Tue, 03 Jan 2012 Air Voltage Qi Chargers review
Charge up your iPhone with the minimum of fuss
Sold separately (at the moment), these two products combine to form a convenient, efficient method of charging your iPhone using induction.
The sleeve fits easily on to your iPhone. It’s much like a conventional hard case, covering the sides and back, but leaving the screen, volume buttons and camera free. Then you place the sleeved iPhone on the mat (which needs to be plugged in), triple blue lights illuminates, and the phone starts to charge.
The idea appears to be that you keep the sleeve on all the time, and treat it just like an everyday case – Maxell claims that it’s as slim as any other case for iPhone, and that it provides strong protection. It is fairly slim, but it’s noticeably heavier than others, and longer at the bottom, similar to iPhone battery packs, except this iPhone case doesn’t include a battery.
If you’re willing to make the sleeve your default case, the whole process becomes exceptionally convenient: you have the charging mat set up in your office or home, and as soon as you get back from a meeting or commute, you automatically plonk the phone down on its mat.
And the charging process works fine. You don’t need to be particularly dainty when placing the phone on the mat – it needs to be touching, but it can be at an angle or even slightly off the end. And it charges fairly quickly: gaining about 40 per cent battery power per hour. (For comparison, our iPhone 4 gains about 65 per cent in the same time when plugged in.)
Make sure your iPhone never runs out of juice
Some will question whether this sort of product is necessary – the phone does need to be touching the mat, which needs to be plugged in, so you could almost as conveniently cut out the middleman and plug the phone into the mains. But having the little mat on your desk looks nicer, and it’s less likely to get lost or drop down the back of your desk than the mains cord that comes with the iPhone.