Review: Choetech Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad
There are quite a few Qi charging pads on the market these days - it takes something different to get my attention. And, more the point, to tear my Lumias away from their beloved Nokia DT-900 pad, which has served me faithfully for well over a year now. But the Choetech pad here did just that, albeit with a quirk or two. It's a premium accessory at a modest price (£18) and comes recommended.
Choetech refers to the form factor here as 'coffee cup' and you can see what they mean. In practice it's a circular, single-coil Qi charging pad, though with some very useful features.
The most eye-catching of which is that the rim of the pad can light up in blue - and it's linked to ambient light, so dims right down when it's dark (e.g. at night, so as not to disturb you in bed):
The brief manual mentions various blinking and 'charging complete' modes, boiling down to (in theory):
- light off and pad unoccupied - nothing happening
- light on and pad occupied - charging
- light off and device in place - charged
However, these seems to be based on use with Android. In practice, Windows Phones don't seem to send back the 'OK, I've finished charging' Qi notification, so the light stays on and the phones carry on trickle charging to stay at 100%. Which isn't a problem per se, though you probably wouldn't want to leave a phone on charge for days at a time, etc. Some Android phones, conversely, stop charging completely at 100% and don't charge again until they're removed from the pad and placed back on - meaning that you take your Android phone off the bedstand pad in the morning and it's only starting at 95%.
So you can see both ways might be better, depending on how you use this tech. I should note that the light/LED didn't operate properly for my Lumia 1520, the LED stayed on and wouldn't go off when I removed the phone - I had to use another phone to 'reset' it to usual on/off behaviour! Very odd - there must indeed be something strange about the 1520's electronics (as we surmised after the device's exclusion from the initial Windows 10 Mobile roll out list!).
With the Lumia 1020 (with its shell on!) and 930 though, the LED worked fine. Odd. Your mileage may vary too - so comments welcome if you go for this accessory. Hopefully it's just the/my 1520 which is the culprit here!
The second thing that attracted me was the output current, a full 1A through the coil - my old Nokia pad had 750mA as the input and I'd bet the output ended up around 500mA, so to half the potential wireless charging time seemed like a very good thing indeed. Of course, the actual current accepted by the other device will depend hugely on the model, but at least this seems fairly future proof:
The best feature here though is the most low tech - the use of circular rubber grips around the bottom and top surface of the accessory, gripping the desk and your phone respectively. How often have you come back to a phone on a Qi pad and found that something's knocked it by an inch and that it hasn't been charging at all? This solves that - the rubber is very grippy indeed:
All the phones I tried stayed well and truly put, here's the Lumia 930 in place. The coil used seems quite large too and wasn't too fussy about exact positioning - I'd estimate around up to an inch leeway in any direction from the coil centres (though, of course, the Qi efficiency will drop as you go further from these!):
Overall though, I was impressed by the Choetech accessory - my desk now has another Qi charger (hey, I have lots of compatible phones, what can I say?!) and I'll make it my permanent primary (one) unless I encounter another oddity. Looking good so far though, and I look forward to using it with smartphones that can accept the full 1A via Qi wireless means, in the future.
You can grab this from several suppliers, no doubt. I got mine from Amazon UK here.
PS. There's always the secondary use, too. As an actual coffee cup stand! The Choetech top (and bottom) are aluminium, after all, though watch that a really hot mug doesn't damage the rubber seal....(!)
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at