Prong PocketPlug charger-case for iPhone review

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With the always-online connectivity of smartphones these days, the folks making chargers are trying to keep up as much as those developing better battery chemistry. If you’re one who can’t quite make it through the day on a full charge, or if you travel and need to take along a charger, you’ve probably been irritated at the bulk or lack of flexibility of most chargers. I’m quite the fan of chargers like Apple’s iPad charger, where (at least on the US plug) the prongs fold into the bulk of the charger. Usually, however, you still have to deal with cords as well. You can bid those days a fond farewell, if you’re an iPhone 5 or 5s owner now, because a company called Prong has come up with the PocketPlug charging cases for iPhone 5/5s or iPhone 4/4s that incorporate a collapsible plug. Sounds pretty cool, no?

Note: Images can be tapped or clicked for larger view. Images show a (PRODUCT)RED iPod touch. The iPhone does not have a gap, like the one in the first pic, near the sleep/wake button.

The case itself is pretty simple – a heavy black plastic with a matte finish that covers all but the glass face of the iPhone and the camera/flash area on the back. At the bottom of the rear face, however, just opposite the home button, there are two power plug prongs that fit into a recess in the case.

Rear of Prong PowerPlug with prongs folded down. Note the pass-through port for microUSB, which allows in-case syncing.
Rear of Prong PocketPlug with prongs folded down. Note the pass-through port for microUSB, which allows in-case syncing.
Case with prongs extended for charging.
Case with prongs extended for charging.

They face opposite directions, which is odd, but are geared, so that when you lift one into place, the other rises as well. When they are at the proper position – perpendicular to the phone and parallel to each other, they click gently into place. You push the whole case right into the plug, and the phone hugs the wall, charging like a champ.

Plugged in. The Prong case will hold upside down or right-side up, whichever way is best for your needs.
Plugged in. The Prong case will hold upside down or right-side up, whichever way is best for your needs.

The whole unit feels very substantial, easily passing the famous Gadgeteer “Creak Test”. It adds a bit of weight to the unit, but not nearly as much as it would if it had a battery. It’s also slimmer on the back than a battery case. Yet, for the added size and weight, it’s almost sad that there’s not just a little bit of battery life included. Plus, if you have to remember a USB-to-microUSB cable in order to pass-through connect (one is included), why not just take along a regular cable? Another drawback is that you can’t control the tightness of power plugs encountered during travels. When the plug is too loose, the prongs cannot hold the weight of the phone, and it can fall out of the socket. Not horrible if the plug is on a desk or table, or near the baseboard of a carpeted floor. Less desirable if the plug is on a wall over a concrete floor, or in an area where passers-by may brush against it unknowingly and drop-kick it down the terminal walkway.

Currently, the cases are only available for iPhone 5/5s and 4/4s. You can register on the website to be notified if they get enough interest in making it for the Samsung Galaxy S3.


Product Information

Price:$69.95 for 5/5s; $59.95 for 4/4s
  • iPhone 5/5s or 4/4s
  • US 110 charging outlet
  • Prevents being away from your charger when you need to recharge.
  • Protective case.
  • Solid, well-made pop-up plug mechanism.
  • Tight fit - difficult to remove if you don't want it on all the time.
  • No battery option.
  • Cannot adjust prongs if plug is loose.

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