Wireless charging has been one of the futuristic seeming concepts that has actually been around awhile for some but is starting to get wider acceptance. There are multiple standards but the Wireless Qi Power Charger Pad from XCsource supports the most popular – Qi.
The pad is a small circular disk about 7cm across and about 1cm high. It is made in majority of a smooth black plastic but has a light blue ring on the base and top. These rings are slightly raised and are made of a rubber material which makes the pad somewhat grippy both of the surface and the phone placed on it.
It has a single microUSB port which can accept and pass through up to 5V and 1500mA. The pad is supplied with two microUSB cables, one of 30cm and one of 1.5 metres and these plug into any wall charger or into your computer or USB hub.
To use place the Qi enabled phone on the top middle of the pad and it will start to charge. It indicates this with an audible tone and a small LED changes from green to blue.
The pad is specified to work between 4 and 10mm which should allow most cases to be used, however if you have a thicker or bulkier case on your phone the efficiency and therefore the speed of charge will be decreased.
Features and Accessibility
Design & Visual Accessibility
The design of the pad could not be much simpler but the addition of the rubber rings are a helpful touch. You need to get your phone lined up approximately to its Qi receiver but this is quite straightforward to puzzle out the first time you use it and is quite forgiving. If you do not place it in an optimum postiion it will still probably charge, although somewhat slower.
Audio & Accessibility
The pad lets out a small beep when it begins charging. This does have two issues one of which I experience personally and one noted by others.
The first issue is that it does not seem reliable. Some of the time when I put a phone on it it beeps and at other times is does not. I have checked very carefully that it is actually charging (and it is!) but often it does not been to notify me of this. This unreliability means that it becomes an annoyance rather than something to be relied on.
The second issue is one that I have seen noted by a couple of other observers. When my phone reaches full charge it reduces the charge it accepts but continues to charge very slowly as it uses power. Some phones switch off charging entirely and let the battery levels reduce somewhat before switching it back on. These phones that switch the charging process on and off trigger a beep each time they do so. This is not a major problem at a desk but if you used it next to a bed you can see the problem with it beeping every few minutes from around 2 or 3 in the morning.
Input and Touch
There is no input to the charger and no settings, beyond the act of plugging in a microUSB cable. If you can place your phone on the pad you can use it, and this is a much easier act than regularly plugging in a cable to your phone.
Retailer: Wireless Qi Power Charger Pad
Included In The Box
- Charging Pad
- 30cm USB to microUSB cable
- 1.5m USB to microUSB cable
- Quick start setup sheet
Wireless charging is an idea that makes perfect sense but up until recently has been to expensive and inefficient to gain wide usage. The cost has dropped significantly and more phones are shipping with built in wireless charging capacity (or are retrofitable with it). The Wireless Qi Power Charger Pad is a simple and economic example of a charging pad that does exactly what it claims. If you spend a lot of time at one location such as as a desk or in a particular room it makes very very good sense to make use of this to top up your battery. It is also something that can be sensibly used as an overnight charging point but the potential issues with the audio tone make this something only to consider for some phones. Recommended.
Wireless Qi Power Charger Pad was released in September and is compatible with Qi enabled phones and tablets. The review is based on the Pad used with a Nexus 5 and Nexus 4.