RAVPower Qi Charger

A solid charger with a couple odd shortcomings

While it isn't exactly a given just yet, it seems as though more mobile devices than ever are getting on-board with the Qi wireless charging standard. And as the number of devices that are compatible grows, so does the number of charging accessories. Google sells its own Nexus Wireless Charger for $49, but a handful of other manufacturers are coming in under that price with their own offerings.

RAVPower is one of the latest, and its $39 charger is now available on Amazon trying to make a case for its existence among the many other players. Hang with us after the break to take a quick look at this new Qi charger.

RAVPower Qi Charger RAVPower Qi Charger

First and foremost, the RAVPower Qi charger works just the same as any other QI standardized charger. You plug it into the wall, place a Qi device on the pad and it charges wirelessly through corresponding coils in the charger and device. Nothing has really changed in RAVPower's implementation — phone or tablet placement still matters, with the charger's coil basically being in the center, and it'll take longer to charge wirelessly than with a cable.

There aren't any magnets in the RAVPower charger, but it does have a small grippy circle pad in the middle where your phone or tablet rests. Unfortunately the pad isn't all that grippy, and our Nexus 5 could easily spin around when we used it while on the charger. We never felt like the phone was going to fall off, but we really would prefer if the pad was a bit larger or had more grip to it.

RAVPower Qi Charger. RAVPower Qi Charger

On the other side of the charger, you'll find four hard plastic feet that keep it stable on whatever surface you plan on charging. Again these little nubs don't offer enough friction to keep the charger firmly planted on any hard surface, and paired with the extreme lightness of the charger it just doesn't stay put. It's nothing that a bit of double-sided tape or a few weights couldn't fix, but that's something the manufacturer should have figured out, not us.

The charger offers an output of 1A (at 5V), which is on par with other Qi chargers and seems to power up our devices at the same rate as others as well. When you place a phone or tablet on the charger you get a reassuring (if a bit loud) beep that charging has initiated as well, which is nice. You'll also see a flashing LED on the front indicating continued charging.

More: Buy the RAVPower Qi charger on Amazon

At $39, it's hard to say that the RAVPower Qi charger is worth the money over any other comparable charger at the same price point. Although it works just fine, it has a few shortcomings in terms of keeping the device planted to it and keeping itself planted to the table, which are pretty important factors in a wireless charger. If you're looking for a solid charger with a bit larger footprint than average the RAVPower may be for you, but there are better options out there for about the same price.

 
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The RAVPower Qi charger

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"Unfortunately the pad isn't all that grippy, and our Nexus 5 could easily spin around when we used it while on the charger"

I am going to assume this is an issue unique to the white model Nexus 5. I doubt the black one would spin or slip off anything.

The same thing happens with the Nexus 7 2013. The issue is that the pad is small and raised in the middle, and not all that grippy, so devices are perched up and can spin on the small point in the middle.

I hate my expectation that once apple joins in they will have there own proprietary standard and then all the other big companies like Starbucks will start having charging pads just for them.

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Yes it's likely that Apple, if it joined in on wireless charging, wouldn't use a standard like Qi.

But retailers like Starbucks have already embraced (well, kind of) having those PowerMat chargers, which are already not Qi-compliant.

I noticed that this uses a AC to USB connector to plug the device into the wall. Does any one know if I used a GS4 Stock charger, which is 2 Amp charger, if you could actually get the receiver pad to output the 2 Amps or would it still only output the 1 Amp as mentioned? Thanks in advanced!

The charger will only output what it is rated to output at, regardless of what you plug it into the wall with. It accepts up to 1.5A on the input side, so plugging it into a 2A wall charger would still only give it 1.5A to work with.

I guess I do not see the real value in this. It really isn't much different than plugging it in. You are still tied down to having your phone in one spot while it charges. The only big deal is plugging in the cable, and the big detriment is the slow charging.

I will stick with my USB 3.0 for now.

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

There's always the cool factor to consider :-)

But from a more practical perspective, I've had USB connectors on the phone break or become loose from to much use, ie.. plugging it in for charging as well as syncing. So having less wear and tear on a connector will always be a good thing.

David

It's not much slower than a regular charger, maybe 10 or 15 percent? Depends on the phone or tablet too and what charging spec they use...

