The Energizer Qi (pronounced "chee") is an excellent inductive charging pad but has a major flaw. The only devices the pad charges are those equipped with their own unusual charging sleeve -- the iPhone 3G/3, iPhone 4 and Blackberry Curve 8900. One for the iPhone 4 ships with the unit. The Qi has a USB port, but you'll have to decide whether to use such a hi-tech device when you could buy a less expensive charger like the i.Sound Portable Power Max (*Est. $50 and up) .
Simple and consistent. MobileTechReview.com reviewer Tong Zhang says the Energizer Qi is "very easy to use." Operating the pad is simple, and it reliably and consistently does a great job of charging. For those devices that can only be charged through the USB port however, the Qi's inductive pad has no value. There are much simpler and cheaper devices for that. One complaint almost universal among experts is the lack of a USB pass-through in the iPhone sleeves, which results in an inability to sync and charge on the pad simultaneously.
Functional, not stylish. "It's not especially sleek or innovative in design," says TechCrunch.com reviewer Jordan Crook. The Qi appears durable enough only for desktop use, but its functional design is otherwise nearly perfect. Because it is not a magnetic inductive charger, precision placement on the mat is unnecessary. GearDiary.com's Dan Cohen says the iPhone 4 sleeve "is well-made, has a nice soft-touch feel." The-Gadgeteer.com reviewer, John Schettino, disagrees, saying the iPhone sleeve is not well-suited and "makes actual use cumbersome." Experts point out that devices that beep when fully charged will continue to beep until removed.
Effective but slow. CNET's Rick Broida says, "After an hour on the Qi, my fully drained iPhone had charged to about 44 percent." TechCrunch.com reviewer Jordon Crook has different results: The Qi takes almost three times longer than usual to charge his phone. He fears the slow charging time might encourage users to leave their phone on the charger all night, "a serious no-no" that means slow death for the battery.
1. The Gadgeteer.com
Review Credibility: Good "The good news is, the system works really well," says The-Gadgeteer.com reviewer John Schettino. Like other reviewers, he has issues with the iPhone 4 sleeve. Wireless charging operates "simply and reliably," but "you're still plugging every time you charge."
Review: Energizer Inductive Charger and iPhone Qi Sleeve Review, John Schettino, April 20, 2011
Review Credibility: Good "The Energizer Qi works flawlessly" with the few devices that it supports, according to MobileTechReview.com reviewer Tong Zhang. He is the only expert who says, "The Energizer Qi emits a low clicking sound," that can be heard in a very quiet setting.
Review: iPhone Charging Station Review: Energizer Qi Inductive Charger, Tong Zhang, April 4, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Jordan Crook of TechCrunch.com says, "In the end, what you win with this device is also what you lose." For Crook, the Energizer Qi charger is slow, so slow that the advantage of wireless charging is offset by longer wait times. In his words: "It really all depends on what you hate more: wires or waiting."
Review: Review: Energizer Dual-Zone Inductive Charging Pad, Jordan Crook, Aug. 20, 2011
Review Credibility: Good "It is, by far, the best and most refined induction charging system we have seen," says Dan Cohen of GearDiary.com. Except for quibbles over the shortage of device sleeves and the universal gripe of the iPhone 4 lacking a charging pass-through, the Qi "is, by far, the best option yet ... to keep your growing number of portable devices charged."
Review: Mobile Gear Accessory Review: Energizer Qi-Enabled 3 Position Inductive Charger, Dan Cohen, June 20, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Jon Fingas sees lots of promise in the Qi and in inductive charging in general. "Inductive charging is theoretically the holy grail … and the Qi standard promises to make it relevant for nearly any low-power gadget." For the time being though, he says the device is better suited to someone "who doesn't upgrade phones often or sync religiously with iTunes."
Review: Review: Energizer Qi Charging Pad and iPhone Case, Jon Fingas, April 9, 2012
Review Credibility: Good The editors of TopTenReviews.com give the Qi a bronze award, meaning it scored third out of the four devices tested. They admire the Qi's "respectable set of features," but like other reviewers "would like to see more cases and attachments for other devices."
Review: Energizer Inductive Charger, TopTenReviews.com Editors, Undated
Review Credibility: Fair CNET's Rick Broida writes more of an announcement than a review. He likes the inductive charging in principle, but the necessity to buy separate sleeves really bugs him. "All by itself, the Energizer Qi is cool," he says. Not so cool is the need for special sleeves.
Review: Hands-on: Energizer Qi Inductive Charging Pad, Rick Broida, March 14, 2011