Bottom line: Totallee's first wireless car charger does a lot right. It has a sleek and compact design, is easy to install, and offers 10W charging speeds. The automatically-closing arms aren't my cup of tea, but they get the job and done and work as intended. There are some quirks to be aware of, but all-in-all, Totallee has a winner on its hands.
- Sleek, compact design
- 360-degree rotating hinge
- 10W charging speeds
- Automatically closes once your phone is detected
- Money-back guarantee
- Easily attracts dust and fingerprints
- No dash/windshield attachment
- Unclear how the motor will hold up
I was introduced to Totallee for the very first time in the summer of 2018 when I reviewed the company's Ultra-Thin Case for the Pixel 2. As someone that's never been a huge case fan, I immediately fell in love. You can tell the Totallee creates its products with a lot of care and passion, and as such, the Ultra-Thin Case (opens in new tab) has become one of my new go-to's for any phone it's available for.
Now, Totallee is trying something a bit different. The company just launched the Totallee Wireless Car Charger, a brand-new product that it hadn't previously offered. The Wireless Car Charger carries the same ideals of offering a premium experience with a price tag to match, and while there are some quirks I'm not a fan of, the result is pretty great.
Totallee Wireless Car Charger A lot to like
Similar to the company's cases, the Totallee Wireless Car Charger is quite a bit smaller and more compact compared to most other options (opens in new tab) that exist (opens in new tab). It doesn't take up much room in my car, has a minimalistic design that doesn't draw too much attention to itself, and its plastic body feels sturdy.
A quick look on Amazon will reveal a heap of wireless car chargers that are (subjectively) quite gaudy, so I appreciate the subdued design that Totallee went with.
The charger clamps onto any of your car's air vents with a secure clasp on the back, and while it stays nice and snug once attached, it's still easy to pop it off and move it somewhere else. I also like the rotating hinge that the charger is attached to, allowing you to rotate your phone 360-degrees for maximum flexibility. None of this is anything out of the ordinary, but Totallee's execution of everything is top-notch.
After placing your phone on the Totallee Wireless Car Charger, the arms automatically clamp shut around it. The arms then open up once you turn your car off, or you can tap the touch-sensitive sensors on either side. I wasn't expecting this at all, and as such, the Wireless Car Charger thew me for a loop the first time I placed my Pixel 4 on it.
It also resulted in my tugging and pulling at the phone trying to free it, but after succumbing to reading the owner's manual, I realized it released quite easily when you tap one of two capacitive sensors on either side of your phone.
The Totallee Wireless Car Charger does a good job at sensing when you place your device on it, and the capacitive sensors to disengage the arms work well, too. I was a bit hesitant about this setup when I first started using it, but in my testing, it chugged along without any issues.
As for wireless charging, there's nothing to complain about. You get charging speeds up to 10W, and anytime I placed my Pixel 4 or iPhone 11 on the charger, it started refueling instantly.
Should anything go wrong with your purchase, Totallee offers a 30-day-money-back guarantee, giving you a nice safety blanket to cover your purchase — something I always like to see.
Totallee Wireless Car Charger What I'm not a fan of
Overall, the Totallee Wireless Car Charger hits a lot of high notes. However, that's not to say I don't have any complaints or concerns.
The automatic closing arms work well right now, but it remains unclear how these will hold up over time. I'm sure Totallee put the small motor that allows this to work through a lot of testing, but if you're regularly taking your phone in and out of the mount, the constant wear on a moving part is bound to show at some point down the road.
Also, while the automatically-closing arms are cool, I'm not convinced that they're substantially more convenient than manual ones. They work well and get the job done, but it seems like over-engineering just for the sake of it. There's also the fact that the arms are impossible to move when your car is turned off, a problem that wouldn't exist if Totallee had just stuck with a manual, non-motorized system.
I mentioned above that the air vent mount works well, and while that's true, I would have loved if Totallee had also created a dashboard/windshield variant. I live in Michigan, a state where it's either deathly cold or unbearably hot for the majority of the year. I use my car's heat and AC a lot, so anything covering a vent isn't ideal. It's just not as flexible. With air vent ones, you're a lot more limited on where it can go.
Lastly, and while this might be a bit nitpicky, I don't like how easily the Totallee Wireless Car Charger picks up dust and fingerprints. This is especially noticeable on the charging area, which has a glossy finish that never looks 100% clean. Editing these pictures to make the charger look presentable was a nightmare 😅.
Totallee Wireless Car Charger Should you buy it?
All of that brings us to the ultimate question — should you go out and buy the Totallee Wireless Car Charger?
Like I said above, there's nothing that the charger really does wrong. It's easy to install in your car, looks great, offers consistent charging, and securely holds onto your phone during road trips.
4 out of 5
My biggest concern lies with the motorized arms. It's a cool party trick, but I would have personally preferred arms I can move with a physical button. We'll see how it holds up a year or so down the road, and given my experience with other Totallee products, I'm sure it'll be just fine.
The price is a bit steep compared to some other options that exist, but if you're OK spending more money with a company you know and trust, the Totallee Wireless Car Charger is one of the best accessories of its kind.
Totallee Wireless Car Charger
An ultra-premium charger for your car
Totallee's first wireless car charger does a lot right. It has a sleek and compact design, is easy to install, and offers 10W charging speeds. The automatically-closing arms aren't my cup of tea, but they get the job and done and work as intended.
Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
comment deleted by bluey ross
I have a similar model from another manufacturer and absolutely love the motorized arms. Totally must-have feature, for me. I'm curious if this model supports Google's fancy wireless charging criteria for Pixel 3 phones, or if it downmodes to 5W.
Totally paid advertisement
I have a near identical style car charger that has the motorized arms that clamp the phone in place. Works great. However, with all of these types of chargers that clamp down on the sides of the case, I find that they frequently will interfere with the volume buttons on the side of the case. For example, I put the phone in the holder, the clamps move in to place and accidentally rest on the volume down button, decreasing the volume to zero. You can try to manipulate how low/high the phone sits in the cradle to avoid this problem. However, you are limited to how low/high you can manipulate the position of the phone relative to the cradle, otherwise the phone won't wirelessly charge. Overall it's just a flaw in the design.
iOttie's version of this mount solves the car off problem by using a small rechargable battery in theirs to allow operation of the arms with the car off (requires you to push the release button and the optical sensor doesn't work with the car off).
I also have the iottie mount. I find it invaluable because my job involves me jumping in and out of my vehicle multiple times a day as a pool cleaner, taking phone calls, photos and I can only charge wirelessly as my galaxy s9+ will only charge wirelessly due to wear and tear on the charging port (and it gets wet sometimes). I have upgraded my slim case to the samsung rugged case, and where the slim case could allow the s9+ to charge wirelessly, the rugged case does not. However the rugged case will charge fine in the genuine samsung wireless stand charger. I am wondering will the charger in this review allow the phone with the rugged case to charge?
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