Review: Pond’s Stream iPhone 5/5s Wireless Charging Receiver

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Pond has been kind enough to send us one of their Stream wireless charging cases for us to review. This is currently available only for the iPhone 5/5s, and with my enjoyable time with it, I’m quietly hoping that they would also support other devices. Let’s see what this case can do better than the current competitors in the sea of wireless charging cases.

Pond Stream 1

Package

 

Our package came with the jet black Stream wireless charging case for the iPhone 5/5s and two audio adapters (We’ll explain later as to why these are needed). All of these were kept inside a plastic bag keeping it clean, tidy, and damage free.

Pond Stream 3

The retail packaging isn’t currently available but with how Pond packaged this review unit, I’m sure the retail packaging will come nicely. It was nicely packaged tight enough to be fully secure and damage free.

 

Design

The jet black version of the Stream looks quite elegant and sleek. It is made of ABS plastic with UV cured high durability paint that is nice to hold giving a firm grip. It is extremely firm just like other hard cases while still being extremely thin. The Stream case only adds 2mm of thickness on both sides and the top. It does give your iPhone a bit of a 13mm chin which I assume is where most components are hidden in, despite that, it is still very lightweight.

Pond Stream 4

The top part of the case is detachable to let your iPhone slide right inside and can easily just snap right back in to cover it. While we had no problem putting the iPhone into the Stream, we did have a bit of a wrestle trying to take it out. Apparently the culprit of this was not the case but rather the protectors on the back of the iPhone itself. After taking the back protectors off, it was a perfect fit with little hassle putting it in and taking it out.


Living with sweaty hands, the Stream started to get a lot of smudges from my hands and did stay on the case. It took quite a lot of wiping just to get it all off. Although I think this problem is not prevalent in their premium walnut and maple versions. Yet it is still something to consider for sweaty hands and wet tabletops.

Pond Stream 6

The detachable cap did need some getting used to when trying to take it out. After a few minutes struggling to find an easy way to snap it off, we finally got used to it and it was then all perfect. There’s an arrow on the right side pointing up as to where you should push to get the top cap off. My first try had it flying across the table, and learning from my mistakes, it slowly got easier and was a breeze to use.

Pond Stream 7

There is also a very useful microUSB at the bottom to transfer data or charge through it. Since the lighting port is covered, this is a very useful addition to have as most wireless charging cases would just leave it covered.

There are proper holes on the case for all the buttons, camera, headphone jack, and speaker. At the bottom right is a notification LED that lights up when you are either charging wirelessly or not.

For a heads up, the Stream is also available in cloud white, and two premium versions which are maple and walnut.

Functionality

Pond Stream 8

We have tried the Stream on Fusion’s wireless charging pad and it worked just as it should without any fuss. No errors, with wireless charging whatsoever, it was simply just convenience at its best. Take note that this wireless charging case is MFA-approved reaching a full 1amp charging speed. Currently available wireless charging cases and receivers only go up to about 500mA which is only half the speed the Stream has. This makes wireless charging and wired charging go at just the same speed. There’s no need to sacrifice speed over convenience anymore.

Pond Stream 9

The microUSB also worked without any trouble for transferring data and charging as well. It worked right when it is plugged and charges right away.

Pond Stream 10

I was wondering for a while as to what the audio adapters were for until I got my earphones out. Having a 13mm chin at the bottom, it also adds that extra space for the headphone jack to go through. Good thing that Pond has already foresaw this problem and gave a solution ahead of time. Using Earpods or anything that is straight and is small enough to go through the hole won’t need the audio adapter. But for L-shaped earphones, such as my Coloud pop, will need to use the adapter since it can’t reach into the iPhone. It is a bit awkward to have but it does solve the problem.

Verdict

The Stream is a beautiful wireless charging case that does what it is supposed to do, and does it very easily. All its functions work just as how it’s supposed to and it can also charge just as fast as a wired charger.

Pond Stream 11

Although it has quite a chin that needs an audio adapter for certain earphones, it’s not too much to make it into a nuisance. With Pond also giving the solution to that problem shows that they looked at their product from all sides. The smudges from sweaty palms and wet surfaces do irk me a tad bit, having either the maple or walnut version though would probably remove that factor.

Pond Stream 12

If you’re looking into a wireless charging case for your iPhone 5 or 5s without functional compromises, the Stream should just be perfect for you. Head on over to their site here and also visit their Kickstarter page which has just been fully funded and should be coming out soon enough. Check their other products as well while you’re at it.

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