Review of the Intelligent iPhone USB Car Charger on Sale

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					You know, just before the release of iPhone, Apple announced a new "Works with
iPhone" accessory certification program, which is supposed to help consumers tell the
difference between electronic accessories that will work properly with iPhone, and
those that might not. From iPhone USB Car Charger to FM transmitters and other
electronic add-ons, Apple and AT&T stores will only carry electronic iPhone
accessories if they have that badge, and the only way for a company to get the badge
is to conduct special testing that guarantees iPhone won't lock up or shut down when
connected. But, like the "Made for iPod" program that preceded it, "Works with
iPhone" remains somewhat of a mystery: the absence of the logo doesn't mean that
unbadged accessories won't work, and it's possible that badged accessories won't seem
different at all; they might even have other issues.
  Over the past several days, we’ve been testing Apple’s latest gadget with four iPhone
USB car chargers that are supposed to be iPhone-ready: Griffin’s PowerJolt ($20),
XtremeMac’s InCharge Auto ($20), Macally’s USB Car Charger for iPod & iPhone
($15), and BoxWave’s VersaCharger PRO ($45/$26). All four chargers connect to
your car’s cigarette lighter power adapter, and have you connect a USB-to-Dock
Connector cable to charge your iPhone in the car. You can also connect an iPod to any
of these chargers with the same cable. Once that cable’s connected, the only ways to
get audio out of your iPhone or iPod are to use the headphone port, the iPhone’s
built-in speakers, or iPhone’s Bluetooth feature; the Dock Connector port is blocked
off.
  Cosmetically, the iPhone USB car chargers are each a little different from one
another. Glossy black and chrome to match iPhone’s body, InCharge Auto is
tube-shaped, and features a self-resetting fuse in case of power overloads, as well as
inoffensive XtremeMac branding. Griffin’s PowerJolt is cosmetically the same as its
prior PowerJolt iPhone Car Charger for iPods, with a more traditional black matte
finish and bulging, Griffin-embossed body. A fuse pops out if there’s an issue.
Macally’s iPhone USB Car Charger blends silver and glossy black plastic with a
shape more like PowerJolt’s, and a screw-open panel hides a fuse that can be swapped
out if your car’s power port experiences a surge. VersaCharger PRO is the oddball of
the group, transparent blue with a big white cap. Yet Boxwave has included a unique
feature: unlike the others, VersaCharger PRO also includes flip-out wall blades on the
back that let you use it as a wall charger. Each unit has a single power light to let you
know current’s running: Griffin’s is amber, while XtremeMac’s is blue, Macally’s is
red, and Boxwave’s is yellow.
  Anyway, against the backdrop of the advanced technology developing by leaps and
bounds and the rat race intensifying out of multifarious consumer electronics hitting
the market, the intelligent iPhone has been reckoned as the gold standard and
subsequently the intelligent iPhone Charger has gained established fame in the
hyper-competitive market.

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posted:2/11/2011
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