bighugenerd
 
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Today we take a look at the Energizer Inductive Charger and sleeves. While not designed just for iPhone 4, we're Apple fans and thus going the iPhone route, so there! We've been using this for a bit, and while it definitely does what it say on the label, it's certainly not without its faults. We rant and rave, as usual, after the break...

Inductive charging isn't an especially new concept; it's been around a few years now. The Palm Pre has it, - even the Nintendo's Wii remote has it. The idea is simple: short-range charging without cables. Sounds great, right? Yes.., and no. At bighugenerd we were provided with the inductive charging station (around $50 in stores) and two iPhone 4 sleeves (sold separately for around $25 each).

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The inductive charger is a fairly cheap-feeling plastic-y object that's around 8 inches wide and just about as deep, so it definitely takes up some room on your desk. It will, however, charge two devices simultaneously. The surface of the charger is a finger-print magnet as you can probably tell from the above image, so if you're a stickler for keeping things clean, you may want to have a microfiber cloth handy. 

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The sleeves are fairly thick, soft-plastic devices that weigh around 45g. The iPhone 4 weighs 137g, so that's not an insignificant weight increase with the case on. Getting the phone into the sleeve is a non-event, thankfully. Just slide it down the soft plastic until the dock connector slips into the bottom of the iPhone 4. A little lip at the top of the case holds the phone from sliding out, and we never had a problem with its functionality. The case has two small cutouts at the bottom for speaker/mic sound to travel through, but aside from that there are no external ports or connectors for charging via anything other than inductivity. 

All that's left to do is plug the included AC adapter into the charger, and pop the iPhone 4 onto the slab. And there you go, it's charging. Note the blue LED at the top of the pad when the phone is charging. 

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Now, you may notice we only have one phone on the charger, and that's because Energizer's sleeves aren't skin-friendly. You can see on the back of the second iPhone 4 that we have an incredibly thin skin on it. Well, apparently not thin enough, so take note if you have anything on the back (or front, potentially) of your iPhone 4!

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You know, we didn't think we had special needs when it came to charging our iPhones here, but apparently we do. See, charging usually takes place at night, which we believe to be likely the norm. And some of us charge our phones at work during the day if we've been playing too much Words with Friends even when we should be working. But what if you want to use your phone while it's charging? Well, you can't. The inductive sleeve has to be touching the charger to work, so you're out of luck there. And there are a few more issues, here. For one thing the blue LEDs at the top of the charger are quite bright, so if you charge your phone in the bedroom at night you may want to break out some tape to cover them up. And watch out, too, for the slight electrical buzzing sound when your phone is charging. It may well bother you if it's close to your head at night.


So What's to Like?

Simple to set up, fairly simple to get phone in and out of the sleeve, a USB port on the dock for charging other devices, and most importantly - it really does work as advertised.

So What's Not to Like?

Chunky case, slight electrical buzzing sound when charging, vey bright blue LEDs, can't use your phone while charging, can't charge via a cable without removing sleeve, potential little future support (only iPhone 4, iPhone 3G/S, and Blackberry Curve 8900 thus far), prohibitive costs.

Verdict:

For some of you out there, this setup will probably work a treat. For the power users out there, though, this will likely frustrate. There's no way to charge your phone via alternative methods without removing the sleeve, and we can't help but think this sort of technology would be more useful if it were built in to the phone in the first place. To that end, we give the Energizer Inductive Charger a fairly middle of the road 3 nerds out of 5. It's not quite there yet, but the future will certainly be interesting!

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Liz
10/12/2011 10:08:05 am

Please help me, I am technology challenged and attempted to buy a wireless charger for my boyfriend today. I'm feeling progressively stupider as the day goes on and I do more online research. I really just paid about $90 dollars (planning on taking it back) for a charger that doesn't even work on its own (the sales asst. thought it didn't need the sleeve) and I'm not even sure it will work with my boyfriends samsung moment. If you can help direct me to a decent wireless charging station that is less expensive and will work with his phone (and mine hopefully: lg optimus) I would be very grateful.

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7/10/2012 05:30:58 pm

Nice description about the Energizer Inductive Charger for iPhone 4. I think people should like it . I like this information too and also i am waiting for some new updates.

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8/7/2013 01:43:26 am

Fully agree -this tip for Energizer Inductive Charger for iPhone 4 is very simple and interesting for observance. Must admit that although Inductive charging isn't an especially new concept , it provides us with reliable usage. Thank you a lot for this sharing.

7/12/2013 07:13:53 pm

I would like to be grateful you for the challenges you have made in writing this blog posts. I am hopeful the same most excellent work from you in the future as well.

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bighugenerd
10/12/2011 12:01:38 pm

Hi Liz,

Unfortunately, there isn't any way to charge your Moment or your boyfriend's Optimus wirelessly. There simply isn't any device out there that will do it. I'm not sure what you bought, but you might want to return it. Sorry this probably won't make you feel any better. :(

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Liz
10/15/2011 10:07:13 am

Thank you so much, it made me feel a little better actually, I was pretty certain it wouldn't work for our phones but was afraid of returning something out of my ignorance of technology when it could work. I returned it today and took him out for a steak dinner. Without your help I would have just kept fruitlessly searching for a device that would wirelessly charge our phones. Thanks again, Liz

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bighugenerd
10/15/2011 10:25:02 am

Not a problem, Liz! That steak dinner sounds like something very fun. :-)

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Brittany
6/11/2013 12:57:22 am

Nice case, but I would recommend the Pong Research <a href="http://www.pongresearch.com">iPhone case</a> over this. Studies conducted by numerous scientific teams in several nations have raised concerns about the possible association between heavy cell phone use and health problems. That's why I did research and found a case that can reduce radiation exposure. I read about Pong Research cases, Pong technology is custom-designed for each mobile device and works to redirect radiation away from your head and body. I hesitated about it, anyway, I bought a case Pong because is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce the exposure to mobile device radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit without compromising the device’s ability to communicate.

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Brittany
6/12/2013 07:17:21 am

Nice case, but I would recommend the Pong Research <a href="http://www.pongresearch.com">iPhone case</a> over this. Studies conducted by numerous scientific teams in several nations have raised concerns about the possible association between heavy cell phone use and health problems. That's why I did research and found a case that can reduce radiation exposure. In the end though, I found a couple of reviews of Pong Research 's cases, that convinced me to give it a try. This case is built with an antenna in between layers of the back cover, which reduce exposure to radiation. Because Pong is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce the exposure to mobile device radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit without compromising the device’s ability to communicate.

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11/10/2013 12:35:15 am

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