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Published on October 26th, 2012 | by Greg

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Du­ra­cell Pow­er­Mat: 24 Hour iPhone Pow­er So­lu­tion

The promise of in­duc­tion charg­ing is sim­ple: wire­less pow­er. If that sounds crazy, then you haven’t at­tend­ed CES the past few years and seen the growth in the cat­e­go­ry. Grant­ed, we’re still in the in­fant phase, where no ma­jor de­vices have the tech­nol­o­gy built-in, and the range is very, very lim­it­ed. These are still con­tact-based so­lu­tions; it will def­i­nite­ly be a bit be­fore you’re able to draw juice for your bat­ter­ies through the air mag­i­cal­ly. But our pre­dic­tion: it will hap­pen, even­tu­al­ly, since bat­ter­ies are waste­ful, heavy, and in­ef­fi­cient.

One small step on the path: the Du­ra­cell Pow­er­Mat iPhone 4/4S 24 Hour Pow­er Sys­tem. Yes, some of us here have switched to the iPhone 5, and word is that a com­pat­i­ble ver­sion will be com­ing soon (as will a mod­el for the Sam­sung Galaxy S3). This is a small, cute sys­tem, avail­able in black or white (ours was white, prone to show­ing fin­ger­prints a bit more) and each has some classy metal­lic ac­cents. The ba­sic idea: lay it flat on your bed­side table, throw the in­clud­ed case on your phone, and then nev­er have to fum­ble with a plug- just lay your phone on the Pow­er­Mat and let it charge away. We’ve seen sim­i­lar sys­tems- ear­li­er mod­els have been around for a cou­ple of years now- but this is the best con­tender so far. Small enough to be portable, with clean­er de­sign, it’s a sol­id pack­age.

This mod­el comes not on­ly with the re­quired charg­ing pad and iPhone case, but al­so with a fair­ly small and durable back­up bat­tery, for those who find them­selves drained of bat­tery life be­fore the day is done. If your phone is like ours, bat­tery life isn’t quite what it used to be, and we reg­u­lar­ly find our smart­phone down be­low the dan­ger­ous 20% mark by the af­ter­noon. With the back­up bat­tery safe­ly stowed in a purse or pock­et, we can be as­sured of nev­er hav­ing to miss an In­sta­gram mo­ment or text mes­sage or im­por­tant call- as long as we keep the back­up bat­tery charged of course. It can sit next to your phone on the charg­ing pad and both de­vices can get topped up si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly. It’s not quite as fast as plug­ging in to the wall, though, and re­mem­ber that the sys­tem re­quires some align­ment- you can’t just drop the phone or bat­tery any­where, but need to en­sure that there is mag­net­ic con­tact with cer­tain points.

Quick note on the bat­tery- it’s rat­ed at 1850 mAh- pret­ty im­pres­sive for it’s size and weight, and it’s not on­ly for Ap­ple prod­ucts. Much like the my­Charge line, there is al­so a flip-out Mi­cro USB con­nec­tor in ad­di­tion to the Ap­ple 30-pin adapter, which seemed like a nice sur­prise! You may be won­der­ing why- and it’s a fair ques­tion. The an­swer in­volves the cus­tom case.

For any in­duc­tion prod­uct, you’ll have to use a spe­cial case, which is the on­ly ma­jor down­side. These pro­pri­etary cas­es don’t of­fer much pro­tec­tion, and usu­al­ly aren’t near­ly as nice as, say, an Ot­ter­Box. If you like your case- or don’t like hav­ing one- then this will be an awk­ward fit at best. The case in­clud­ed here is de­cent, but noth­ing that you’d choose un­less you had to. What’s un­usu­al about this one is that the 30-pin port on your iPhone 4/4S will be blocked- and in­stead con­vert­ed to a Mi­cro USB slot! It’s pret­ty un­usu­al, and means that you can’t use any of your oth­er Ap­ple-type docks or plugs or adapters.

All in all, it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion for in­duc­tion charg­ing sys­tems. There are still down­sides- un­til man­u­fac­tur­ers start build­ing the tech­nol­o­gy in­to de­vices, you’ll con­tin­ue to need spe­cial cas­es. But it looks bet­ter, and feels nicer, than pre­vi­ous mod­els. Small enough to be portable, the Du­ra­cell Pow­er­Mat 24 Hour Pow­er Sys­tem is avail­able now on­line and in stores for just un­der $100.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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