Review: The Fonesalesman iQi Wireless Charging System for the iPhone – Look Ma! No Cables!

Review: The Fonesalesman iQi Wireless Charging System for the iPhone – Look Ma! No Cables!

Many iPhone 5 and above users would love to be able to charge their iPhones, untethered by the standard Lightning cable provided in the box. With this in mind, the fine folks at Fonesalesman were kind enough to allow us to review their iQi Wireless Charging System. And while the system holds a lot of promise, there are still some issues we’re not sure the average iPhone user would be willing to put up with.

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Overview

The iQi Wireless Charging system provided to us includes the Koolpad Qi Charging Pad, the smaller Koolpuck Qi Charging Pad, and the iQi Wireless Receiver, that plugs into the iPhone 5’s Lightning port, and can be held in place by almost any soft case for use with your iPhone 5 and above.

Installation of the wireless receiver is quick and easy. Simply plug the receiver – which is impressively thin, and much smaller than the average credit card – into your iPhone’s Lightning port. Then, fold it around to the back of your iPhone, where it can be held in place by most soft iPhone 5 cases. I really felt like I was going to damage the connector when I was plugging it in, but some slight pressure allowed it to pop into the port.

The manufacturer also supplies a small round sticker to apply to the back of your phone which helps keep the receiver in place, but I found I didn’t need to use it. However, some users may find it helpful to keep the receiver in place when putting on the soft case.

To charge your iPhone, simply plug the Koolpad, or smaller, travel-friendly Koolpuck into any handy USB port or mobile charger via the supplied Micro USB cable. Then, simply lay your device, face up upon the charging pad. If everything goes right, you’ll hear your iPhone emit its familiar charging tone, and your device will begin to charge.

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In most cases, the iPhone began to charge immediately, and charged from a 50% charge up to a full 100% in around an hour and a half. However, I did experience issues while charging the iQi equipped iPhone.

Occasionally, I would check the iPhone, and even though the device had not moved from its original charging position, it had stopped charging. Lifting the iPhone, and setting it back down on the pad usually resumed the charging process.

Since the iQi charging receiver isn’t certified by Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, the occasional “unsupported accessory” warning was displayed from the iPhone. That required reseating the charging receiver into the iPhone’s Lightning port before charging could resume.

I also found that using the Koolpad was more reliable for obtaining a good charging connection than the Koolpuck was. The Koolpuck was hit or miss when attempting to get a charge going, the larger surface of the KoolPad seemed to lead to more reliability. Center your iPhone on the Koolpad, and charging would begin.

One note: If you find yourself charging your iPhone in the car quite a bit, invest in an extra Koolpuck and leave it in the car. Otherwise, you’ll need to remove your iPhone’s case, and unplug the charging adapter from your iPhone to use your Lightning charging cable in your car. I’m really not sure how well the wireless adapter Lightning connector will stand up to repeated plugging and unplugging.

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Verdict

I’m not sure the average iPhone user would be satisfied with the iQI Wireless Charging System. If you have multiple devices, non-Apple included, the system may be worthwhile in it’s ability to also charge other types of devices that are quipped with Qi-compatible wireless receivers.

I’m afraid I never felt completely assured that my iPhone would receive a full charge when using the system. ┬áIf you do purchase the system, you may want to keep it in an easily observable place until you’re comfortable the device is working reliably for you.

I like what Fonesalesman is attempting with the wireless charging system, but I feel it has a ways to go. However, many users who like to live on the bleeding edge may want to give the system a try, just to see what’s possible with the technology. The system is a good first attempt, and will surely increase in reliability as technology moves forward.

Rating: 3.5/5[rating:3.5]

Pricing – iQi Mobile Receiver for the iPhone 5/5c/5s: $34.62, Koolpuck Charging Pad: $26.98, and the Koolpad Charging Pad: $24.99. All products are available from the Fonesalesman website, and Amazon.com.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup.
  • Love the thinness of the charging card. Very little added bulk.
  • Compatible with other Qi standard charging pads.
  • It’s just really cool to be able to charge your iPhone wirelessly.

Cons:

  • The device would stop charging my iPhone in mid-charge.
  • No MFi certification means occasionally I received an unsopported accessory warning message, which lead to unplugging and replugging of the adapter into my iPhone’s Lightning port.