Review: Yking 2000mAh Qi coil (adding Qi to the IDOL 4 Pro)


Following on from my feature on adding a Qi charging coil to a generic smartphone that doesn't have Qi built-in - and following on from my earlier Flow story of a 1000mA (1A) coil that utterly failed to work with the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro - I've bought in the upgraded 2000mA (2A) coil, to see how that changes things. The bad news (AAM) is that compatibility with Android phones is patchy, but the good news (AAWP) is that it reverses its predecessors failings by working with the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro and adding a whole new feature to this otherwise forgotten faux-flagship on Windows 10 Mobile...

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(Yes, I'm going to keep referencing AAM - All About Mobile - the latest addition to the All About sites, even though it's not yet live. But all relevant content is building up in its database, so as soon as Rafe wields his screwdriver and puts AAM live it will appears with over a year of content in an instant.)

The earlier 1A coil was thin and smooth, gold-coloured, while this new offering is black and textured, along with the obligatory theoretical specifications printed on the under-side:

Yking Qi coil

The new coil pictured in front of the aforementioned IDOL 4 Pro and a case which I ended up not using as it was too tight over the ribbon cable...

Yking Qi coil

It's at this point that I shoult point out that you should take these current ratings with a large pinch of salt. In practice, the charging speeds attained depend on (deep breath):

  • phone charging circuits
  • phone OS
  • make and rating of the Qi pad
  • size of the Qi pad's coils
  • alignment, centre to centre, i.e. how accurately you put the phone down - see also my piece on Apple's new MagSafe, which solves this issue, at least
  • power source feeding the Qi pad

Phew! There's a lot to go wrong there. At absolute best, I'm sure 2A is possible, under ideal conditions with a specific test phone at Yking headquarters. Meanwhile, back in the real world, you'll be back at 1A or, more usually, the baseline Qi speed of 450mA. If it works at all.

But don't despair too much, because with the AAWP audience in mind, in particular, I can report that the electronics in this Qi coil works reliably with the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, a faux flagship (superb speakers, screen, and audio DAC, shame about the camera!) that has had to live solely on wired charging up until now.

Yking Qi coil

The coil inserted into the off-centre Type C port in the IDOL 4 Pro - this does mean that the coil itself sits at a slight angle, but as the internal coils themselves in Qi charging are circular, the orientation of the housing doesn't actually matter. Off to the right is the 'solid black', more flexible case I ended up using.

Yking Qi coil

With my chosen opaque black case on, it's fair to say that the connector and ribbon do cause a little local bulging. But hey, no pain, no gain, right?

Yking Qi coil

There's also obviously a bulge in the back of the case, to accommodate the coil underneath the TPU. It looks odd here but you don't notice it in the hand.

So yes, a result of sorts in that this Yking coil gives the IDOL 4 Pro a new string to its bow - at long last.

However, and it's a big however, things get patchier from here on in. For starters, current supplied to the Alcatel seems to top out at 450mA, even when placed on a high current Qi pad. Again, I'm not going to attribute direct blame here, since the possible bottlenecks are listed above, but rather report data points. 

I tested the Yking coil with a number of Type C-equipped Android smartphones and am not convinced that I ever got more than half an Amp out of it. Plus compatibility was strange - the older Google Pixel 3a XL worked with the coil, charging happily, but the newer Pixel 4a 5G just pops up a message about an 'unsupported audio accessory' and doesn't charge at all. Similarly on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro. But it worked fine with my Moto G8 Plus.

So go figure. Clearly the electronics inside the coil haven't been tested with that wide range of smartphones and my guess is that it doesn't fully comply with the various Type C specifications. 

On the other hand, if this very non-conformance helps the coil work with the IDOL 4 Pro?...(!) 

But I can't really recommend this overall. Not working with the latest Google Pixel, with pure Android and up to date everything, is a bit of a clue that corners have been cut at Yking. Hence the lowish review score.

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