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Consumer Reports tests cellphone charging mats

Consumer Reports tested four charging mats that promise to make charging easier.
October 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Instead of a charging cord for your cellphone, have you thought about the convenience of a charging mat? All you have to do is plug it into the wall and drop your phone on the mat to recharge its battery. Consumer Reports tested several charging mats to see if they deliver.

Consumer Reports tested four charging mats that promise to make charging easier. You just put your phone on the mat, and it charges wirelessly using magnets.

How fast do these mats work?

"In our tests, we found that the mat that charges the iPhone charges about the same time as the adapter would for the wall," said Gerard Catapano, an associate director at Consumer Reports.

Some charging mats for Android phones took a little longer than a regular charger, but not by much.

Phones need to have wireless charging capability. Newer phones have it built in. With others, you have to buy a special case so they'll work with a charging mat.

Overall Consumer Reports says the charging pads are a great way to make charging your cellphone easier.

"You come home at the end of the day, you plop your phone on this device, you don't have to look for a charger, you can just drop it on there, and in a couple hours your phone is charged. And you can charge multiple phones at the same time," said Catapano.

If you have an iPhone, testers recommend the Duracell Powermat for $70. It charges up to three phones at a time in two to two and a half hours.

For Androids, the fastest mat 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.

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