The Wildcharge comes in the form of a slim black pad with silver conductive strips running along its surface and can either be picked up by itself or bundled with an optional adaptor depending on which device you’re primarily looking to use with it.
Skins are available for the Apple iPhone/touch and Blackberry Curve/Pearl and a range of additional adaptors are available for various other devices, along with a "PowerDisc" multi-adaptor solution that includes Mini- and Micro-USB along with attachments for most popular mobile phones.
You’ll need one of these skins/adaptors before you can use the Wildcharge, since there still needs to be a bridge between the power supplied by the pad and the power port on a handheld. In essence then, this is not so much a truly "wireless" charger as a way to bypass a simple cable.
With this in mind we can see the compartmentalised solutions on offer to Apple and BlackBerry owners as being far more appealing than connecting using a multi-adapter, and even though you can charge multiple devices at once using the pad we wonder how eager people will be to shell out for the necessary hardware in order to avoid plugging a phone in at the wall.
Setup and operation is very straightforward however, and a phone or other gadget is charged in the same way as it would be conventionally, and in about the same time. It really is as easy as placing a device down on the mat if you’re using a skin-solution, though the PowerDisc does involve fishing out the right adaptor and plugging this in manually.
The Wildcharge pad itself comes in at just under £50, a multi-charger will set you back £14.99 and dedicated "skins" start at £22.99, though bundles are available for a significant saving. Still, it’ll be a simple assessment of cost versus benefit for most consumers and while gadget aficionados will no doubt laud the convenience of the WildCharge we’d question its appeal to the mass-market in its current guise.
£49.99 (pad only)
The Wildcharge works well in an optimum environment and to an extent does what it says on the tin. There are conditions however, such as the fact that you have to employ a dedicated skin for Apple and BlackBerry devices or plugging a gadget in manually using a multi-charger, which kind of defeats the point. Those willing to shell out for what is ultimately a mild convenience should enjoy the benefits, but we can’t see it taking off quite yet.