If you look on Amazon, there are a seemingly limitless number of battery-packs available to help you coax your busy smartphone through all full day. I know, I get asked to review them all the time.
Smartphones themselves are wonderfully slim and powerful, but the battery capacity inside it peaked some time ago and it’s only clever power management that sees them still scrape through a day. Many of us invest in these ‘brick-like’ solutions in order to fully enjoy our devices. Developments are promised, but little has appeared.
In fact, the only improvement that has really made it out of the lab is the speed at which the battery can be charged.‘Quick Charge’ enables rapid charging of an empty battery, slowing down as it reaches capacity (thereby protecting the delicate internals).
Samsung have long supported Quick Charge in their phones and just X mins at the socket will give one of their phones X time away from the socket. Now they have gone and taken quick charge and made it work in a wireless charger.
This is the Fast Charge Wireless Convertible; Samsung’s premium charging accessory. Designed to enhance your office desk or fit in at home, the faux-leather disc can slide out and up to convert into a convenient stand - wirelessly fast-charging your phone without the hassle of connecting trailing cables.
I must admit that I’ve been sceptical of premium chargers in the past. After all, it costs less than £1 per year in electricity to run a smartphone, so why spend upwards of £50 on the device to charge it?
There’s no doubting the convenience of wireless charging, especially somewhere like an office desk or side table at home. Each time you sit down, put the phone down on the plate and it will charge. You can almost completely forget thinking about the battery level. It stops mattering.
At least it does with Samsung’s effort. I’ve had failed attempts with wireless charging in the past, simply because it was too slow.
That’s no longer a problem.
Even with quick charging on-board, this one isn’t as fast as a quick-charge cable. But it’s plenty fast enough and with it being no hassle to simply place the phone on it to get going, you’re going to use it more than a cable.
The real reason I love this charger is only partly due to the wireless - it’s the fact that it’s also a stand.
At my desk, I can run an app like Spotify and leave the screen on permanently. It’s far easier to skip a song, or enjoy the album art as it moves past on the carousel rather than turning the screen off.
Even if I’m not using the phone, I’m more confident to use the ‘always-on’ screen mode that the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 offer.
Now my phone is a useful desk-clock and calendar with the battery only being used when I’m on the move.
This one spent the first few weeks on my desk at work, but it now lives at home, as my wife has treated herself to an S7. Now, both of us can enjoy the convenience of topping up at the sofa - but for my wife, who is currently on maternity leave, it’s been an absolute God-Send. The phone remains within reach, ready to grab at any time, never having to worry about that low battery warning.
Spending £50 on a charger is definitely a bit of a treat - but, fast-charging has finally ade wireless charging viable, the convenience is worth some investment and if you prefer a house without charging adaptors and cables sticking out of every socket, then this is a very aesthetically pleasing solution until next-generation battery tech finally lands.