Review: OtterSpot Wireless Charging System from OtterBox

You probably know that OtterBox makes some of the most rugged cases available for smartphones and tablets. You might even know that the company also make coolers and other outdoor accessories that are just as rugged. But you may not know that OtterBox also makes wireless charging power banks. The company sent me a review unit of the OtterSpot Wireless Charging System ($99.95) and it could be a game changer.

OtterSpot

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My kids are always asking for a battery pack and they never seem to remember to recharge them. The OtterSpot makes this as easy as stacking blocks. The OtterSpot is a circular base unit and one or more matching portable batteries that stack on top of each other. You have to align them properly, but the built-in magnets help them lock into place. They immediately start charging themselves, and because they have a Qi coil on top, they can simultaneously charge your iPhone or other Qi-based device.

Each battery pack has four LEDs that indicate power level and there is also a USB-C port so you could charge another device as long as you have the right cable. It's not OtterBox's fault, but since Qi is constantly using some power to sense if a device has been placed on it, they require pressing a button to "wake up" the Qi charger and start charging. OtterBox says you can stack multiple batteries but if you read the fine print, it specifies up to three battery packs plus one Qi device at a time. That's probably practical anyway, as the additional packs cost $44 each and the included A/C charger needs to be able to charge three batteries and one device. Each pack offers 10-watt fast chaging and 5,000 mAh of capacity. The base unit itself charges via the included USB-C cable and wall adapter.

Pros

  • 36 watt charging pad
  • Clever, elegant design
  • Magnetically stackable and chargeable
  • Integrated LED lights and USB-C option
  • Add more battery packs as needed
  • rubber pads to protect naked phones

Cons

  • Need to align batteries, but magnets help
  • Need to remember to press button to start charging via Qi

Final Verdict

If you have multiple family members who want to grab a power bank and go, the OtterSpot from OtterBox can eliminate cables and hassles.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.