Aero Wireless Charging cases for iPhone 5s and 5
There are plenty of battery cases available for the iPhone, all built to keep our devices going. Mophie sells a popular option and now uNu is offering a wireless charging case that works with the Aero Wireless Case. This combination uses induction to get the job done.
Once inside the case, just place the phone on the small charging mat. There is no cable between the phone and the mat, although the mat itself must be plugged it. The case and mat list for US$99.95 by the manufacturer (you'll also find it on Amazon). The case is offered in black or white, and is designed for the iPhone 5s/5.
Battery Type: Li-Polymer
Capacity: 3.7V/2,000 mAh
Dimensions: 138 x 63.8 x 15.3 mm
Weight: Approx. 70.2 g
Charging Pad Input: micro-USB
Using the Aero Wireless Charging Case is easy enough. The case for your phone is in two pieces. Put your phone on the base that contains the battery, and lock a piece of protecting trim on top of it. It seems secure enough, but I expect a drop onto a hard surface could let the trim piece separate from the base. There are pass-through buttons that allow you to activate volume and power and there is a hole for the camera and flash. There are also pass-through ports for charging the phone and battery case with a micro-USB cable (provided).
The charging pad uses the same USB connector to power the case. An AC adapter is not included, but you can charge from any charger with a USB port, or your Mac.
Use couldn't be easier. Whenever I charge my iPhone with Apple's Lightning cable, I feel I'm straining the hardware, and eventually, somewhere the connection would age and fail. Meanwhile, my Mophie requires the micro-USB connector to be placed in exactly the right way, which is tricky to do in the dark. With the Aero, I can set the phone down at any angle, and as long as the little, flush charging pins contact the base, I'm getting power. When you get used to it, it's hard to go back to the old ways. I estimate charging time from flat at about four to five hours.
The Aero Wireless Charging setup works well, and is simple to use. It had one anomaly, or at least something I hadn't expected. Most battery packs let you discharge the phone, and then turn on the battery pack for more time. Many of these packs let you just leave both batteries on while they drain simultaneously. The Aero drains your phone battery, then you have to engage the battery case with a small button on the back. I'd really like the option to drain both and not have to worry about it, even if there is a small battery life penalty. That same button also serves as a battery meter. Give it a quick press, and little LEDs give you a pretty good idea of how far along the battery is before it is depleted.
All in all, I like the Aero Wireless Battery Case a great deal. You can buy additional Charging Pads for $25.00, so you could have one at home, the office or even in your car if you had a secure location for it.
Apple has a bucket of patents on wireless charging, but nothing has come to market. Duracell offers what it calls the Access Case for $49.99 list and a Powermat at $39.99. Another hardware solution catching on is the iQi Mobile Charger, which uses a thin ribbon cable that fits inside most iPhone cases, and attaches to the Lightning port. I'll be getting a sample of the iQi soon for a separate test.
Wireless charging is a seductive feature. While plugging a cable in to charge a phone is not a big deal, I really prefer the wireless method.
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