Saturday, June 22, 2024

Review: Satechi Launches New Qi2 Charging Stands


Satechi today announced the availability of its two new Qi2 charging stands, the 3-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand and the 2-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand. Qi2 is the latest version of the Qi standard, and it is comparable to MagSafe.

Qi2 uses magnets to ensure that smartphones are aligned properly with charging coils, and it is able to charge compatible iPhones at up to 15W. The faster Qi2 charging speeds are available on the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and all iPhone 15 models. Future iPhones, such as the upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, will also work with Qi2.

While Qi2 is basically the same as ‌MagSafe‌, it has the benefit of not being controlled by Apple, so Qi2 accessories can be a bit cheaper than ‌MagSafe‌ technology that manufacturers have to license from Apple.

Both of the Satechi Wireless Charging Stands have the same design, featuring a square wireless charging pedestal for the AirPods, an arm attached by a hinge, and a round magnetic wireless charger for the ‌iPhone‌. The 3-in-1 model adds a fold-out Apple Watch charger to the back of the arm.

These chargers collapse down flat, which makes them convenient to tuck into a bag or backpack, but the aluminum they’re made from is on the heavy side. The option to fold them down is a plus, but because of the weight, they may not be a better option than something like Mophie’s 3-in-1 travel charger.

The folding design is, however, a major improvement over most chargers, so if you want something that works well both on a desktop and when traveling, Satechi’s Qi2 options are worth looking at. Compared to a flat charger, being able to unfold the arm and have an upright charger is useful because it enables features like StandBy on the ‌iPhone‌ and Night Stand mode on the Apple Watch.

The base of each charger has a soft-touch vegan leather material and a little divot where the AirPods are meant to go. The ‌iPhone‌ charging puck also has a soft-touch silicone to ensure that it doesn’t scratch the ‌iPhone‌, and the Apple Watch charger is made from a standard white plastic.

With the aluminum build, the chargers look like quality products, and they’ll match well with most desk setups. It is worth noting that Satechi is only selling these in space gray, so if you prefer silver aluminum or shades of white, that’s not an option.

The best part about Satechi’s Charging Stands is the Qi2 charging puck. It’s attached to the arm of the device using a hinge, so the charger can be set to several different angles. It can be positioned straight up so it’s essentially a flat charging surface, or tilted down all the way to take up minimal space. In between, there are angles ideal for watching videos or FaceTiming. As with most upright magnetic chargers, the Charging Stands can be used with the ‌iPhone‌ positioned in landscape or portrait orientation. Satechi says that the hinges on the stand won’t weaken over time, and they do seem firm while still being easy to manipulate.

In testing, Satechi’s Qi2 Charging Stands worked like ‌MagSafe‌ charging stands. The ‌iPhone‌ is able to attach magnetically, and charging speeds were about the same as ‌MagSafe‌. The ‌iPhone‌ did get a little warm a few times, but that also happens with ‌MagSafe‌ chargers. Over a 30-minute period, an iPhone 15 Pro Max was able to charge from 22 percent to 52 percent, for a 30 percent total charge.

The AirPods charging spot charges the AirPods at 5W, and the 3-in-1 version’s Apple Watch charger is a fast charger so it can charge the Apple Watch Series 7 and later and the Ultra models at the quickest speed. There is a small light at the front of the charger when it is in use, but it is not overly bright.

For powering the Charging Stands, there’s a USB-C port at the back, which is nice because the cable can be swapped out if it becomes damaged or if you need a cable of a different length. The more expensive 3-in-1 charger includes a 45W power adapter and interchangeable plugs for international travel, and both models come with a plain black USB-C cable.

One of the benefits of Qi2 is lower prices, but Satechi’s Wireless Charging Stands are still expensive. The 3-in-1 model is priced at $130, likely because Satechi is still licensing Apple Watch charging technology from Apple, while the 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand is $80. For the build quality and the versatility afforded by the hinged design, the pricing does not seem unfair, and Satechi’s 3-in-1 is $20 cheaper than MagSafe-based 3-in-1 charging options sold by Apple.

The 3-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand is priced at $130, while the 2-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand is priced at $80. Both products can be purchased from the Satechi website as of today.

Note: Satechi provided MacRumors with the 3-in-1 and 2-in-1 Qi2 Wireless Charging Stands for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.Tag: Satechi
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