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Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro review: A gas pump for your GoPro, minus the hose

At home or on the road or on a mountain or at the beach or anywhere, Mota's wireless charger brings life back to your GoPro's battery without leaving its housing.

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Joshua Goldman
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Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

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3 min read

Wireless charging is becoming more widespread for smartphones, but for many other devices you're still dealing with cables or removing a battery to bring life back to your electronics.

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Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro

The Good

The Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro charges a Hero3 or Hero4 camera in its housing. Has a slot for charging a second battery and you can use its 7,500mAh battery to charge another device via USB.

The Bad

It's not a miracle worker; charging still takes a couple hours, not minutes, to go from completely empty to fully charged. Doesn't work wirelessly with GoPro Hero, Hero+ LCD or Hero4 Session.

The Bottom Line

For frequent GoPro users, the Mota Wireless Charger is well worth the investment for keeping your camera powered up wherever you are.

Mobile-accessory and wearable maker Mota is trying to change that for at least one other popular device, though: GoPro cameras. The $140 Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro (£100, AU$190) started as a Kickstarter campaign last December, but is now in full production and shipping.

If you're a GoPro camera user, you know charging up your battery can be an all-too-frequent occurrence and a bit of a hassle because it has to come out of its housing first. Mota gets around this by using a proprietary wireless charging technology it developed to optimize current pass-through to the camera's battery with the camera still in its housing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The charger works with Hero3/3+ models and the Hero4 Silver and Black and consists of two pieces: a wireless power bank and a wireless receiver. The receiver replaces the camera's port cover, plugging into the Mini-USB port and extending down and wrapping around the bottom of the camera. The receiver is thin enough that it doesn't interfere with the camera fitting into its waterproof housing.

The power bank has two slots in the top to fit GoPro's housing mount. With the receiver in place and the camera back in the housing you can start charging just by mounting the camera and turning on the power bank. It takes a few seconds for the camera to light up and let you know it's charging, but once it starts you just let it do its thing. There's also a spot on top for charging a second GoPro Hero3 or Hero4 battery and a full-size USB port on the side for charging other devices.

Though I wouldn't go so far as to call it big and heavy, the power bank isn't exactly svelte measuring 5.25 by 3 by 1.25 inches thick (13.3x7.6x3.2cm) and weighing in at about 9 ounces (255 grams).

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Kickstarter campaign promised a 6,000mAh battery, which would've allowed for at least three full charges. The early charger I tested had a 5,000mAh battery and was actually able to hit close to that mark, taking about 2 hours and 45 minutes on average for each charge.

A Mota representative said the shipping version should deliver a full charge in about 2 hours and 30 minutes with the camera off and in its housing. The number of full charges you'll get from the power bank depends on the camera's internal battery conditions, for example, its age, number of cycles and whether it's been charged and discharged in very high or low ambient temperatures. On the upside, the company used a 7,500mAh battery in production units, so you'll be getting more power to start with.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Of course if you need to keep shooting once your battery dies, the charger won't solve that problem; you'll still need to open the housing and physically swap the battery. It's something you can use to to top off your GoPro's battery (or batteries, since Mota sells extra receivers for $50, £35, AU$70) in between shoots. Just don't expect an instant fully charged battery after a couple minutes of use.

Also, although the charger is designed to be used as a portable power solution, it charges via a Micro-USB port on the side, so you could just keep it plugged in. That means you could use it as a charging dock when you're home and have it and a spare internal battery ready to go when you'll be away from an outlet.

Conclusion

The Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro works as promised, delivering a wireless charge to Hero3 and Hero4 cameras while it is in its housing. At $140 (£100, AU$190) it's not cheap, but if you take your GoPro with you everywhere, it's worth the investment. Especially since it works as a battery charger for an additional GoPro battery and a USB charger for other devices.

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Mota Wireless Charger for GoPro

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8