A boox palma sitting on a Qi charger that is connected to a Chargie

Figure 1: The Chargie

The Chargie

The Chargie is a small piece of hardware that’ll allow you to tune the way electronic devices are charged. It’s designed to let you only charge a device to a specific percentage as well as block data during charging. It’s basically a hardware ‘battery life saver’ for your phone, tablet and other devices that can run their app (Android and iOS, click the above thumbnail for what the app looks like).

Why Bother?

This may seem like a silly piece of tech to setup for ‘battery life savings’ but it can make a huge difference for extending the life of a lithium ion battery. Lithium ion batteries do best when they are slowly charged and are charged to [roughly] 85% of their capacity. Doing these two things can greatly extend the life of the battery and ensure it retains good capacity over time.

The Chargie allows you accomplish the above while also allowing you to use a standard charger if you need to top off a battery quickly. It is basically a hardware implementation of the Android Battery Saver features for devices that don’t have built in battery management. The Boox tablets are a good example, they don’t allow you to manage how fast the battery charges or allow you to under charge the battery to extend the battery life over time.

Mini Review

Given the above, I bought a Chargie to help with extending the battery life of my Boox Palma as well as an older, rugged phone. Both are setup with Qi charging (the Palma via an adapter label). I was able to setup the Chargie in-line with my Anker Qi charger and it Just Works. The devices only connect to the Chargie when they see the device is being charged and signal the Chargie when they have reached the configured shut off point.

This also works exactly the same if I plug the devices directly into the Chargie.

It’s an incredibly ‘plug and play’ experience. That said: I did run into a hiccup. Both the Palma and rugged phone had location services disabled and due to some quirks with Android, I had to enable location in order for the devices to see the Chargie (it’s a well known Android quirk).

The tests went so well I bought 2 more Chargie’s. One for by the couch where I keep a charger and one to put in my EDC bag for on-the-go needs.

I strongly recommend looking at this device and considering it, especially if you have a device like the Boox Palma that doesn’t have built in battery saving features.

Tasker Integration

Despite the plug and play nature of the Chargie, I have configured both the Palma and rugged phone to aggressively turn off bluetooth and wifi when idle. This is a problem when using the Chargie. No bluetooth means the phone cannot signal the Chargie to turn off the power and you lose all of the benefits of having a Chargie setup.

In order to work around this, I created a set of Tasker profiles and tasks that’ll set the device to always keep the screen on (watch out for screen burn!) when a Chargie is connected and to turn off the screen when the Chargie stops charging the device. This allows me to turn on the device screen, connect it to the Chargie managed power source and walk away. Once the device is charged fully, it’ll automatically turn off the screen allowing the device to turn off bluetooth and wifi when idle per my setup and desires.

Devices like the Boox Palma I use lightly over the course of a day and I try to charge them once per day, overnight. With this Tasker setup I also get the battery saving features that the Chargie provides.

One thing to note: I had to use Tasker Permissions to enable the necessary permissions for turning off the screen within these Tasker profiles. It’s pretty easy to use and I leave the finer details on how to run Tasker Permissions to the dev’s documentation.

See also