Any iPhone user knows that even the newest member of the family, the iPhone 4, can really chew through battery life - especially if you're on the Internet quite a bit (like me) and play games with it (also like me.) I usually find myself, often, plugging in the phone whenever I get a chance, even in the car, to keep the battery "topped off."
Of course, this involves actually plugging it in - which is so analog, isn't it? The Powermat series of products aims to bring mobile phone charging into the next century, allowing you to juice up your mobiles by simply laying them down on a mat or cradle.
Is this technology effective? Is it worth it? The folks at Powermat were kind enough to send me the iPhone 4 charging system and a Powermat 2X to test just that.
What is the Powermat System?
Essentially, the Powermat system - regardless of which product you use - utilizes "principles of magnetic induction along with proprietary technology" to deliver power to your device. So it uses magnetism in some form - cool. No further details are given away, however.
In addition, the Powermat devices are "smart" in the sense that they pair with individual devices to deliver the correct charge for each device as well as stop charging when a device is fully juiced - which is very cool. I'm certain that there is some sort of identifier in each devices' Powermat case that enables this.
Setting up the Powermat System for iPhone 4
Setup is quite simple, and doesn't require any instruction reading. It's truly intuitive - plug in cradle, stick phone in case, drop phone in cradle. The product is nicely and securely packaged, and if you are curious, a user manual is included with more information.
The Powermat iPhone 4 Case
The case/receiver itself does exactly what it promises - it provides limited protection for the iPhone 4 while enabling Powermat wireless charging. It's made of a thin-ish black plastic, with a hinged, snap-in top. Pull the hinge back on the top and the phone slides easily into the case, which has an iPhone connector dock in the bottom. Once the phone is fully docked, snap the top hinge of the case closed and you're all set.
What's great about the case is also what's bad about it - it's light and thin. This is good in the sense that it makes the phone less bulky, but only provides limited protection for the iPrecious. I am 100% certain that any drop worth its salt would easily shatter this case and most likely damage the phone as well. While it doesn't promise to be built like a tank, I would have liked to see bulkier options.
Page 2: The Charging Mats >>