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EC Technology 6mm Ultra-Slim Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad Review

Thanks to EC Technology for the sample.

First Impressions

Well boys and girls, what a pithy name that just rolls of the tongue. Yes its official name would seem to be the “EC Technology 6mm Ultra-Slim Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad” lol, so err yeah its catchy. In fairness however it’s accurate and I do like a spade to be called a spade. The name thus describes just what it is. I don’t love that Qi is still rare enough that they felt the need to specify what Qi is. If you read my other recent article about Qi you’ll know that Qi is pronounced the same way as in Tai Chi and the Chi and Qi are simply alternate spellings for the Chinese meaning “energy flow” Qi, wireless power, energy flow, get it? I like it.

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So opening up the box and there is the big disc. It’s a big disc too, rather bigger than the other Qi pads I’ve been using. It’s nice looking, hmm glossy, not sure if that won’t make it slippy. Also not sure if the size makes its thinness look ever more thin. Grabbing one of my others and no, it’s really pretty thin. Oh and there is the cable, normal micro USB cable like is found on everything. Odd though there is no charger plug but I guess it saves making diff versions for different markets.

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Aesthetics

While I accept that this is first and foremost a charger. It is the means by which you get power out from the wall and into your phone. (Okay in theory anything with Qi which so far is pretty much only phones.) So it’s a device that has a function, an essential function so how its looks, well that’s not really all that important. I get that, I accept completely that its looks are unimportant. However……. as chargers go it’s rather a nice looking little object. I’m still unconvinced I love its being glossy, that could be in part because I hate having to photograph glossy objects. It’s a nice thing on your desk. Nothing exceptional but nice. It’s certainly rather nicer looking than the one I have sitting 6 inches away.

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Performance

Like all Qu chargers, there is a pretty huge power efficiency drop. What goes into the charger plate, maybe 60% or something makes it to battery power in your phone. So if you are some hemp wearing hippy then you’ll want to stick to just a cable. There is simply no way around the fact that Qi is wasteful but the amounts of power we are talking about is so small that I don’t really care. I suspect you won’t either. What you might care about though is the charging speed. Qi is all about the slow trickle. You just drop your phone on it as the default place so it’s always topped up and ready to go. If you have been out and you’re only indoors for 30 min before you need your phone ready to go, then use a wire. The wire will charge your phone way faster. This is just how all Qi charging works. This pad seems about the same as every other one I have used.

Therefore, I am not going to sit and time anything. If you care about what percentage battery gain you can get in 30 min then you are missing the point of using Qi.

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Placement Sensitivity

While charging speed I don’t care about this I very much do. If you haven’t used Qi before then you’ll soon learn that you need to be a little careful about where you place your phone on it. I’ve done it myself (usually with the Nexus 4 as its rather fussy) that if you haven’t put it down in the right place it won’t charge. If you have a case on your phone this slight extra distance can make placement even more sensitive. I found this, largeish pad to be quite tolerant of placement. More so than my regular pads. However it’s difficult to express this in quantifiable terms.

Just note that with it being glossy, it won’t like being on an angled surface as anything you place on it will slowly slide off.

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Temperature

What? Yes temperature. Again if you haven’t used Qi then you may not realise but a great deal of that wasted energy becomes heat, so charging by Qi makes things warm. Oddly this one didn’t get all that warm. Sure it got warm but not toasty warm. If you didn’t notice in pic’s that my normal Qi pad lives on a slate coaster, this is because the previous one melted.

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Value

The current price I see has plummeted from £30 to its present £13. So that’s a large fall. It seems EC Tech have just launched V2 which is square rather than round so maybe that’s why? Either I get that in comparison to a cable it’s a lot. The cable is faster, more efficient, more reliable, rely better in every functional way. But…… Qi is so convenient. If it’s worth that extra to you only you can say but I find that for me, it is.

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Conclusion

So Qi is great, I love Qi there really is no secret about that. This Qi charger therefor is nice as Qi chargers go. It’s very thin, it’s quite visually appealing and for me most importantly it’s cool. Why it’s cooler than my other ones. Maybe it’s the larger surface area or maybe it has a larger “zone” of charging or maybe that it’s just of a better quality. I can’t say exactly but I do know it’s found a permanent home on my desk. I’m not sure if there is any higher an endorsement than an item becoming something you use every day.

Ultra-Slim Qi Wireless Pad

8.7

Performance

8.5/10

Aesthetics

8.5/10

Useability

9.5/10

Convenience

10.0/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Small and attractive device.
  • Nicely built.
  • Beyond convenient.

Cons

  • Qi is electrically wasteful.
  • Qi charges more slowly than a cable.
  • Expensive compared to just using a cable.

About Mark Ramos

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