No more charging cables: Prong iPhone case has wall prongs

The PocketPlug plugs right into an AC outlet, no cable required. But there's one key element missing from this otherwise ingenious case.

Just plug your iPhone right into a wall outlet. No sync/charge cable necessary.
Just plug your iPhone right into a wall outlet. No sync/charge cable necessary. GoProng

Maybe someday ( maybe even tomorrow , though I doubt it), Apple will engineer an iPhone that can charge wirelessly, just by sitting on the right surface. No cables, no wall warts, no hassles.

Prong

Until that day, if you want to charge your iPhone, you need to either dock it or connect it to a charging cable. Or not, if you keep it in a Prong PocketPlug case. This black shell looks like a typical extended-battery case, except for the two metal prongs that fold flat when not in use. To charge your phone, you just pop out the prongs, then plug the whole thing into an outlet.

Neat idea, right? Although it does seem to preclude you using your iPhone while it's charging, the case has a Micro-USB port on the side if you prefer a corded charge. (Plus, you get the benefit of compatibility with nonproprietary cables.)

Like an extended-battery case, the PocketPlug does add a bit of girth to your iPhone. On an iPhone 5, for example, it extends the length about half an inch, and the depth around 0.4 inch. Prong doesn't specify the weight of the case, but my guess is it's very light.

That's because, alas, the PocketPlug doesn't have a battery of its own. It's merely a charging adapter. I think if you're going to add extra bulk to your phone, it should offer supplemental power at the same time. According to Prong's FAQ, "The current version of the PocketPlug is an AC charger only and does not include an extended battery" -- which suggests a future version will.

For now, the PocketPlug is available for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5 ($59.95 and $69.95), with black versions available now and white ones scheduled to ship this month. A Samsung Galaxy S3 version is in the works.

Much as I love the convenience this offers, I think I'd rather get one that can give my iPhone extra juice when there's no outlet to be found. Your thoughts?

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About the author

Rick Broida has written about business and consumer technology for nearly 25 years. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including "The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets." He also writes for CNET's iPhone Atlas and How-To blogs.

 

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