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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Product review: OXA Qi Wireless Charger


This is my third wireless charger and my favorite thus far. In addition to excellent charging speed it has one other key design feature. This charger has a rubberised ring in the center which creates a bit of extra friction especially if you have a rubberised skin on the phone. My first two chargers have a smooth finish which turned out to be an important difference. A smooth finish makes it easy to knock of the phone from the charger, especially if you have a pet or a child who  might unintentionally do it without you noticing. 

OXA wireless charger is 5.125" by 3.375" and 0.625" thick. It weighs 7.2 oz.

This charger is not only a wireless charger but a 70000mAh external power pack. In addition to wireless charging it is capable of charging another device via a mini USB cable. The package includes two micro USB to USB cables: one is 55" and the other is 10.5".

WIRELESS
~~~~~~~~~
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 this charger has a excellent  performance.

In addition to excellent performance there are several things I really like about the design of this charger:
1. It is an external power pack in addition to being a charger
2. It uses a generic USB to micro USB charging cable not a proprietary charging cable.
3. Its shape matches the shape of the phone, so it is easy to place it right on the sweet spot on the wireless charger
4. It has a rubberised ring in the middle of the charging sweet spot, which creates nice friction with the phone
This charger provides the best friction with the phone among the three chargers I own. 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.

The minor weak point of the charger is the light that indicates that wireless charging is on.  This LED is fairly dim and it is hard to see whether it when the light is bright in the room.

WIRED
~~~~~~~~~
In addition to being a wireless charger, this battery can also be used to charge a wired mobile device from a USB port.  The USB port does not charge if the charger itself being charged. Note that wireless charging works both when the external battery itself is charging and when the battery is not connected to AC.

I tested charging Nexus 5 wireless and Nexus 7 via the charging port at the same time. I tried both a data cable (charging at USB rate) and a charging cable (charging at AC rate). When the second device was charged using a data cable it charged but charging was fairly slow, while wireless charging was superb.  When the second device was charged using a charging cable the charger could not charge both devices, the unit shut down. Charging only once device with a charging wire worked well, the device was charged at a good speed (average compared to other external batteries).

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)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.01A (i.e. not drawing any current)

✔ Wireless Charger plugged into AC (Nexus 5 phone charging)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
6% change in charge in 10 minutes
current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.07A and 5.15V

✔ Wireless Charger NOT plugged into AC (Nexus 5 phone charging)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
6% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Wireless (Nexus 5 phone) and Wired (Nexus 7 tablet)  using a data cable
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Wireless 6% change in charge in 10 minutes
Wired    2% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔ Wireless (Nexus 5 phone) and Wired (Nexus 7 tablet)  using a charging cable
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wireless - unit shut down, power demand too high
Wired    - unit shut down, power demand too high

✔ Wired (Nexus 7 tablet) by itself using a data cable
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wired    2% change in charge in 10 minutes

✔  Wired (Nexus 7 tablet) by itslef using a charging cable
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wired    5% change in charge in 10 minutes

Overall, this an excellent wireless charger.  It is now my favorite of the three I own.  Not only does it give me superb wireless charging, I can also charge another device at the same time via a micro USB cable.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


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