Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max does fit the Apple Smart Battery Case meant for the XS Max, but blocks the flash and 0.5X lense

Posted by Paul Braren on Sep 22 2019 (updated on Dec 11 2019) in
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    Yes, you can do it, but that doesn't mean you should. [Nov 20 2019 Update - Apple just released an iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max Smart Case!] Squeezing this case on is a temporary stop-gap solution for occasional use, at best. Since the side buttons don't line up, the usefulness of this "hack" is limited, and removing the case is fairly difficult. If you plan to keep using this case for months until a proper one arrives, then you'll likely need to be handy with a very sharp and dangerous blade to make some permanent mods to:

    • remove the rubber over the lenses and flash.
    • remove the rubber all around both side buttons that are embedded into the Smart Case, so you'll now be directly pressing on the iPhone 11 Pro Max buttons.

    You do NOT want to accidentally damage the LiON battery within, and I certainly wouldn't recommend flying with a case that's been modified in any way.


    At 9to5Mac, you'll find these two related articles:


    We now, as I was rushing to catch a flight today, I grabbed my Apple Smart Battery Case that's always charged and in my go bag, then realized I hadn't tested whether it would fit on my 2 day old iPhone 11 Pro Max? Would it charge?

    The answer to both is yes! It does block the flash and the 0.5X lense, but you're otherwise good to go as-is. Best for daytime travel use for me, for now.

    It's all covered in this short video below, shot on, you guessed it, an iPhone 11 Pro Max, in 4K. Enjoy!

    Note: I also tested pass through charging, and that works fine as well: both the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Case charge simultaneously. Note that I forgot to test and mention that in the first-and-only-take video.

    How did your testing go? Leave us your comments below!

    Sep 22 Update 02:10 pm


    I'm about to take-off on a 3 hour flight, and need to add some significant usability issues to this article. It seems the button misalignment is large enough that my power button only works about 80% of the time on the first press. The volume buttons are also not consistent.


    So for my use today, to extend battery life on my flight in coach, these caveats aren't too big of an issue. I still prefer this temporary solution over an external pack, at least until a Smart Case designed for this iPhone comes out, see Apple Working on Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. At that point, I'll likely be handing my iPhone XS Max Smart Case over to another family member.

    Sep 23 2019 Update

    Article above pre-pended appropriately, to set expectations based on real world experience. Without the case on today, I already went through 45% of my battery on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, so I'm still a power user it would seem. Good thing I brought my USB C to Lightning cable with me to charge quickly from my laptop!

    Nov 20 2019 Update


    Today, the iPhone 11 Pro Max Smart Battery Case with Wireless Charging became available in Pink, White, or Black. I ordered black, and it will be delivered on Wednesday, Nov 27 2019. I suspect it will be a straight forward ownership experience, but what really surprised me is a new, dedicated camera button that sounds rather helpful for vacationers and all day conference attendees alike!

    The Verge explains:

    But the new trick for 2019 is a physical button that automatically opens the iPhone’s camera app when pushed — even if your phone is locked. If you turn the phone horizontally for a shot, your right index finger should naturally rest right near the button’s location on the case. Holding it down will start recording a video using the new QuickTake feature available on this year’s iPhones.

    See also 9to5Mac:

    So what kind of battery life improvements can you expect with Apple’s Smart Battery Cases? Apple touts that Apple touts that you can expect up to 50% longer battery life when the Smart Battery Case is fully charged.

    Furthermore, the Smart Battery Cases are compatible with Qi wireless chargers. This means you can charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously. There’s also a Lightning port for standard wired charging, as well as support for USB-PD chargers for even fast charging.


    Dec 11 2019 Update

    I've been using my iPhone 11 Pro Max Smart Battery Case fulltime for two weeks now, and I can safely say I quite enjoy having it.

    As for wireless (Qi) charging in my car, the rubber lip at the bottom edge of the Nomad Wireless Charger is deep enough to hold it properly, while the Jeda Wireless Pad is a little too shallow to keep it in place.

    See also at TinkerTry

    You're not going to want to have that wide angle lense blocked. Unedited photo of Hilton Tampa Downtown taken by Paul Braren on Sep 23 2019, using iPhone 11 Pro Max camera app in automatic mode.
    Notice the curvy green artifact at the bottom left, not bad considering I'm aiming a camera at the sun, which is not a great idea to do for more than a moment. Then again, it must be designed to handle that, given many normal 1x and 2x shots people take will inevitably have the sun shining directly into that 0.5x lense.