If you have ever hunted unsuccessfully for the charging cord for your cell phone, you can imagine the convenience of a charging mat. Just plug it into the wall and drop your phone on the mat to recharge the battery. Consumer Reports just tested four charging mats to see whether they deliver.
A key question is how fast do the mats work? Consumer Reports' tests found that the mat that charges the iPhone takes about the same time as the adapter for the wall. Some charging mats for Android phones took a little longer than a regular charger, but not much.
Overall, Consumer Reports says the charging pads are a great way to make charging your cell phone easier. All you do is come home at the end of the day and put your phone on the mat. You don't have to worry about looking for a charger, and in a couple of hours your phone is charged. And you can charge multiple phones at the same time.
Phones need to have wireless charging capability. The newer phones have it built in. But with others you have to buy a special case so that they'll work with a charging mat.
If you have an iPhone, testers recommend the Duracell Powermat for $70. It charges up to three phones at a time in 2 to 2 1/2 hours. And for Androids, the fastest mat that Consumer Reports tested was the $75 Energizer Inductive Charger. It can charge two phones wirelessly at a time.
Consumer Reports says you can go longer between charges by closing any apps you aren't using and by turning on any energy-saving settings your phone has to maximize battery life.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.
Consumer Reports/WFMY News 2