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Energizer Dual Inductive Charger review: Convenient, not-that-portable phone power

The Energizer Dual Inductive Charger is slick and effective, though not very convenient to carry around.

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Brian Bennett
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Brian Bennett

Senior writer

Brian Bennett is a senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET. He reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from cordless and robot vacuum cleaners to fire pits, grills and coffee makers. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he rides longboards downhill in his free time.

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A new crop of smartphones with slick wireless-charging capabilities has emerged, and the $89 Energizer Dual Inductive Charger stands ready to support them. It may not be as travel-friendly as the more expensive $99.99 Duracell Powermat 24-Hour System, but it does provide a nifty way to top off your gadgets plus it helps clear cords from your desk space.

Energizer Dual Inductive Charger
7.0

Energizer Dual Inductive Charger

The Good

The <b>Energizer Dual Inductive Charger</b> charges phones conveniently without wires. The charger is easy to set up and can power three devices at once. It accommodates compatible phones without needing an add-on case or sleeve.

The Bad

The Energizer Dual Inductive Charger is large, bulky, and not very portable. It only supports Qi-standard devices for wireless charging.

The Bottom Line

The $89 Energizer Dual Inductive Charger powers up compatible gadgets without the hassle of cords, but is a poor travel companion.

Design
Compared with competing wireless charging products such as the Duracell Powermat 24-Hour System, the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger is big and bulky.

The large, square charging pad is inclined at about a 20-degree angle. Because of this the Dual's back sits higher than its front, serving to prop up phones you place on it. Two circular Qi logos on the left and right of the pad indicate where to place your handset for charging.

While the tilted design helps to add a little visual excitement, phones with slippery backs can slide around on the Dual's surface. For example, my LG Nexus 4 test unit tended not to stay put if I placed it too far above the Dual's bottom edge. I was glad the charger pad has raised edges that the Nexus 4, with its fancy glass backing, could use to balance and stabilize itself against. My other test unit, the HTC Droid DNA, didn't have the same trouble since its soft-touch back panel provides enough friction to keep it in place.

The Energizer Dual Inductive Charger offers convenient, cordless power. Sarah Tew/CNET

Above the main charging pad is a wide band that features two prominent, oval-shaped LED lights, one above each power station, which glow a cool blue to indicate that charging is under way.

Energizer's Dual Inductive Charger frees phones from wired power

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Based on its substantial size and 0.8-pound weight, however, the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger won't make a convenient travel partner. That's also true of the device's large AC adapter, which doesn't offer a nifty way to wrap and stow its cord. By contrast, the Duracell Powermat 24-Hour System weighs 0.4 pound and has a smaller footprint, and its power brick has a handy section for tightly winding up its cable.

Charging a Droid DNA without wires. Sarah Tew/CNET

That said, the Dual's extra size accommodates today's beefed-up smartphones with big screens. Around back of the charger is a full-size USB port that accepts cables from a wide range of mobile devices.

Features
Using the Qi wireless-charging standard, the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger is compatible right out of the box with a growing set of smartphones. These include the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820, HTC Droid DNA, and LG Nexus 4, just to name a few. If you're one of the lucky owners of these devices, all you need to do is plug the Dual in and drop your phone onto its charging pad.

Charging should commence right away, with one of the LED indicators signaling that you're in business. You can also power up two devices at once by placing one on each charging station, or three if you connect a third gadget via USB.

Power up the old-fashioned way, through a standard USB port. Sarah Tew/CNET

While the LED lights look pretty slick, the Dual Inductive Charger doesn't also announce that charging has begun --- something the Duracell Powermat products do. Another neat trick this Energizer charger lacks is a magnetic click to let you know you've dropped your phone into the right spot. Powermat products are known for this little flourish.

Energizer also sells special cases separately for charging 3rd- and 4th-generation iPhones -- sorry, the iPhone 5 isn't supported yet. These extra sleeves cost $34.99 each.

Performance
I found that using the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger was pretty straightforward. In addition to its angled back and slippery surface, one minor gripe is that sometimes I had to fiddle with the position of my test phones before the charger began pumping juice into them.

One big caveat is that if your handset's battery has depleted entirely, no amount of time on the charging pad will revive it. This scenario occurred with my HTC Droid DNA, which I admit is one beast of a smartphone. The only way I could get the gadget to begin charging was to connect it to the Dual's USB port via a wired connection. In its defense, I observed the same thing with the Duracell Powermat.

As far as charging times goes, they seemed in line with performance I typically saw when using a physical connection. Energizer says that's to be expected since each pad is rated at 5W for power output, the same as most USB phone chargers. Its USB port also pumps out electricity at 5V but in 500mA, translating to a slower 2.5W.

Conclusion
Of course, the real benefit of using the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger is its convenience, if you're one of the lucky few who own phones that support its Qi charging standard. At $89, the Dual Inductive Charger is handy but pricey. That's even truer considering it doesn't do really anything you couldn't accomplish with the ordinary charger your phone came with. Still, the fact that it can power up to three gadgets at once is compelling since it'll certainly help to reduce desktop clutter. If you're looking for something more easily portable, however, then you'd be better served by Duracell's more expensive $99.99 Powermat 24-Hour System, which is more compact and also comes with a portable battery for extra charge on the road.

Energizer Dual Inductive Charger
7.0

Energizer Dual Inductive Charger

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7
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