One of the best things about modern phones in my opinion is the wireless charging via the Qi standard. The ability to easily just place a phone onto a pad and have it charge and then be able to pick it up quickly without being constrained by an attached USB cable or having to disconnect this cable before using the phone is an amazing convenience. Slowly there have been more and more Chinese suppliers coming out with Qi chargers suitable for charging our devices.
Way back at the beginning of December last year I reviewed a Car Dock Qi charger. Ever since then I have used it extensively and have loved just about every minute of it. When I was contacted by a different company to test out their version of the Car Dock Qi Charger I jumped at the opportunity. The version I received from ChoeTech is available only at Amazon and unfortunately they do not ship to Australia at the moment but if you search around sites like eBay you can find products very similar. From Amazon this will cost you around the $50US mark but they will not ship to Australia. A similar product off eBay will set you back about $40AUD.
Before receiving the device I was sceptical to whether it was actually real but it arrived in good time from the distributor in Asia. From the box all the way through the packaging I was impressed with the quality of the presentation of the accessory. Inside the box ChoeTech provide:
- Wireless Charging Pad
- Air vent bracket
- Suction cup windshield mount
- 9v Car Charger Adapter
- 2 x USB Cable (1 long and 1 short)
- Mounting plate for car dashboard
- User Manual
The previous car dock Qi charger I have reviewed had 2 main issues- it was slippery and wasn’t very stable. Every single vibration in the car caused massive vibration of the charger/phone. It also seemed to be very sensitive in positioning to achieve charging. This is possibly because of small charging coils within the charger meaning the position has little leeway when positioning for charging. The charger from ChoeTech seems to have addressed these issues well.
The charger has a charging light at the bottom to signify when charging is taking place. I tested it on both a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 5 and it worked flawlessly. ChoeTech say the charging area is larger than normal and allows for the phone to be placed on the charger at any height and charging will occur. I certainly noticed this. Without having a moveable part on the bottom of the charger it was a lot sturdier than the previous charger reviewed.
The microUSB connection is at the bottom of the base plate, a much more sensible position than for my previous review. It is easy to see, easy to connect and does not result in a USB cable snaking all over the dash on its way to the charging socket.
The back of the charger where the phone is in contact with it is covered in a soft rubbery material that allows the phone to grip onto the charger well and combined with the side clamps holds the phone still. This is a nice addition to the one I reviewed last year.
The opening of the clamps is also a nice, easy to use button on the top of the back of the charger. I like this position as it easily allows you to remove the phone without fiddling to find the unlock button. Closing the clamps feels smooth and solid and easily hold the naked Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 safely. It also managed to hold my Nexus 5 with the thick Spigen Slim Armor Case although I did have to be careful to make sure it was fully closed as it was touch and go whether it was secure enough. It was once closed fully. It also charged the phone without issue with the case on.
Since I received the charger from ChoeTech they have upgraded the windshield mount to a much sturdier mount which can only improve an already great product.
Once again the charger got a bit hot while in the sun and mounted on the windshield on a 30 degree day but I suspect that is just the case of how the charging works combined with the heat radiating through the window. Once the charger was placed on the air vent holder instead there was not a single heat issue. The charger also charged the battery as fast as any other wireless charger I have tried.
In conclusion, the car dock wireless Qi charger from ChoeTech is a premium product, a definite improvement over the previous car dock Qi charger tested last last year. I can definitely recommend this product to anyone looking for a wireless charging solution for the car.