The dreams of Telsa have yet to be fully realized, but that hasn’t stopped a many of a company from releasing products that lay claim to ‘wireless or wire-free charging’. But alas, until that day is upon us we’ll have to settle with a variation there of, such as the WildCharger’s Pad and Skins.
The concept is straightforward: you wrap your mobile device in a rubber skin that contains 5 over sized pin head like contact points on its back. When the device is laid upon the WildCharge Pad, which is plugged into an AC outlet, its contact points form a connection and suck down electricity. I use an iPhone, so the Skin contains a dock connector to transfer energy to the phone’s battery.
Safety is of a paramount concern with any device, especially with ones that involve electricity. While I didn’t drag my tongue across the Pad’s surface I did place my hand on it while it was plugged in and a device was charging. I received no shock and can honestly say that the device is safe.
The Wildcharge Skin did add some bulk to my iPhone, especially at the base where the dock connector juts out, and on the back where the contact points reside. For every day carrying I didn’t mind the added bulk and actually liked how the rubber skin provided some added protection. When it came time to minimizing my pocket bulk, though, I removed the Wildcharge ‘skin’ since it was just enough to be annoying and aesthetically disrupting to my pant leg. Fortunately, it’s simple enough to resinstall the skins, but it takes a bit of pushing and pulling since the dock connector needs to be inserted first.
From an efficiency stand point the Wildcharge device charged my iPhone in the same amount of time as Apple’s AC plug. When placed on the pad not only does the iPhone sound the familiar charging tone, but the Wildcharge pad displays a glowing blue LED light (it’s so bright it will light up part of a dark room). I have my concerns to how much power the WildCharge Pad draws when not in use, but compared to some of my other devices in my apartment (e.g. Plasma TV, computer, microwave, etc), it’s a rather moot point. So all you crazy greenies, you can just as soon unplug the device when not in use, although it will defeat its purpose.
At the end of the day I’m still not sold on a ‘wire free’ charging device. Recently a consortium was formed to help set a standard, but until every manufacture decides to jump on the band wagon were going to end up with numerous after market devices, such as the Wild Charge. And as far as I can tell it’s just as good as any other. I’m not jaw dropped by the design, and although it lacks the spit and polish of Powermat’s offering, it gets the exact same job done at almost half the cost.
- Easy to use out of the box
- Rubber skins provides protection
- Inexpensive compared to competition
- Adds bulk and length to iPhone
- Always plugged in – uses power nonstop
- No wow factor technology
You can grab a bundle deal here for $80.