FLI Charge, A Simpler Charging System – First Look

 

FLI Charge, A Simpler Charging System — First Look
$149 for The Essential Setup (See company web site for details)

Think different. Charge different. Apple’s iPhone 6 series plus additional USB devices are compatible with the FLI Charge System and its components. The FLI company has a substantial 20 volt 40 watt master wireless charging pad plus accessories for anything and everything that requires USB power, including custom charging cases, cubes, and coins with intermediary ports for conveying the transfer of power.

FLI’s website explains and has short movies on how their conductive charging and smart chips work and how they can “Charge Your Life” better than the competition. Home, office, school, lab, studio, business — you name it, FLI can handle it.

A microscopic instruction manual is included with The Essential Setup kit we received for evaluation. This booklet is 2×2 inches with a font so small a jeweler would give up in exasperation. Provide a large type guide instead, please, or include a magnifying glass. Not all of your users have the eyesight of a youngster.

The information in this booklet is accurate and helpful to assist the purchaser in setting up and charging a variety of portable equipment. A separate, chunky power adapter with cable provides electricity to the 4 x 9 inch FLIway 40 pad. Suggestion: make the cable longer to achieve greater distance from a wall outlet. Two FLIcoins (one each for Lightning and USB micro) and one universal USB FLIcube are included in The Essential Setup kit, in addition to a black iPhone 6/6s rigid case with a micro-USB to Lightning socket on the bottom, emergency USB charging cable, and (hooray!) a very sensible audio adapter for the iPhone case.

This iPhone case is a wonder, with a “constellation” of four tiny round, silver metal contact points to draw power from the FLIway 40 power pad. Set it down and forget it while charging happens effortlessly. Charging activity is confirmed both on your iPhone and FLIway 40 pad’s blue indicator light.

There is also The Gearhead Setup at the same $149 price, replacing the black iPhone 6/6s case with a second FLIcube.

FLIcube and FLIcoins work similarly to traditional wired charging, except their power supply is the FLIway 40 pad, and not an AC power outlet. FLIcube is freestanding, and FLIcoins can adhere with adhesive and a conductive button to your iPad, iPod, or iWhatever. All of the charging components stay in place on the pad via magnets.

Individually, FLI items range from $29 for FLIcube or FLIcoin to $59 for the FLIway pad and a very reasonable $69 for the star of the show, FLIcase for iPhone 6 and 6s. I hope cases for the jumbo plus sizes are available soon, and also 7 series cases in both sizes.

I’m now using all the included components in our evaluation FLI kit to charge my iPhone, iPad, iPod, and wireless headphones. This company is off to a good start with its technology and product quality.

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FLI’s founder explains the difference between FLI and the more well-known Qi competitors.

Qi uses inductive technology which has inherent limitations that often make using it more of a hassle than it’s worth. In contrast, FLI Charge’s conductive technology tackles each of these limitations. 

Qi maxes out at about 10 watts of power, which is enough to charge one (maybe two) smartphones at a time. FLI Charge’s FLIway 40 is a 40 watt charging pad that is capable of charging multiple smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices at the same time without losing charging speed. 

Qi chargers require the user to line up their devices precisely. Moving the device even a few millimeters from the “sweet spot” can stop the devices from charging. On FLI Charge’s pads, devices can charge regardless of where, or in what orientation they are on the pad. All you have to do is put down to charge up. 

Many Qi chargers stretch the truth by claiming their pads charge devices as fast as plugging into the wall. FLI Charge’s conductive technology is 100% efficient, meaning it charges devices as fast as plugging into a regular wall outlet. 

Qi is only compatible with devices that have its technology built in, and often times requires device specific charging pads. FLI Charge products are compatible with all USB powered devices and the underlying technology is compatible with any battery operated or DC powered device. 

Qi’s inductive technology utilizes magnetic fields which emit radiation and are potentially harmful. FLI Charge’s conductive technology is as safe as plugging into the wall outlet

The most important difference is our ability to produce high power.  We are currently producing charging/power surfaces from 40-300 watts. This enables us to power larger power devices such as laptops, power tools, tablets, small appliances and can also deliver power to students’ desks in the classroom and desks in an office environment. The consumer product line is great but the real story is higher power.  

Qi can’t make any of these claims. See the diagrams below for comparison.

FLI below

Qi above

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About John Nemerovski

John “Nemo” Nemerovski is MyMac’s Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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