Patriot FUEL iON Magnetic Wireless Charging System for the Samsung Galaxy S5 Review
Build Quality
Function
Ease of use
Easy as 1,2,3
  • Case is snug
  • Charges at near standard rates
  • Adds protection to your device
Limited device cases
  • Lack of color and design options
  • Bundled Kits with stand, no stand alone case options
  • Galaxy Note 3, S4 and S5 support
4.0Overall score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

In a world where power matter most to users, having an easy to use system to charge up that device of yours is pretty important. As of late we have started seeing fast charging and quick charging. For the consumer they mean they same thing. Basically you can charge up compatible devices much quicker than before from a wall plug. While handy, it isn’t always the most useful function. On the other end of the spectrum you have wireless charging. Again, only a handful of devices have this function built-in. There are a number of cases and small accessories you can place behind your back cover to make your device Qi enabled, but still, not always as successful as many would like. Often times the charge rates are just too slow or it is cumbersome to find the “sweet” spot to place your device to charge. That is where Patriot Memory is stepping up to the plate to offer an alternative with the Patriot FUEL iON Magnetic Wireless Charging systems.

Patriot Memory might be a name you know more so for their long-standing history in building RAM kits for PC and Macs along with their solid state drives, thumbs drives and external hard drives. They certainly aren’t a new company and we have had the pleasure of reviewing a number of their more mobile centric products over the last year or so. While a few mobile products like the Stellar Boost XT stands out in my mind often, it is their reinvention of the wireless charging system that keeps pulling me in. In this review/overview we will take a closer looks at one of the newer additions to the line with the FUEL iON Magnetic Wireless Charging system for the Galaxy S5. If you read the review of the kit for the Galaxy S4 then you sure to notice the differences in case design.

Before we get into things, I feel I should preface this with the fact that the charging system per device is no different from one another except for the case for the device that makes it all possible. The dock, the charge pad, the car kit and the external battery bank are all compatible with any device that sports the case. In short, if they make a case for your next device, you just need the case and not a whole new charging system. Currently they have cases/kits for the Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5/5s. With cases in the works for the iPhone 6/6 plus and others.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (6)
The build quality

The first aspect to the system in the case for your device. The case on the Galaxy S5 is drastically different from the case they started out with on the Galaxy S4. With the S5 they ditch the folio style flip cover and went with a standard shell style case that wraps the entire device. It still leaves you access to all your ports, like the USB port and headphone jack. It covers the buttons for power and volume, but doesn’t hinder their use.

The case has a slight raised edge around the screen to keep it elevated off of surfaces to help prevent scratching when dropped or when laid face down.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (5)
On the rear of the case we find the cut outs for the camera, flash, sensor and speaker along with the small round magnetic charging pad. The charging pad is where all the power is transferred from the various other products through to your Galaxy S5. In order for this to happen you must remove the back plate of your device and place it in the case. This process was a little cumbersome at first as the battery fell out the first time I tried to put the case on. It was easily remedied by flipping the phone over and keeping the case facing upward when putting it on the device.

The case fits extremely well. it doesn’t offer any wiggle or give in the slightest. With the tight fit you also won’t notice any gaps that could expose the back of the device to external elements. The sides are rubberized and make it easy to grip while the back is a hard plastic for added durability.

The way the case fits makes me thing a tempered glass screen protector or other screen protector wouldn’t hinder its use as the edges just barely cover the edge of the device. Don’t let that fool you into thinking the phone could fall out at any given time, because it fits in extremely snug.

The function

Once the case is applied you are all set to start charging. With the basic start-up kit you get the case for your respective device and the charging dock. The charging dock simply gets plugged into any current USB charging apparatus, say USB on a PC or a current wall plug you are already using. It places the device at a nice view-able angle that can let it sit vertically or horizontally simply by rotating the device. Since it is magnetic, you have no fear of the current charge being broken to readjust the device in any viewing mode you desire.

Being that it uses rare-earth magnets also makes connecting it to any of the charging devices stupid easy. All you have to do is get close and it sucks the device into place, every time, without fail. That leaves you able to put it back on the charger in the dark with minimal efforts. The whole kit is has built-in circuit protection against over voltage, over current, leakage and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (3)Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (2)
It all looks really good as a stand alone kit, but the question is, “Does it charge my device quickly?” It won’t charge it as quickly as fast charge, or quick charge. However, it will charge nearly as fast as a general wall or car charger will and quite a bit faster than most other wireless charging accessories. I took a series of charging test screenshots using the usual culprit, Battery Monitor Widget from 3c.

Patriot FUEL iON Battery charge testing (1)Patriot FUEL iON Battery charge testing (4)Patriot FUEL iON Battery charge testing (5)
In the three different day test results you can see the S5 charged up from between 50 and 60 percent to near 100 percent somewhere in the two hour time frame with it gaining approximately 4% every 10 minutes. As stated before, it is nothing like a 50% boost in 15 minutes like quick charge can do, but considering that this solution will prevent you from constantly inserting and removing a wired connection means your USB port will be less likely to wear out or break.

