The SEIDO INNOCELL PLUS Combo seems a name twice as long as needed — but then it isn’t just a protective case for an iPhone 5/5S, but also a battery pack as well. While such cases have become commonplace, the INNOCELL PLUS builds in some additions not found in other cases which easily justifies its $79.95 price tag.
The black (as is all parts) case with bumper easily accepts the iPhone — angling the phone’s butt end first is necessary in order to mate its Lightning connector slot with that found inside the case. Unlike some others, the Lightning connector is solid in place and does not have any “give” from the case’s bottom. Once done, and the sides and top pushed around the iPhone, a fit held in place by snugness results. Then the sled “front” is placed over the front of the iPhone and clicked into position.
The case itself adds little weight to the phone — 2.5 ounces to be exact — and is of a hard TPU construction, not being made from some silicone-like flexible material. Cutouts let the camera peep through on the back and for the mute tab on the side, with a rocker-like switch on the side for the volume buttons. The bottom has a micro-USB slot that is used for both charging and syncing with iTunes/computers. But the best cutout is for the headphone jack at the lower left bottom; it’s large enough so that regular earbuds can be plugged in, eliminating the nonsense of having to use an audio extension cable.
I found the SEIDO to provide better than adequate protection for my iPhone 5 as I went about my day — the case’s front lip adding some protection for the phone’s being placed face down on a surface, but as the screen is totally exposed it’s fair to say that this is not the case to use if you are concerned about “total” protection for an iPhone. For those who are well-suited to the “quick-draw,” the INNOCELL includes a holster attachment which grips the case and holds on via friction. This lets the entire assembly be clipped onto a belt or other similar surface, with the clip itself of a large size. It’s also felt-lined with an in-face design to aid in keeping the phone covered when not in use. The clip’s holding power is such that few will fear that it won’t hold on — those with such paranoia should just stick it in a pocket and be done with it. That’s how I normally carry my iPhone around anyway.
The INNOCELL’s battery is built inside the case and so is non-removable. That eliminates carrying around an extra battery pack for swapping out for it. But the 2000mAH rated battery has enough juice to charge the iPhone twice-over, as I found out, with a tab on the back activating the battery charging as well as noting the amount of charge left (4 tiny blue LEDs providing this info visually). There’s nothing negative to say about this, it just worked and the micro-USB slot made finding a cable to use less of an issue when outside the home — wherever those “charging stations” showed up at trade shows, I always saw micro-USB cables but Lightning cables were rare.
Bottom line: SEIDO’s INNOCELL PLUS Combo is a welcome addition to the iPhone 5 battery case squad as it does what it should and does it well. It might not be the prettiest case on the market, but staying in the background means that the iPhone gets highlighted, while being protected and having backup power at the ready.
Large battery backup, Accepts standard headphone jacks
Not water resistant
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.