Review: WildCharge Wireless Charging Pad
Price: $79.99 for a charging pad with a dedicated receiver skin and $34.99 for each additional skin.
Summary: A few weeks back we covered the PowerMat for wireless charging solutions–charging pads that allow you to simply drop your modified device onto it in order to charge. While PowerMat makes a higher end charging system with more substantial charging pads and slicker receivers, some have complained that the cost is overly prohibitive. That is where WildCharge comes in. It has the same FUNCTIONALITY of the PowerMat at about half the total price.
Setup: The charging pad is easy enough to setup, put it on your counter and plug it into the wall. The “skins” however are another thing. WildCharge uses full body skins that cover your device to embody their receivers. At first blush they seem like the jelly skins you find everywhere. But once you try and get the skin on your device, you notice that the skin is substantially harder and tighter than the jelly skins and pretty hard to get on the device. There is no way my wife could have got the skin on her BlackBerry without my help. I will cut WildCharge some slack though, because the skin should be substantial to protect the device and it should be tight in order to ensure that it really sticks to your device.
Charging Base: The charging base is very thin, with metal strips that run along the pad. In a tech-loving dorky sense, the shiny metal strips on the base are pretty alluring. However, in a classy NYC apartment sense, it sits obtrusively on a desk or antique wood countertop. There is a raised portion on the edge where you plug in the power cord and where the LED is located to tell you when a device is on the pad and charging. In hand the base feels light and almost flimsy, but because the base is something that you are supposed to unbox and lift once and then leave on your countertop, that doesn’t really matter. The construction is good enough to handle its intended purpose.
Skins: Unlike jelly skins, the WildCharge skins do not uniformly cover your entire device. Like the PowerMat receiver, the WildCharge receiver must be built into the case to allow the device to charge when on the pad. Thus, on the back of the device there is a raised portion with four metal dots in a somewhat triangular pattern. These raised dots must make contact with the metal strips on the charger base in order to charge. I have shown the cases to a few people and have received mixed results. Some people like the hard case and the shiny dots, and other don’t–its a matter of taste.
Use: I haven’t had any problems with the easy to use setup. Drop the bottom portion of your device anywhere on the charging strips and your device charges. Its that easy. The charging pad can fit two devices comfortably for simultaneous charging. Anything more than that might be a stretch. But I can’t really imagine the need to charge three devices at once, so that isn’t really a problem.
Conclusion: The WildCharge wireless charging pad and receivers can seriously clear up some clutter and simplify your charging routine. The base is simple and shiny and the receiver cases are hard with raised metal dots on the back, leaving only the question of if the design match you aesthetic. To me it seems like the design is geared more towards the tech lovers than the average user, but its really up to you. The pricing is at a nice sweet spot, just about a hundred bucks to get a two device setup up and running. Perfect for the holiday season.