ZDNet’s Larry Dignan outlines the big questions surrounding Apple’s latest iPhone launch and whether the company can break through the upgrade cycle malaise. Read more: https://zd.net/2Lvebek
OtterBox has a large assortment of protective cases and also now has outdoor products, such as coolers, with the OtterBox brand. It’s latest entry into the mobile market is the OtterSpot wireless charging system and for the last few weeks I’ve been using it to keep Samsung, LG, Apple, and Huawei devices charged up on the road, in the office, and at home.
The OtterSpot system is built upon the $129.95 charging pad that also includes one wireless charging battery. You can extend the system with additional $69.95 wireless charging batteries that can be stacked up to three high on the charging base for recharging each battery.
You can use the base alone to charge up one device or even set a device on top of the stack of batteries to charge the batteries and charge the device too. The real power of the system though is to take charged up wireless battery pucks and hit the road. I found that the OtterSpot batteries are perfect for business travel where I can have the batteries placed around my hotel room without worrying about finding adequate outlets or taking along more cables and chargers. It was also convenient to have a charging pad with me during meetings where I set my phone down on the charging pad to keep the phone topped up.
The charging pad piece itself is shaped just like the round battery packs, but it is not capable of serving as a portable wireless charging battery. You can use it as a wireless charging pad when it is plugged in via the included USB-C cable. It has areas of silicone on it to keep your devices securely in place and I found it is not finicky about where you place your device for charging. Strong magnets hold the wireless charging battery pucks in place and aligned with the five gold pins so that the battery pack can be charged in the stack.
The charging base has a 36W capacity with an included wall charger. You can stack up to three batteries for full charging, but can also stack a fourth at a reduced charging capacity. There is a single indicator light on the front of the charging base showing when charging is active.
The battery packs remind me of those alert devices you are handed at some restaurants when your table is ready. They are round with silicone in four areas around the bottom outside ring so the battery doesn’t side around on a table with a thicker solid silicone rounded edge square on the top further away from the edges designed to hold your device in place on the battery pack. There are five gold pins on the top and pin connection points on the bottom. Magnets are present near the pin areas to help you align and stack the battery packs too. Ridges and grooves on the top and bottom of the battery packs also helps with proper alignment.
A USB-C port is found on the back of the battery pack so you can use each battery pack individually as a wired charging pad as well. You cannot use a wired connected battery pack to charge up other battery packs though, but it is nice to have this flexibility for wired charging the battery if you are on the road without the base station.
On the front of the battery pack is a button and four white LED indicator lights. When you want to charge up your mobile device, set it down on the battery pack and then press the button to start charging. The LEDs will indicate the remaining battery life on the pack. Charging will then continue until 100% charge is reached on the device when the indicator lights will turn off and the battry pack will stop charging your device.
Each battery pack has 5,000 mAh capacity with the capability of charging up to 10W, if your device supports faster wireless charging at this rate. I’ve tested the battery pack with a number of phones and it works with every device I’ve tested, as well as with most cases that were wrapped on these phones.
If you just happen to have a device that does not have Qi wireless capability, you can even connect a USB-C cable to the battery pack and charge up that device via a wired connection. I tested this with the OnePlus 7 Pro since that phone does not have wireless charging support.
We have seen lots of portable battery packs and some with wireless charging capability. However, the OtterSpot wireless charging system is the first I have seen designed as a complete system that is perfect for the office or the home as you can make sure you always have the capability to charge up your devices without dead batteries lying dormant.
You can always use the base station of the system as a standard wireless charging base, but even that purchase comes with one battery so you can take your wireless charging on the road.