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Powermat Wireless Charger

I have been trying to get my hands on this device for a long time and now I finally have it at my disposal. As I said it in the review of the year 2009, there is a boom of induction chargers going on right now, with manufacturers of all kinds offering their visions of such accessories. However, just like it is with Bluetooth handsets, there isn't much space for creativity there. You get some sort of a pad that connects to an AC outlet and a special module that connects to the charger port of your mobile phone or other gadget and talks to the pad. It can be a clip-on module or a case, etc. You put the device with this module on the pad – and here be magic.

If I worked in the retail, I would go on describing how beautiful, neat and technological that is. But in fact, there is nothing more than wild marketing to it. You can use the standard cable to charge your iPhone. Or you can connect a charging pad to an AC outlet, insert something into your device, put it on the pad and feel very happy about it all. In my opinion, it is like eating with the help of a special gadget attached to your hand. I guess you can come up with your own, better examples. Today, I am going to tell you about the Powermat system, which is one of the most popular brands in the market offering a whole lot of wireless chargers for various devices.

Build and Design

For the test, I received a mat with three charging positions but the company is also offering some more affordable ones with one or two charging positions. They even have a foldable Powermat for frequent travelers. All Powermat products have very nice packaging made of quality carton and featuring an easy-to-open design that allows you to take a quick peek at what's inside. The build quality of the charging mat is quite good, which is also true for the materials used. You can find three light indicators on the side and their brightness and audio signal volume adjustment controls on the back. The sound can be heard when you put a device to be charged on the mat (that is, the charging process begins) or when it is fully charged.

Other than that, I got my hands on a receiver case for the iPhone 3Gs. It is made of plastic with a soft-touch finish to it, consists of two pieces and has a projection at the back that touches the Powermat. The case significantly increases the size of the device and personally I wouldn't use it on a daily basis. Moreover, the pieces hold together very tightly and you will have to virtually tear the case apart in order to take it off. I liked the receiver far less than the other gadget from the bundle. This other thing is a universal receiver with a miniUSB plug and an assortment of tips for products by Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, etc. I find it very exciting. It enables you to charge virtually any Android device, hundreds of headsets and many other gadgets. Unfortunately, you can't charge the iPhone/iPod/iPad with it and I would really like to have that option so that I don't have to user the receiver case. You also get a special container for some three or four tips along with the universal receiver.

A few words about the cases. The company is offering special cases for nearly every Blackberry out there, iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4, HTC Evo 4G and HTC HD2, Motorola Droid X and Nintendo DS Lite and DSi.

How It Works

The system is very simple. You put your iPhone with the special case on or the universal receiver with some other gadget attached to it in either charging position and wait a second or two for the process to begin, which will be indicated by a pleasant sound. Thanks to the light indicators, you can always find the mat in the dark. The charging time seems to be fairly adequate. For example, it took the Powermat about three hours to fully charge the HTC Desire battery (starting from point zero), or maybe even two and a half hours as I simply connected the receiver, put it on the mat, left off to run some errands, came back and saw it ready.

Gadget lovers will be quite happy with the Powermat.


You can read the concluding remarks at the very beginning of this article. The 3X charging mat is offered for $99.99, whereas the iPhone 3Gs receiver case and the universal Powercube receiver are $39.99 each, which makes $180 in total and a good Christmas gift in the end. I would never buy it for myself, though.

It is well built and does the job yet… why the heck would anyone need it?

Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Olexandr Nikolaychuk (meiam@inbox.com)

Published — 06 December 2010

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