Ace Charge is an Android app that, while working with a compatible Belkin WeMo Switch, will help you better charge your smartphone. Instead of blindly plugging it in overnight, Ace Charge offers users a way to make sure their phone is still charged in the morning, without having been plugged in all night. Using the WeMo Switches, Ace Charge controls when to turn the wall outlet on or off and it's designed to save you a little money and to reduce the amount of charging cycles your smartphone batteries suffers over time, thus making your battery last longer over time. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
First thing's first, you will need a compatible WeMo Switch, which you can find here. These switches can be controlled over your WiFi network and control whether or not the wall outlet you're using is turned on or off. The Ace Charge app can be download from the Play Store here with a Free Version here, and it requires a little setup to get up and running.
When getting the app up and running, I was able to find my previously configured WeMo Switch just fine:
There's a nice and simple YouTube Video from the developers that does a good job of explaining all of this as well:
With Ace Charge, there are a number of different modes you can use, such as the Trickle mode:
Trickle Mode is for advanced users that wish to charge their phone fully, keep the phone at 100% and then disconnect it from the power when their battery has charged enough. Every time you charge your phone you might be charging the battery in a way that eventually causes the battery to run out faster than it should. With Trickle Mode, users can experiment and see what works best for their device, as different battery capacities and chargers charge differently. Trickle Mode keeps your device at 100% and allows users to experiment with what works best with their phone.
For me though, I think the Night Mode is the best use of Ace Charge. My device has good battery life, so I only charge it overnight, but it doesn't need to charge all night, and I don't want to harm the battery. Night mode keeps your device from sitting at 100% all night. Instead, it charges your device to 80% and then tops it up to 100% in accordance to your chosen time. A partial charge is much better for lithium-ion batteries, and so this behavior will keep a device's battery at its best for longer.
This is a great feature, and over the course of a year it could end up saving you money. Instead of the outlet being active all night, Ace Charge will talk to your WeMo Switch and activate it to top up a partially-charged battery to 100% ready for the time you asked.
Express Mode is a fairly simple affair, yet it can still save the health of your battery. It does this by cutting the power to the charger using the WeMo Switch. This is necessary because while most phone chargers are designed to reduce the current they put into a device when its full, there is still current there and this can lead to some nasty side-effects and degradation of your battery. There's also an Advanced option inside of the Express Mode as well, which is specifically designed for those that want to keep their batteries partially-charged, rather than fully-charged all the time. A partially-charged lithium-ion battery is the ideal way to treat a device's battery, and will keep a battery healthy, performing at its best for longer.
When you set up the times and targets and such on these different modes, all you need to do is then to swap to the corresponding mode in the main menu, nice and easy.
Ace Charge is an excellent idea, but I'm not sure it's going to be all that useful outside of overnight charging, at least for the majority of people. While the majority of mid-range to high-end hardware supports QuickCharge 2.0 and charge in 2 hours or so, a charger continues to pump current into a device after it's fully-charged risking degradation over time, Ace Charge uses the WeMo switch to kill the power and save your battery. For my use case, I think the night mode is excellent, as long I have 100% battery when I leave for work, do I care how it's been charging overnight? No, I don't, but my battery will thank me and over the course of 12 months as it's no longer constantly being overcharged. It's a win-win, my smartphone's battery will last longer and I still end up with a full battery every morning. I had some issues getting Ace Charge to pair to my chosen WeMo switch after a little while, but I blame Belkin for this. Overall though, I think it's a good idea but outside of the night mode I'm not sure there's all that much value here.
- Speed (4/5) - Ace Charge runs just fine on all hardware, and setting it up is quick as well.
- Features (4/5) - Having a device charging all night is silliness, and Ace Charge can put an end to that and save a little money and your battery in the process. As for the Express and Trickle modes, they have their place, but the Night Mode is the real draw here, I think.
- Theme (4/5) - There's little to complain about here in terms of looks, it's a clean interface and everything is easy to find and easy to use.
- Overall (4/5) - While it might not be for everyone, Ace Charge has a lot to offer, especially for those that have been leaving their devices to charge overnight for much too long.
- Simple and easy to get setup with a clean interface.
- Great way of saving a little money, and cutting down on wasteful use of electricity, especially overnight.
- Notifications, especially when used with a smartwatch, are a great way of letting users now their battery is full or reached a target - this is great when you need battery to head out again.
- Works well the majority of Android hardware, regardless of age or specifications.
- Requires another piece of hardware which isn't exactly cheap.
- Night Mode seems to the best use out of the three different modes.
Ace Charge is an app that will be good for those that are embracing smart home technology, and also looking for a more efficient way of charging their smartphones. Ace Charge is simple and easy to use and even though it needs another piece of hardware, it gets the job done and delivers on its promise. How much money it will save you is questionable, but working smarter, rather than harder is always welcome.