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For years, gadget-makers have been hailing wireless charging. But there's a dirty little secret: it's not really wireless. Since we can't yet efficiently transmit power through thin air, there are still wires involved in all those "wireless" charging devices. To its credit, BuQu Tech's Magnetyze doesn't actually claim to be a wireless charging system, and the case/charger combo has its own attractive qualities.
Magnetyze is a system consisting of a two-part case and a USB-connected charging dock, plus an extra charging cable. The case features a back not unlike a slim battery case, which snaps into your iPhone 4/4S's dock connector. In fact, there's a second Magnetyze model that incorporates a rechargeable battery ($99.99). A bumper protects your phone's edges, and keeps the back in place. As a case, it's fine, if unspectacular, but that's not really what you'd buy this for.
The real draw here -- literally -- is in the metal target on the back of the case. Thanks to some powerfully strong magnets inside the case and accompanying charging stand, the two mate instantly when you bring them close together. Your phone will start charging, as well as syncing if the stand is connected to your Mac's USB port. There's an included AC adapter if you want to plug into the wall, and a second included cable (without a stand) can charge your iPhone from another location.
The stand works well, firmly holding onto your phone. Thanks to the magnetic attachment, you can also rotate the phone a full 360 degrees, so it's also useful for watching videos or other content. But the solid connection between the case and stand has a downside too. Despite all the people in Magnetyze's promo videos happily docking and undocking their phones with one hand, every time we lifted the phone off the charger in the same way, the dock came along for the ride as well. The magnets are so strong, they just lift up the lightweight plastic dock. On the other hand, pushing the phone down and sliding it off the curved bottom edge of the dock worked much better. It’s not perfect though. The dock still moved a bit on our desk (and kitchen table, and countertops, and bathroom floor, and every other surface we tried it on) despite the lightly grippy rubber coating on the bottom.
The bottom line. When it comes down to it, Magnetyze's conductive charging system is neat, but only you can decide if it's worth 60 bucks and having to use a proprietary case to save yourself the trouble of plugging a cable into your iPhone to charge it.
iPhone 4/4S, USB port or AC outlet.
Comes in black or white. Sturdy stand supports portrait or landscape orientation. Works with other Magnetyze products.
No iPhone 5 model yet (coming later). Does what it says, but is plugging in a cable really that hard? Limits you to using the Magnetyze case.