The Powermat Wireless Charging System for the iPhone provides iPhone users a protective case that also charges cable free. Powermat sent the Geeks a Wireless Charging System for both the iPhone 3G/3GS and the iPhone 4 and we put the case in the hands of some of our reviewers for a couple months to test in real world situations. One reviewer did accidentally drop their shiny new iPhone 4 on a concrete parking deck during the test… did the Powermat protect the device? What were the reviewers overall impressions of the Powermat iPhone case?
The Powermat iPhone charger’s case is made up of two pieces that connect together to cover the iPhone. The charging station is black with a few white LEDs that light up when the iPhone is “docked”. Additionally, the charging station produces a chime when the iPhone is first “docked”. I keep putting “docked” in parenthesis because you really just place the iPhone on the charging station and you do not need to connect a cable or slide into a dock. The charging station and case both have magnets to guide the case with iPhone into the proper charging position.
The reviewers both noted that the Powermat seems to charge as quick or even quicker than the USB charger that comes with iPhone and the reviewers really liked being able to just drop the iPhone on the charging stand without having to connect into the 30 pin connector.
Speaking of the 30 pin connector, the Powermat case obviously has to use the 30 pin connector to charge so user’s either have to take the case off the phone to perform sync via the traditional USB Dock Connector cable or use a mini USB port. That covered most circumstances for one reviewer, but the reviewer of the iPhone 4 case travels a bit and sometimes forgets to dock the iPhone when he gets home. In this case he either needs to charge away from the Power charging base using the standard AC adapter and USB cable that plugs into the 30-pin port. In these situations, he had to remove the case.
While the reviewer did not have issues removing the case and applying the case back on to iPhone 4, he did grab the iPhone without the case one day and headed to lunch only to drop the iPhone while leaving his car. He now has a crack from one side of the face to the other. If the Powermat case had been on the iPhone, we know the drop would not have been so tragic for the phone.
The Powermat case is a bulkier case than most other cases, except the Otterbox cases, and extends the length and adds thickness to the phone that some folks would not prefer. The reviewers loved the size of the case but I thought it added too much girth to the design of the slick iPhone 4. For some reason, the case for the iPhone 3G/3GS did not bother me at all and I felt like it actually dressed up that phone.
So, what did the reviewer’s think about the Powermat…
Overall, the Powermat provides a cool factor with the magnetic docking and wireless charging with the chime and white LEDs letting you know the iPhone is charging. The case itself also provides ample protection for the standard everyday drops… provided the case is actually on the iPhone. The design looks slick on the phone (especially the 3G/3GS).
The only problem one reviewer mentioned with the system is the requirement to remove the iPhone from the case to charge via the 30-pin port. Also, while the reviewers liked the design of the product, I thought the case added too much length and thickness to the iPhone. That’s a personal opinion that will differ depending on who you are though.
While the original cost of the Powermat for the 3G/3GS $69.99, you can get this case on Amazon for $29.99 which feels like a steal. The Powermat for the iPhone 4 is $59.99 (again, Amazon sells for less than $40).
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)