With what we know about the way the WildCharger Pad and iPhone Adapter work, we wanted to see if it can do in practice what it should do in theory. We took our iPhone 3G S and put it inside the case for two weeks to see if there were any charging, reception, battery life, or any other issues at all. We broke these down into manageable groups.
The first is the easiest to test and also the one that most people will want to know about. How well does it charge my phone? Well, we can happily report that the WildCharger pad and iPhone adapter can charge just as fast as the wall plug does and significantly faster than a USB connection. We saw charging times of around 1 hour (from a 20% charge to 100%) from the wall and the same from the WildCharge setup.
During the charge we saw around 3 watts being drawn from the wall (using a P3 Kill-A-Watt P4460). This is a hair more efficient than the Powermat system, but not staggeringly so. The good news is that if there are no devices on the pad or they have reached 100% charge, the WildCharge does not pull any power from the wall at all. This does mean some power savings in the long run.
I would like to tell you that the WildCharge iPhone 3G S did not affect my reception at all, but sadly I cannot. For some reason when the phone was in the adapter case I consistently received less signal and at times was not able to get a 3G connection in places that I normally can.
This one was interesting. As the reception was off it did have an impact on the life of the battery. As any phone hunts for a signal it is using up more battery to do it (obviously). This caused our iPhone to reduce its battery life by about 1 hour. This was unexpected completely and not a good sign as there is no other way to charge the iPhone without removing the adapter case; which is annoying to say the least.
For general usage the lack of any way to connect your iPhone to your computer with the typical USB cable is a problem. For many this will actually be a deal breaker. As I mentioned, I showed this to more than a few people and the majority would not get it for their iPhone because of this. I think that WildCharge needs to address this and fix it in future products.
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