I think it's very convenient if you invest in a couple of them for different places (beside, desk, etc)... I really like the upright Nokia one I have on my desk, keeps the phone in view and I can pick it up when it rings or if I'm going elsewhere and then set it right back down... Much quicker than connecting/reconnecting or fighting the cable while talking, though I guess that's something a BT headset solves for others.

The magnets on the flat Google one make it much quicker to drop the phone on it too... I feel like the non magnetized non stand pads require a bit more effort (and I think my LG WDC300 is one of the more lenient ones in that regard, positioning wise, some are far worse). This is one of those things that Palm got right a long time ago and were just now getting close to the same level of convenience, but it's definitely a convenience at times, not a huge one mind you.

They're all mostly overpriced too IMO, but whatever... Hopefully the standard is here to stay, otherwise I guess Ill have to start selling off my three pads when I get rid of my Nexus 5/7! What I haven't seen is a good universal car mount wit NFC that's not grossly overpriced, seems like a car mount is THE ideal place for NFC. The LG one looks nice but I don't think it was ever sold stateside.

I have purchased the RAV Qi charger and akku pack solution, this means you can use it as a Qi charging station, but also as an akku pack with USB-cable OR as a wireless Qi akku pack (Yes!)
And although this review is spot on, is it rather convenient to be able to charge my phone without an outlet, and if I want to also without any cable.

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I thought about getting one of those but... Then I figured, it's larger than a regular USB battery pack of the same capacity, and it's not like I can use Qi while I slip it into my pocket or my bag (it's just gonna fall out of alignment)... And if I want a Qi pad for travel its just easier to toss the Google one or the LG puck into my bag, so what's really the benefit of having two in one? (besides saving some money)

I think if someone made a combination battery pack/Qi pad that you could actually adhere to the phone without cables and then toss into your pocket, that'd be a hit. Just not sure how it'd work, small clamps maybe? The Qi/battery cases out there are probably closer to that concept but meh... Rarely see one for the phone I own and/or the battery capacity is kinda meager in exchange for the added bulk.

Honestly, we really need 3,000mAh batteries on most phones... Why isn't there a fat Moto X with a larger battery? The Droid MAXX series were a reasonable success, and the Moto X already gets good battery life, how awesome would it be with 50% more? At 'least someone else is now following Moto's lead (LG with the G2).

Yes, I think it depends on how you use it. I found out that charging my phone via akku pack in my pocket doesn't work for me, so I have to trow it in my bag anyway, connected traditionally via cable. Since I always have a bag or a backpack with me, the size of the charger is no problem.
On the train or at university - so where you have a table or work station, with no juice around - it is quite nice to use it completely wireless.

But yes, any possible part of a phone has developed drastically over the course of the last couple of years, screen size, pixel density, processor, camera, software, hardware... Except for the batteries. No significant progress whatsoever, be it a different (space-saving) technology or size in general. Instead of tossing out money for crappy fingerprint sensors or banana phones, they should invest their (our) money in the production of much more efficient batteries.

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Kind of curious if Qi and cord would charge simultaneously. Case in point: my slimport with USB charger plugged in doesn't keep up with the battery drain on my Nexus4 when watching movies on the go in the hotel room. After 1 show, battery is drained to 70%. If I had both going simultaneously, maybe I could comfortably watch several shows in a row without having to recharge. Like I said before, just curious if someone could with a Qi charger and slimport could try it out? Thanks

If I have to place my phone "just so" on a Qi charger for it to work it becomes a liability rather than a convenience. If I knock it out of place in the middle of the night my phone ceases charging. What then? The Nexus charger is interesting because of the magnets but I haven't seen any other Qi chargers that could convince me to rely on one.

I have this charger with my Nexus 5 and the unit is about the same size. You just have to set it on there and it starts charging. There really isnt a "just so" spot. The charging spot is fairly large I have found. I keep it on my nightstand and really have never bumped it off or anything. I also have the QI charger from TYLT. This mounts it at a 45 degree angle and less chance of falling off.

Why I find it easier than just a cord, is that I dont have to reach behind the bed to plug it in every night. If I leave the cord plugged in, it falls off my night stand when not plugged into my phone. Then my dog eats the end of the cord.

I have a Nokia Qi charger on my desk and a Tylt Qi charger on my nightstand. I cannot overstate the convenience of just putting the phone in either: on my desk while I'm working, or on the nightstand at bedtime. The meme that you have to set it "just so" is not accurate. Qi chargers mean your devices are always "topped off" in an easy unobtrusive way. I