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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Product review: TechMatte Power Pod Qi Wireless Charger


This wireless charger is 3 7/8" across, is pretty thin and weighs 1.9 oz. Taking advantage of its thinness its main use for me is to charge Nexus 5 in the car. Our car has a bin next to the main console with a width that is just right to fit this wireless charger and the phone next to it. The sides of the bin hold the phone and the charger close enough for the phone to be charging when both the phone and the charger are in a vertical position (see video).

I ran several test to see how fast this wireless charger is charging the phone. I included the details of these test below for those who are interested, but to summarize the test I can say that it worked reliably although it is not the fastest wireless charger I have tested.

However there are several things that I really liked about this charger. First, it uses a generic USB to micro USB charging cable not a proprietary charging cable. Second, its thinness allows me to use the charger in the car. Thirdly, I like that it clearly indicates when the phone is charging: the red LED means not charging, the green LED means charging.

The weakest point for me is the polished surface of the charger and fairly small "sweet" spot (meaning position on the charger that charges the phone). The polished surface makes it fairly easy to accidentally push the phone off the sweet spot on the charger. The phone has to be positioned on the charger in a specific way to get charged, so the green/red LEDs are a very helpful indicator. One of the benefits of using it in the car that I can control the position of the phone because the bin is a fairly tight fit.

I would have liked to see the surface to be made out non-slick material so there is as much traction between the phone and the charger as possible. Ideally, I would like the charger to be shaped as a tray with raised edges so it would be impossible to push the phone off the charger.

How I tested the wireless charger:
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I tested the charger with a current monitor to see what current it is drawing. I also did a 10 minute charging test which I run on all chargers I test to compare how much the phone was charged in 10 minutes. Since the charging speed is non-linear I start charging each device from approximately the same charge level.

✔ Wireless Charger (phone not charging)
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current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.01A (i.e. not drawing any current)

✔ Wireless Charger (Nexus 5 phone charging)
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3% change in charge in 10 minutes
current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.78A and 5.01V

I received this charger from TechMatte for testing and review. Overall, I am pleased with the charger. Even though it is not the fastest wireless charger I have tested it has features that I really like, especially its thinness which allows me to use it in the car.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


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