Review: Choetech’s PowerDual 5 is ‘a quality charger with limitations’

The new T535-S PowerDual 5 Coils Fast Wireless Charger pad is marketed as a breakthrough, especially since Apple finally cancelled its own AirPower wireless charger.

But Choetech’s new charger only resembles the AirPower because of its oval form factor and overlapping, internal, copper charging coils. Unlike Apple’s unrealized  charger, the PowerDual only charges up to two smartphones (namely any iPhone 8 and newer device or Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or newer phones).

Apple was planning to launch a wireless charger that could simultaneously power up an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPod ear buds. There are new wireless charging pads coming soon that will do that.

While the PowerDual is not as multi-faceted as Apple’s AirPower would have been (or even some available multi-device wireless chargers), it does offer one advantage. The pad boasts five overlapping, internal copper charging coils that provide greater flexibility in positioning phones on the pad.

Different charging modes

Choetech’s PowerDual offers three charging modes for various Qi-enabled smartphones. For the iPhone 8, 8Plus, and iPhone X series, the PowerDual offers up to 7.5 watts of “fast charging” power (fast charging denotes anything more than a standard 5W). For the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8 Note 9 and S9, the charger offers up to 10W of charging. Other Qi-enabled smartphones not enabled for fast charging get 5W of power from the pad.

For example, the PowerDual uses its standard 5W mode for charging a Samsung S6, S6 Edge, Nokia 9, Nexus 5/6 smartphone.

T535 PowerDual can charge two devices at the same time, adjusting for the power needs of each and putting out a maximum of 20W of power. For example, it can charge two Samsung smartphones at 10W each or two Apple iPhones at 7.5W each. It can also adjust to simultaneously charge an Apple iPhone at its maximum of 7.5W and a Samsung device at its peak of 10W.

A Choetech spokesperson warned if you charge two Samsung devices (10W each) at same time, the process might be “slightly slower” than if only charging one.

wireless charger cw Choetech

An internal view of the PowerDual’s five copper charging ooils.

No AC Adapter included

With a price tag of $40, I’d expect Choetech to throw in an AC power adapter with USB port. Sadly, it didn’t. What you get is a three-foot-long USB Type-A to Type-C power cable. If you have an older laptop with a USB Type-C port, you’re in luck. If, on the other hand, you own a recent Apple laptop, you’ll find this cable lacking; Apple did away with all but USB Type-C ports. That means you’ll either have to buy a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter for your laptop or a power adapter for your wall outlet…or both.

I’m also calling this cable issue out because Choetech’s earlier dual smartphone wireless charger ($35) did come with a USB-C power adapter for a wall outlet.

And without purchasing a Quick Charge 3.0 USB 18W power adapter, ($13 from Choetech or as little as $7 on Amazon) you’ll have to resign yourself to standard 5W charging. (Choetech also sells its Quick Charge 3.0 adapter in combination with its PowerDual for $51)

Another bone I have to pick is the lack of information about the charger in the instructions that come with it.

Choetech wireless charger IDG

An iPhone X charging on the PowerDual 5 Coils Wireless Charger

The charger is siim — about a half inch thick — and about the size of an iPhone X (6.7-in x 3.1-in). It comes in what’s called “cellular black” with a cortical wood grain artificial leather surface that’s anti-slip. The cellular black finish has a gritty, sandpaper-like surface, while the cortical wood grain is true to its name in emulating a black, wood finish. I received a charger with the wood finish and found it stylish and appealing. There are also anti-slip pads on the bottom of the charger to hold it in place.

Look, feel and charging speeds

This charger has some heft; it feels substantial. It has a single LED light that turns green when the pad completes the handshake with a smartphone and begins to charge. As far as I could tell, that’s all the LED does; other chargers use different colors or a blinking light to indicate when a device is charging and when it’s fully charged.

Like most wireless chargers, Choetech recommends removing a smartphone case that is thicker than 5mm to ensure charging can take place.

As for charging speed, I drained my iPhone 8 battery down to an artibrary 58% and dropped it on the PowerDual (plugged into my MacBook Pro) to see how long it would take to fully charge using the USB cable; it took more than an hour and a half (98 minutes) to get my phone to 100%.

The pad also has heat dissipation holes on the bottom to reduce heat buildup as smartphones receive power.

One thing to look for in a wireless charger is the ease with which you can position your device and still get juice. I’ve owned many wireless chargers and it’s a real pain to have to reposition your phone for it to begin charging. As marketed, the PowerDual does, in fact, charge your phone no matter how you place it on the pad.

The Choetech 5 Coil Fast Wireless Charger comes with an 18-month limited warranty; the company also offers a 30-day policy that allows customers to return the device for any reason.

Conclusion

Overall, PowerDual seems a quality charger with limitations. While it’s great for powering up an iPhone or Samsung smartphone, it doesn’t work with other devices and it lacks that AC power adapter. If you’re looking for a good smartphone charging pad that allows for ease of device placement, this may be the one for you.

If, on the other hand, you have more than one mobile device (i.e., a smart phone and watch), you’ll want to look elsewhere.

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