Review: PowerBot Wireless Charger

Review: PowerBot Wireless Charger

My wife recently acquired a new Windows Phone. She moved from an Android smartphone, and loves everything about her new device. She's notorious for not charging her phone and it seems that simply plugging in her charger at bedtime is a herculean effort. So, as the days went by, I could see her jealously eyeing my wireless charging device that sits on my bedside table. I'll agree that having a wireless charger is a great convenience and it allows you to be a bit lazier about keeping your device charged.

I eventually caved and just gave her my charger. I felt it was better to just hand it over and go hunting for a replacement, than to see her smartphone battery drained every morning. It's amazing how much we rely on these devices these days and a dead battery means I can't get in touch with her when I need to. That's more frustrating than spilling Gorilla Glue on a pair of good pants.

For my original charger, I paid around $50. I didn't want to pay that steep price again, so I went looking. Amazon, of course, is my store of choice. I found a few, but eventually settled on the PowerBot PB1020. It's a smaller charger than some offerings (the size and shape of a drink coaster – 2.5" diameter), but the price is right at around $20 U.S.

At around $20 I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting. Some of the reviewers suggested that it was too small. And, after setting it up, back in the original charger's place on my bedside table, I could see why they stated that. Each smartphone is manufactured differently, of course, and the Qi charging point inside each device is in a different location. That means that you'll need to work to figure out the best placement of your own smartphone on the PowerBot. The Qi charging point in my HTC 8x is about a third of the way from the top of the smartphone. Once I figured that out, I've become pretty adept at getting it right the first time.

The PowerBot has non-stick rubber on the top and bottom, which means that it won't slide around on the surface you choose, and your smartphone won't easily slide off its perch, either. In fact, I found the cohesion so good, I decided to try it out in the car. And, it worked! As long as you have a good spot in the car to place the charger, and you don't drive like a maniac, your smartphone will stay in place.

One caveat, though. The PowerBot does not come with an actual power adapter, hence the $20 price, I guess. For me that's not a problem and I realized this going in. If you're like me, you have no less than a hundred extra USB wall chargers sitting around on your desk, in drawers, and probably permanently plugged into the wall doing nothing. So, I was able to wrangle one of my unused USB wall chargers to assign to the PowerBot.

The PowerBot does come with two USB cables and it sports a Micro USB connection. One cable is 5 foot long, and the other is 1 foot and you can plug it into any USB port that provides power.

If you want a cost-worthy Qi enabled wireless charger for smaller devices, the PowerBot PB1020 is a good buy. For those business users needing to minimize travel weight and bulk, the PowerBot is great value. For the price and function, I'm considering buying a couple more.

Check it out on Amazon: PowerBot PB1020 Qi Enabled Wireless Charger Inductive Charging Pad Station for All Qi Standard Compatible Devices

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