Review of Powermat Wireless Charging System for iPhone 4


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Last year we looked at the Powermat Wireless Charging Unit; one of the first commercial induction charging systems. Palm was one of the first to take advantage of the technology with the Palm Pre using the Touchstone. To replicate that system with other devices Powermat uses an external receiver that works in conjunction with an induction mat. To create a seamless induction charging experience with the newest iPhone, Powermat has just released the Wireless Charging System for the iPhone 4.

This system comes as a bundle that will get you up and running without the need for any other Powermat components. The components can also be bought separately but is less expensive sold together. It includes a 1x charging mat and receiver case which is everything needed for protecting and charging an iPhone 4. Unlike its predecessor Powermat has slimmed down the whole bundle with a smaller profile case and narrow single mat.

The Wireless Charging System for the iPhone 4 arrives packaged in a clear plastic box with the receiver case charger seen in front with the mat visualized behind it. The back of the package shows how the system works and lists included items found in the box.

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Opening the package reveals the Powermat 1x Single Position Charging Mat, the Protective Receiver Case, Universal Power Supply, Micro USB to USB Cable and Owner’s Manual.

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The Powermat receiver hard case is composed of plastic. It adds slight bulk as it is very thin but does add some length below the home button with an additional centimeter of plastic.

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At the bottom of the case is a Micro USB port and two openings for the speakers. The left side of the case has an open area for iPhone 4’s volume and mute controls.

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The top is also exposed for the power and headphone jack. On the back we find and opening for the camera and flash along with the Powermat logo in the upper center of the case, A rubber hinge with the words “Powermat” opens the upper section of the case for insertion or removal of the iPhone 4.

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The sides of the case are flush with the edge of the iPhone 4 meaning the screen is not protected if the phone gets placed screen side down onto a surface.

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On the bottom of the inner case is the iPhone dock connector which transfers the charge from the receiver to the iPhone 4.

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The 1x Single Position Charging Mat is blacks with a silver upper border. It feels more solid than the case as it houses the charging mechanism. In the center is a recessed rectangle area with the Powermat logo in the center. This area is the contact surface for the receiver to initiate the charge.

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On the backside we find four rubber feet to keep it from sliding around. At the top of the mat is the AC connector port. The bottom of the mat has a white LED which lights up when the Powermat is actively charging the device.

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The Universal Power Supply is designed for portability as the cord wraps around the ridged AC plug. At the end is a small AC adapter which inserts into the Charging Mat. The included Micro USB to USB Cable is used to sync the iPhone 4 to your Mac or PC while housed in the Receiver hard case.

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Specifications:

Powermat Wireless Charging System for iPhone 4

What’s included
-1 Powermat 1Xi wireless charging mat
-1 Wireless Receiver Case for iPhone 4
-1 Power Supply
-Micro USB to USB Cable

Powermat 1x Wireless Charging Mat
SMALL PROFILE
FITS ANYWHERE
The Powermat 1x Wireless Charging Mat is the perfect solution for wirelessly charging in multiple locations in the home and office. Its small footprint fits almost any corner or even the smallest of nightstands.

EASY TO USE
PERFECT ALIGNMENT
The mat is designed to perfectly fit the iPhone 4 ensuring perfect alignment and fast, efficient charging.

THE POWERMAT SOUND
A unique sound tells you that a solid connection has been made and your device is charging. A second, similar sound is heard when the device is removed.

SIMPLE AND SMART
PERFECT CHARGE FOR EVERY DEVICE

Communication between the Mat and the Receiver (via RFID) allows the mat to deliver an exact amount of power for the proper length of time so that the transfer of power is safe and efficient and no energy is wasted.

AUTO SHUT OFF
When a device reaches full charge, power is shut off to that device, which avoids overcharging of the device’s battery as well as saves energy.

FULL CHARGE CHECK
Once full power is achieved and the Auto Shut Off has occurred to save energy, the system will monitor the status of the battery in your device. If the battery is used, the system will again initiate charging and return the battery to a full charge.

Wireless Receiver Door for iPhone 4
The wireless Powermat Receiver case for iPhone 4 allows your iPhone 4 to charge wirelessly on any Powermat wireless charging mat
-Powermat Receiver Case seamlessly upgrades your iPhone 4 to wireless charging
-One time replacement of your phone’s case with a slim, sleek, formfitting design that mirrors your iPhone’s original design
-Simply place on any Powermat Mat to charge wirelessly, no plugging and unplugging

Price: $59.99

The Protective Receiver Case is designed align with the 1x Single Position Charging Mat making initiating the charge simple.

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Installation of the case is simple, just open the top of the case, slide the iPhone 4 in and close the top. Now rest the case with the backside touching the Powermat to start charging. If you choose you can charge your iPhone 4 with another Powermat charging accessory designed for Apple devices.

Powermat states there are three ways to confirm a device is charging by Feeling, Hearing and Seeing. The Feel occurs when you feel a magnetic pull between the mat and receiver. Hearing is the audible chirp heard when charging starts or the device is removed from the mat. Seeing is the white LED on the Powermat.

Since the receiver and mat are designed to line up, getting a connection is a simple process.

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When I tried the iPhone 4 case receiver on my regular 3X Powermat it took several positioning attempts to obtain a charge connection. Also when I tried charging three items at once on the 3X Powermat, one end would not power up. Maybe my original 3X Powermat is defective.

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Using other Powermat receivers with the 1X Powermat was a similar endeavor. Charging via Powermat is a bit slower than using a direct AC charger.

I had to carefully position the receiver to get a solid charge connection. Apparently there is a small area of connectivity that must be aligned to get the proper connection.

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The overall feel of the receiver hard case is light and plastic-y. I do not think it would do well with any type of fall from more than a few inches off the ground. Plus the receiver adds some additional weight to the case as well. All of the iPhone’s buttons and controls are easily accessed with the case in place. The case is an improvement from the 3G/3GS version but definitely needs more work.


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Conclusion:

The Powermat Wireless Charging System for the iPhone 4 is a good option for this those who wish to charge their iPhones using Powermat inductions system. Since this is a bundle you don’t need to own any prior Powermat products beforehand. The receiver and mat can be purchase separately but is cheaper with the bundle.

I am a fan of the Powermat system as I have owned the Powermat 3X Pad for the past year; however the receiver case is a little disappointing; it feels cheaply constructed and offers little in terms of iPhone 4 protection. I much rather keep my Speck case on instead. Hopefully in the future Powermat will team up with an established case design company to create something more substantial.

Other than my issue with the case the charging system works well. The 1x Single Position Charging Mat works with the included receiver case as well as other Powermat accessories so you are not limited to just charging the iPhone 4 with this setup. If you acquire the universal adapter then you can charge most every device you own, of course only one at a time.

At this time I would recommend getting the 1X Powermat and picking up a universal receiver over the bundle. I would avoid the receiver case until it is designed to provide more protection.

7

Pros:
+Simple to use
+Charges easily
+Cool accessory

Cons:
-Case could be better
-Receiver case adds bulk

Grades:
Overall score-7-10
Design score-7-10
Performance score-8-10

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

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