Choetech Iron Stand full review
We've spoken about the benefits of Qi wireless charging before, but you really have to try it to see just how convenient it is. We love being able to simply throw down our phone and pick it up fully charged, without having to fumble around plugging in- and unplugging cables.
I recently broke the micro-USB connection on my Samsung Galaxy S6, too, so wireless charging is, for me, not just handy but essential.
This Choetech wireless charger is one of the better examples we've seen, with some compelling features and a nice-looking, sturdy-feeling design. Despite this, it costs just £23.99 from Amazon. Yes, that's expensive for a wireless charger, but this isn't any old Qi pad.
A single piece of metal is folded into a stand, with a lip at the front to secure your device and two rubber feet to keep the stand in place on the desk. The inductive technology is built into the front, but all you see is a mirror-finish charging plate that is nearly as large as the stand itself. Four LEDs and a Micro-USB port are found on the right side.
The stand is just over four inches tall, which means it will sit short of most smartphones in portrait mode, and they'll overhang at the edges in landscape mode. This is a good thing, making it easy to quickly pick up the device, and putting your phone's screen rather than the charger on display.
Provided your phone supports induction charging, we see two main problems with Qi wireless charging. First, you have to place down your phone on a wireless pad, often in a very precise position, which can make using your phone as it charges difficult - particularly if you're watching a video clip or trying to send a text. Also see: How to add Qi wireless charging to your phone.
This Choetech Iron Stand eliminates this problem by building in not one but three induction coils. This means you can place your phone in any position on the stand - portrait or landscape, upright or upside down - and it will charge. It also props up the device for easier viewing or access to the screen, which is ideal if you want to use your phone for playing back media or simply don't want it wobbling away on a circular pad as you prod away at the virtual keyboard.
The second issue is that wireless charging is much slower than charging in the traditional manner, and especially so if your device supports Quick Charge. That's because the standard is limited to 5W. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
For us wireless charging is practical only when you have time to spare, such as when charging your phone overnight or when it's sitting on your office desk all day long. It's at these times the Choetech is a great gadget; at other times you can simply unplug its Micro-USB cable and attach it directly to your phone for faster charging.
Bearing in mind that we often wirelessly charge our phones at night, then, we like the fact the Choetech's four blue LEDs sit on the device's side. Rather than flashing away at the front of the device, distracting you when watching a film or potentially keeping you awake, they sit hidden away out of view.
The LEDs will flash to let you know power has been connected, but glow a constant blue while wireless charging occurs. What happens when charging is complete depends entirely on your phone: if it sends a signal to say it's done then the Choetech will enter standby mode; if it doesn't then the Iron Stand will continue delivering power at a low rate. Also see: Best desktop chargers 2015.
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Choetech Iron Stand: Specs
- Qi wireless charging pad
- input 5V/1.5-2A
- output 5V/1A, 5W
- conversion efficiency 75%
- 3 coils (works in portrait and landscape mode)
- stand design
- charging distance 0-5mm
- 12-month warranty