While I feel I shouldn’t need to say it, I will anyways. This system is strictly for charging. It WILL not pass data to and from your PC. That is still an operation that needs to be handle via a USB cable or apps like AirDroid.

Something else new

Patriot has expanded the offering beyond just the traditional car dock, desk top bock and charging pad. They now offer external battery banks that use the same charging techniques. On one side is a the charge pad ring while the other side offers up the  five pin charging connector.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (9)Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (8)
This configuration gives it a few added bonus’. First off it lets you charge the battery on any of the docks without needing to plug it in separately. It also allows you to charge your device on the go without needing a USB cable. Both of those are pretty handy, but it is the fact the battery bank can be placed between your device and the charging dock to charge both devices at the same time is where it extra useful.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (13)
Alternatively you can plug it in using a micro USB cable, where you see the port in the image above. If you feel like being kind, there is also a USB out port to share the power with friends. The battery banks come in one battery capacity currently and that is 2,100 mAh. That should be plenty to boost you for the rest of the day, but won’t be enough to take you from dead to full alone.

The uses

The uses for the kits are pretty wide open. If you go all out you are set for the nightstand, the car and the office without needing multiple or having to open the devices port all the time. It really saves the strain on the port and potential port failure. The magnets are strong enough to hold the device in place, but don’t seem to interfere with any compass or GPS function. At least none that I experienced during use. We set it up to open up a bedside clock when docked with much of the use being after a long day out and about.

Patriot Fuel iON Galaxy S5 (1)
We also would plop the battery bank on first so that it charged overnight while were sleeping. Note: the charge rates above were just with the dock and the device and no battery bank between the two.)

Additional thoughts

Overall, it is a nice addition to your life where easy access to power in various locations is important without the need for fiddling with cables and cords. All of this gets even more beneficial when you consider you are also getting a solid slim case to protect your dive at the same time. While the case isn’t a Otterbox brick, it still offers protection from everyday bumps and drops. The device used was dropped a handful of times getting out of vehicles without issues. If hardcore protection is what you need, then this case, and sub-sequentially the whole system, won’t work out in your favor. If you are after a more minimalistic look with wireless charging freedom, then you should take a closer look at the kits from Patriot.

I do my very best to dig out any cons or concerns with a product, the only thing I ran into during use of the case was the fitting the edges near the power button to be irritating. When it was first put on it had a tendency to apply to much pressure to the power button and prompt for turning it off. A little readjustment to that edge, as well as just using for a few days to sort of stretch/fit the case to the device, alleviated that issue.

The basic kit comes with the case, the charging dock and a micro USB cable. You need to provide your own charging source, like a charging block or USB port on your PC. Most of us have a dozen or so of them lying around anyways. The starter kit, on the Galaxy S5, will set you back $79.99 currently on Amazon with the Note 3 being $49.99 and the Galaxy S4 also being $49.99. Additional accessories will set you back a variety of prices ranging from $29.99 to $49.99.

My hopes for the future is that Patriot will continue to innovate their designs and bring more cases, or case alternatives, to multiple devices outside the primary Samsung and iPhone range. It is still early on in the product with this really only being the start to the second year they have been offered. They have great potential. Once they can offer the starter kits and the stand alone cases in a variety of colors and designs, is when I think they will widely appeal to more users. As they sit now, they are nice, look good and do the job they are designed for quite well.

Hit the link into Amazon now and take a look. You can choose from the various case kits in the same location. You can also navigate to the FUEL iON homepage at Patriotmemory.com as well for a few additional products like a charging cable and the battery bank you saw above.

5 Responses

  1. Martin

    I did as you suggested and placed the Samsung Galaxy S5 battery cover into the Fuel Ion case but when I attached the case to the charger it was not functioning but the phone switched on. I had to take off the battery cover and leave it off for the charger to work. As you know there are two metal contacts on the Fuel ion. Do they need to be in direct physical contact with the metal contacts inside the battery cover of the Galaxy S5? Or just in the proximity. The problem may be the battery cover was not properly reattached when I attached the case. If that is the case then this is not so easy! Any comment. Note also Patriot sells this charger and case for $49.99

    Reply
    • Martin

      I contacted Patriot Support. They very quickly told me you have to REMOVE the original Galaxy S5 case! The Fuel will not work with it as it blocks electrical contact from the Fuel to the Galaxy. Of course this renders any waterproof capability defunct and my IT people will not allow that. Pity as it looks so cool!

      Reply
      • Wayne Wingate

        you can buy a $5 gasket and put on the patriot case. Worked for me.

  2. Wayne Wingate

    This is a great system, however, be warned you lose your IP67 rating. One of the main reasons I liked this case is so that I would have to fuss with the charger port cover and lose my IP67. I contacted Patriot and they said they never claim to keep that rating. I went online and ordered a gasket for the S5 and made it IP67 again. The next task for them is to utilize the S6 wireless charging. The one reason I won’t upgrade to the S6 is because I love the Patriot system. I’ve written Patriot asking if they could make a case to use existing charging system, however, convert to wireless QI so it uses built in features. May not be as fast, but it would keep it stream lined. I wish they drop the cheezy logo on the back too.

    Reply

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