When I first learned about the Energizer Qi, I had the impression that I could just place my phone on the charging pad and the magical Qi would fill the battery with juice. I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that I had to place my phone into a sleeve that communicates with the charging device. This step was almost a deal breaker for me because switching back and forth between my regular case and the charging station was more tedious than just plugging my phone into a regular charger.
But I understand that the Qi is a 1st generation device and that Energizer (along the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC)) is working with device makers to have the Qi technology built-in.
The next problem I encountered was finding real estate for the Qi. With a family of five, we don’t have much free surface area. I finally cleared a space on desk and plugged it in my power socket.
Once the actual charging began, I must say that I was impressed. I’m a bit of a geek and the science behind the inductive charging technology really impressed me.
First, a transmitter awaits a signal from a receiver that it needs power. When it detects a receiver, the transmitter sends electricity through a transmitting coil, creating an electromagnetic field with a specific frequency. The receiving coil, designed to accept energy at that frequency, then turns that energy into something we all need, more battery life. When the receiver’s battery is full, the receiving coil tells the transmitter to stop sending energy, effectively telling the transmitter to standby.
I like having the ability to pick-up the phone and go without having to unplug a cable. And with two inductive charging positions and one USB charging port, my wife and I don’t have to take turns charging our devices.
I’m excited by the potential of the Energizer Qi, but in its current state, the Qi is probably more suited for first adopters than the average consumer. Currently, the Energizer Inductive Charger is compatible with iPhone 3GS/3G and Blackberry 8900 and costs $89.99.
- Quick, easy, wireless charging
- Less strain on battery because charger stops charging when battery is full
- More expensive than a regular charger
- Requires sleeve for charging. Additional Sleeves cost $34.99
- Requires addition space
- Only compatible with a iPhone 3GS/3G and Blackberry 8900.