BlackberryOS Powermat Review
The Powermat design and build are stellar. Within the first moments of opening the box, the first thing that was noticed was it was solid. Not only is the build solid, the design is very appealing, one could set it anywhere and be happy with how it looks with the surroundings. The mat does not feel cheap nor does it look cheap. Around the outside of the mat, there is silver plastic to give a dull chrome look, and no this is not thin plastic, the build feels very solid. The mat itself feels great as well, it has a smooth texture and very durable feel.
A lot of mobile users are asking question on the charging the Powermat provides, as in how fast and whether or not it keeps its charge as it would from a wall charger. I tested both Powermats (travelers and home/office units) with three devices, my personal BlackBerry Tour 9630, BlackBerry Curve 8330, and my iPhone 3G. They were all on the mat at the same time. The home and office mat seemed like it charged all units a bit faster than the travelers pad. Times are listed below:
Tour (no case): Charged completely from 10% of battery in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Curve: Was dead when charged and fully charged within 2 hours.
iPhone: Seemed to charge the fastest as it had a 25% battery and was fully charged in just over an hour.
Tour (no case): Was tested at same battery level and for a complete charge took around 2 hours.
Curve: Was tested with 30% battery and this took an hour and half.
iPhone: the iPhone was tested with same battery and took about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
With all the devices tested, the battery life was the same as if it was charged from the wall. I noticed no drop in time of uses. This is great news as the life of the battery means a lot to users and they will be able to stress their phones the same as before. In addition, when the phones or devices are fully charged, the mat cuts off the power to that cell or multiple cells, thus drawing no more power.
Convenience is what the Powermat is all about. The home/office mat allows you to get rid of all the spaghetti wires for all the devices being charged. Just simply plug-in the one outlet and start placing your devices on the mat, this allows users to clean up quite a bit of wires and messes. Did I mention the travelers pad folds up? Sure does, perfect for many travelers alike and highly convenient for many users even at home as it is made for easy storage.
Powermat offers tons of features with the pad itself and also accessories received with the pad. The mat features a great black look and silver trim as discussed before. There are lights to alert you that device is being charged, the lights also have a button on the back of the mats for dimming the light, making the light brighter, and not showing any light at the users convenience. Along with the lights, the mat makes a “zwing” type sound when the device is placed on the mat and is charging. Just like the lights, the sound has options to turn up and down the loudness of the sound and also shutting the sound off. Both mats also come with a USB port on the back for devices that are charged specifically with a USB cable, whis is a great feature. When placing a device on the pad to charge, the case causes a “handshake” which makes the phone vibrate to alert the user the device is properly aligned and can create faster charging. With the travelers pad, users receive a small case that is magnetically pulled together for ease of traveling with the pad and charger. Each mat comes with a accessories kit with 8 universal tips for multiple devices. Tips are as follows, Nitendo DS and DSi, Samsung, Sony, Apple, Micro USB, LG, and also a mini USB that is used on the adaptor. With so many tips, one could charge a very wide range of devices if you do not have the charger cases. In addition to the tips, users receive a power box and also a tip storage box.
If you are worried about using a case full time on your device for easier use of Powermat, do not worry as the cases do not add very much bulk at all. I have my iPhone case on full time and it actually feels better in my hands. BlackBerry devices receive a battery cover and not a case. The cases and covers feel very sturdy and durable as I dropped my iPhone and Curve to test how they would handle it. Without a hitch they passed with flying colors. Also, on the back of the case or cover is a magnetic square where the Powermat charges the device, unfortunately not all devices are supported yet.
The home/office and travelers mat both sell for $99 a piece which includes the case (traverlers mat only) and the accessories kit. Cases for select phones range and devices from $29.99-$39.99 which are sold separately from the mats. Great price for all the features offered and received.
Does it work as directed?
The Powermat fully works as directed and looks great while doing the work. Tons of features and great amount of accessories for the price.
How does it work?
Powermat uses magnetic induction. Instead of conductivity the mat uses inductive technology. This technology is also safer, more cost efficient, and also allows you to work with water so the Powermat is safe to get wet.
Tons of features, tons of options, no order in which to place devices on the mat, sleek looking, durable, small and lightweight, quality of product and accessories.
Not all devices are supported at the moment including the Storm and Tour, price may seem high but very reasonable.
Imagine the day that all mobile device makers incorporate this technology into their products (I.E. Research In Motion, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, etc.). The day of wall chargers will be over and we will welcome the days of Powermat. Powermat is convenience right in your kitchen, living room, and even bedrooms that will help prevent wire messes and welcome innovation.