless charging case for the iPhone 6s is surprisingly useful

Apple is rarely an early adopter of burgeoning standards, either because they are unproven, or the company believes they won’t add much to the user experience. It took years for Apple to add NFC to its phones, and even today doesn’t open it to third-party developers. And while phones have been recording 4K for years, only this year’s iPhone 6s series has that capability.

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But it’s wireless charging, something that has grown both in popularity and accessibility in recent years, for which Apple’s absence is most conspicuous. It’s unclear whether Apple is waiting for a single standard to be declared the winner, or if other factors, such as battery lifespan or risk of battery overheating, plays a part.

Thankfully, other companies have stepped in to fill that void, one of which is well-known case manufacturer Spigen.

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The California-based company has released a compact but rather inelegant case solution to add Qi wireless charging to the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus or 6s Plus. Dubbed the Tough Armor Volt, the two-piece case bundles a thin 700 milliamp wireless charging pad with a Lightning plug endpoint that, once fitted under the outer layer, is completely hidden.

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Besides the wireless charging element, which worked properly on my Tylt Solo Qi charger, the case is a fairly typical Spigen Tough Armor case.

The inside silicon layer is fairly protective, with an outer matte plastic portion that covers the 80 percent of the back and the sides of the iPhone. The case adds a fair amount of bulk to the new iPhones, and makes the larger 6/s Plus somewhat unwieldy, though considerably more protected than with a typical Apple silicone or leather case.

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There’s nothing particularly unique about the solution: as long as the wireless charging pad’s adapter is plugged into the iPhone’s Lightning port, the phone will charge wirelessly, albeit 30 percent slower than with a typical 1A iPhone charger, and a third as quickly as the phone’s maximum 2.1A input. On the other hand, it is pretty neat to see the iPhone charge wirelessly.

The good news is that the wireless charging adapter’s Lightning cord is easy enough to remove if you won’t be using it, or if you need to top up the phone more quickly using a wire.

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And then there’s a cheap plastic kickstand that, while effective enough at propping up the phone horizontally, will likely break, as mine did, after just a few minutes.

Spigen’s not going to win any design awards for the Tough Armor Volt, but at $50 USD it’s not a bad combination of protection and convenience. You will need your own wireless charging pad to complete the circuit, but one can be purchased for under $20 from Amazon.

Buy the Spigen Tough Armor Volt for the iPhone 6/6s or iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus from Spigen’s site.

Recommended with caveats

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Comments

  • Mo Dabbas

    Spigen make excellent cases.

    • It’s Me

      Hit or miss for me, though I am generally still a fan. I got one of their hybrid TPU/Ploy cases but found the platsic/poly bumper was very prone to breaking at the volume and power cutouts. Eventually got the aluminum version which was a great looking design, excellent quality and very strong…except that being aluminum meant that it blocked radios pretty well and wifi and cellular signals significantly declined as a result. Probably should have opted for a non-bumper design. Using a Magpul now which is great.

  • FlamesFan89

    “It’s unclear whether Apple is waiting for a single standard to be declared the winner, or if other factors, such as battery lifespan or risk of battery overheating, plays a part.”

    The most likely reason is actually that they are probably working on some proprietary version so that they can maximize profits on first party accessories, and third party licensing.

    • Mo Dabbas

      While I don’t disagree with you, full metal phones are not compatible with wireless charging because induction wouldn’t work if there is a metal back. So as long as apple is using full metal build iPhone fans are probably not gonna see wireless charging.

    • FlamesFan89

      Oh I know. I would just guess that once they have their proprietary solution figured out, and patented, they will have some new “revolutionary” plastic material to replace the metal back. 😉

      Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, I’m just having some fun. I’m sure the Apple police will be here soon to tell me I’m a troll and a fanboy, and generally take all the fun out of everything, all in the name of defending the one true creator, Apple.

    • The sad part is that you’ve written is absolutely true.

  • Can you guys throw an iPhone 6 in one and see how it fits? I’ve got my wife’s 6 in a nillikin qi case that is actually decent and for a while she used a Dog and Bone case with removable Qi charger in it, but it’s started acting up. If this would fit correctly, I might get it for her as it offers more protection than the Nillikin.

    • Daniel Bader

      Works great in an iPhone 6, too!

  • Bizzaresupes

    I’ve seen wireless cases here and there for the iPhone 6. Most recently, Love Mei MK2 case (rip off Lunatik cases). I like the idea of the convenience of wireless charging. Been something i’ve been wanting to try since i seen the Palm Pre charging stations at Bell Kiosks at malls. But I’ve always been hesitant for some reason. I like Spigen cases, if this gets good reviews (and get rid of the kick stand. Last Spigen case i bought that had one like that broke after the first use) then i may end up buying it. But till then, i’ll probably just stick to regular wired charging, and my otter box resurgence case.