My home office is buried under so many wires it can be a real chore to figure out which cable goes with which device. Anything that helps me cut cords is welcome, and the Powermat wireless charging system is such a tool. I am using the Powermat system with the HTC EVO 4G, and finding the induction charging system to be a real boon.
The Powermat system as reviewed was purchased as a kit for the EVO 4G smartphone. The kit consists of the Powermat, mobile power cord for the mat, and the replacement back for the EVO that handles the induction charging. Once the back is placed on the EVO and the Powermat is plugged into the outlet, charging is as simple as placing the phone on the mat.
|Image Gallery: Powermat wireless charging system for the HTC EVO 4G.|
I purchased the Powermat system at my local Best buy store, and I have seen it for as little as $39.01 at Amazon. This low price gets the whole system, and there are replacement doors available without the mat for an even lower price. This lets you use the mat with other devices as needed and protects the investment in the system. Powermat also sells larger mats that handle multiple devices for those who go all in with the method.
The Powermat phone back adds very little thickness and weight to the EVO compared to the original phone back. It was a simple process of popping the back on the phone and plugging in the little nub at the bottom. This nub connects the Powermat phone back to the microUSB port which is required as the system works with standard phone batteries. I don't find the nub to be inconvenient, but it does eliminate the ability to use a case on the EVO. I don't use cases on my phones so this is not a factor for me.
Careful thought to detail has obviously gone into the design of the Powermat power adapter. This adapter is small enough to be easily carried on trips, and it narrow enough that it doesn't block extra outlets. The cord wraps around the adapter for travel so the entire kit takes up little space in the gear bag.
I originally bought the Powermat system late last year, and had trouble with the little nub plug on the EVO. The Powermat phone back is not really designed to be frequently removed for access to the phone innards, and at the time I was regularly opening the phone to pop in a second battery. I ran into trouble getting the little plug to make proper contact for charging, and I eventually stopped using the Powermat as a result.
My EVO 4G is getting good battery life due to system updates, and I haven't needed to swap batteries in a while so a week ago I decided to give the Powermat another try. It has worked perfectly and has earned a permanent spot on my desk for charging the phone. There are other wireless charging solutions available, such as the Energizer Qi system, but the Powermat is meeting my needs and much cheaper.
With most smartphones now offering wireless syncing, wireless charging is a logical step. Even Apple is cutting the PC cord with the iPhone in iOS 5, so wireless charging will even work with those. The Powermat system is available for many Android, Blackberry phones and iPhones.
See related coverage:
- My gadget is better than yours
- Hands-on with the HTC EVO 4G Gingerbread update
- Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned (in photos)