Product Review: Energizer Inductive Charger With Qi – Cables Are So 2010!

Energizer Inductive Charger with Qi

Energizer Inductive Charger with Qi

We are Dads and Moms, we all lead busy, crazy, hectic lives – so when a technology promises to make our life easier I am all ears.  Still, when we were told the Energizer Inductive Charger could make our lives easier by not having to plug the cable into our phone to charge it, I have to admit I was maybe only one ear…and my bad ear at that.  Really, I have a lot of things in my day that could use optimizing, but charging my phone was not high on the list.

We Do Product Reviews Because Sometimes Seeing Is Believing

I did not have high hopes for the Energizer Inductive Charger, but I’ve been wrong before, so we decide to go ahead and test it out.  The concept is very simple, you get a a flat charging base and a special case for your phone.  To charge your phone (iPhone or Blackberry) you just drop it onto the base – no cables, the phone just starts charging.  If you like to name drop cool technology terms – this is called Inductive Charging.

Let’s Look At The Energizer Inductive Charger In Action -

The Energizer Inductive Charger – Technology Made Simple

As the video shows, the Energizer Inductive Charger passes one of the Dad Does tests with flying colors – it is drop dead easy to use.   As parents, we are busy and don’t have time for technology that needs constant firmware updates or a PhD in Computer Science to operate.   I am sure there is some sophisticated stuff going on to make my phone charge without a cable, but it is 100% hidden to the end user, which is perfect!

Say Goodbye to Your Current iPhone Case

Perhaps the biggest downside to the Energizer Inductive Charger is the fact that you need to use a special Energizer case on your iPhone to make it all work.  The Energizer case has the technology built into it to make the inductive charging work.  I happen to love my BeAHeadCase Bottle Opener iPhone case that we found and reviewed in our Consumer Electronics Show (CES) coverage.  Unfortunately, I had to give up that case to use this system.

The Energizer case is a perfectly fine case, but it does not have a bottle opener built into it!  The other issue with the case is that it needs to block off the USB jack on the bottom of the iPhone.  You no longer need that jack to charge, since you just drop the phone on the inductive charger, but if you want to connect to your computer and iTunes, you need to take the case off.

Help May Be On The Way in the Form of Qi

Believe it or not, an open standard for inductive charging has been developed and it is called Qi (pronounced “Chee”).  The Energizer system uses Qi, in the future other companies can make cases with Qi so you will have a larger assortment of cases to choose from.

The really cool possibility is that electronic manufacturers will start to build phones, cameras, MP3 players and other electronic devices with Qi built in.  This would be ideal, as then you would not need any case to use the inductive charging systems.  In the future, hotels may have nightstands with a Qi surface built into them (does not need to be by Energizer, as long as it uses Qi, it is compatible)  you just drop your Qi enabled phone and camera on the nightstand and they start charging.

No date is set on when manufacturers will start making devices with the Qi technology built in, but I do see it as a positive that Energizer is using the Qi open standard and not a proprietary system.

Back to The Original Question – Is Wireless Charging Really Necessary?

Living with the Energizer Inductive Charger for a few weeks, we can report that it works as advertised and we had absolutely no problems with the device.  However, we need to go back to the original question – Does this device really solve a problem for parents? Does eliminating a few cables really make a parent’s life less hectic or better in some way?

Surprisingly to me, I think the answer is a qualified yes.  After using the inductive charger for a few weeks it just feels right to drop my phone down and let it charge.   I have the charger on a nightstand, at night I drop my phone on the inductive charged and I’m done.  How much time am I saving by not plugging in a cable?  Not much, but it just feels so simple and right.   As a busy Dad, I can go for any technology that makes things seem simple and right in my life!

Back in the day, we had wired remotes for our TV.   When the first wireless remotes came out, I could see people asking what was the big deal with a wireless remote?  It is not like we were going to operate the TV from a different room now that we had a wireless remote.   The appeal was that there was one less wire you had to worry about.  I feel the same way with the Energizer Inductive Charger – it charges two phones, so that is two less wires and adapters we need to worry about.

So, why do I say it is a “qualified” yes to the question of does it solve a problem?  Money, baby, it always come back to the money.  The Energizer Inductive Charger sells for about $67 on Amazon.  A case for your phone will set you back about $25, pick up a case for you and your wife and you are talking about close to $120 for the whole system.  Honestly, for some people this will be a deal breaker.

PROS of Energizer Inductive Charger:

  • Drop Dead Simple Charging, Put the Phone Down and it Charges
  • Works Out of the Box, No Firmware to Upgrade
  • The Inductive Charger Can Charge 2 Phones at Once
  • A Third Device Can be Charged via the USB Port on Back
  • Non-Proprietary.  Using Qi Technology, Which is a Universal and Open Standard

CONS of Energizer Inductive Charger:

  • Need to Use a Case or Sleeve Which is Qi Enabled
  • Case Covers the USB Jack on iPhone, So Case Must be Removed to Sync to iTunes
  • More Expensive Than Simple Charger

Conclusion: Energizer Inductive Charger With Qi

If you can get past the price, buy the Energizer Inductive Charger, you will feel like your living in the future.  If the price is keeping you away, wait a little while, these things tend to come down in price over time.    Inductive Charging is probably the future of cellphone charging and Energizer has created a flawless product based on this technology.  The only catch is that buying the future, in the present, never comes cheap.

Learn More:

Energizer Inductive Charger Website.  We tested the Energizer Inductive Charger IC2B-US

FULL DISCLOSURE: We received an Energizer Inductive Charger and iPhone Case to use and review. We were paid absolutely nothing for doing this review. We do not make any money if you decide to buy the Energizer Inductive Charger. If your kids suddenly think you are a cool Dad because you can charge your phone by dropping it on a pad, please scream “Dad Does Made Me Cool!”  This is a real review, by a real Dad

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