RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger Review: Power for iPhone or Samsung Galaxy

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  • Pros

    • Small and professional looking
    • Charges devices quickly
  • Cons

    • No Fast Charging with iPhone

Apple has finally gotten on board with inductive charging, building this feature into all its 2017 phones, including the iPhone X. Samsung has been using this technology in its high-end handsets for years, of course, including its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note8 . Both these device makers picked the Qi (pronounced “Chi”) standard, so the RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger will work with either company’s products.

We tested this accessory with an iPhone X and can report on its charging speed and overall performance. Is this $49.99 charging pad right for you? Read on to find out.

RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger: Build and Design

The design of this inductive charger is simple: it’s a round pad for the smartphone to sit on. All that’s necessary to get a compatible device to charge is place it on this pad.

The diameter is 3.5 inches, and it’s 0.6 inches thick. That makes it smaller than many of its competitors, so it takes up less room on one’s desk.

Black is the only color option, and the entire exterior is plastic, but the general appearance is still acceptable, especially as the RAVPower logo on the top is subtle. The Fast Wireless Charger will look fine on just about anyone’s desk, even a CEO’s.

There’s a ring of silicone on the top to help keep the phone from slipping. This does a decent job, though the slickness of so many handsets makes this challenging. The silicone material does attract dirt, though. Rubber feet on the bottom help prevent the charging pad itself from sliding around.

Build quality is good. The product feels solid, and we could neither bend nor twist it.

An LED on on side of the Fast Wireless Charger gives charging status. It pulses orange during standard charging, or pulses green during fast charging. This LED briefly glows red when the charger itself is plugged in, and the manual says it will pulse red when “a foreign object [is] detected”, though we couldn’t make this happen.

USB Cable and Wall Plug

Despite it’s name, the RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger itself needs a wire to get power.  There’s a microUSB port opposite the charging LED, and this accessory comes bundled with a 4-foot fabric-wrapped USB cable that’s quite the nicest we’ve ever seen.

The USB charging plug is a bit bulky, but it’s capable of sending up to 10 W to a compatible phone so maybe the extra is justified.

RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger: Performance

Our tests with an iPhone X showed that it’s not necessary to carefully place one’s phone on the charger pad in order for it to start charging. The handset does need to be somewhat centered, but as long as the phone is approximately in the middle of the pad, and the pad is close to the center of the phone, current will start flowing. After just a bit of practice, placing the handset down so that a wireless connection is made every time becomes second nature.

Inductive charging doesn’t require taking off the phone’s case. We did all our tests with our handset in a Mujjo Leather Wallet Case with credit cards inserted and it had no effect on the charging process. That said, don’t try it with a case that includes metal.

We did multiple test runs, charging the iPhone X with the RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger to determine how quickly the handset gets powered up. Averaging the various results, 30 minutes of charging garnered about 20% of charge. Two hours of charging resulted in 70% charge of Apple’s phone. That’s a faster charging rate than many of its rivals.

The status LED is supposed to turn green when the handset’s battery gets to 100%, but this didn’t happen with our test iPhone.  RAVPower says this is because “iPhones do not send any signal to the wireless charger”. Don’t be concerned that this means the battery will get overcharged though, as iPhone batteries do not allow this to happen.

iOS 11.2 and Fast Charging

In standard charging, the phone is getting between 3W and 5W. As its name implies, RAVPower’s accessory supports Fast Charging in which the handset receives between 7.5W and 10W of power.

We thought we were going to be able to test this feature with the iPhone X, as the recent release of iOS 11.2 was supposed to bring support for 7.5W charging to all Apple’s 2017 phones. However, this didn’t happen. Despite installing the latest IOS version on our test device, Fast Charging was not enabled.

We don’t know which device is causing the problem, but we tend to think it’s the iPhone X. iOS 11 has been loaded with bugs from the day it was released, and iOS 11.2 was rushed out to fix a serious problem in an earlier version, so it’s most probable that the iPhone is the source of difficulties. It’s likely a future iOS update will fix this.

Just so there’s not any confusion, we experienced no issues doing standard wireless charging with the iPhone X; it’s only Fast Charging that isn’t working.

RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger: Final Thoughts

Now that Apple is on the bandwagon, iPhone users can finally take advantage of a feature that Samsung users have been enjoying since at least the Galaxy S6 and the Note 5. Not having to fumble around with wires to keep one’s phone charged isn’t a life-changing experience, but it’s especially nice for people who often forget to plug in and regularly find themselves with a dead battery.

And the RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger is well designed for this task: it’s not persnickety about only working with the phone in exactly the right spot, it charges fairly quickly, and it looks professional. At $49.99 it isn’t the cheapest charging pad around, but it just might be the best. 

Pros:

  • Small and professional looking
  • Charges devices quickly

Cons:

  • No Fast Charging with iPhone


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