Three great devices for different wireless charging needs
RAVPower is likely one of the top three brands that anybody comes up with when discussing mobile charging technologies. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that the company has managed to outdo itself yet again with its new HyperAir-enabled wireless chargers. First announced and launched near the end of February, HyperAir allows nearly any device to be charged in a much shorter period of time thanks to improved output management and temperature control. There are a total of four chargers built on the platform, including two wireless charging pads, a charging stand, and a portable battery bank. For this review, we managed to spend some time with three of those. That includes the squarish Alpha Series Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad, Portable Wireless Fast Charger, and Wireless Fast Charging Stand. Although that doesn't include the round variant of the company's HyperAir fast wireless charging pad - sold under model number PC034 - the primary difference between the chargers seems to be in form factor. So we're confident that other pad would have matched these other three in terms of build quality, performance, and value.
To begin with, the chargers range in price from just short of $40 to around $50 and each comes with a core set of features. Chief among those, with regard to how quickly they can charge a device up, is the inclusion of smart chip monitoring. The chipset in these chargers is not only used to determine which output to charge at and to enable safety features to prevent device damage or injury. It also begins to address a common problem with wireless charging. Namely, it monitors temperature and adjusts everything to prevent overheating and a subsequent slower rate of charging. Each also includes its own unique features to keep temperatures down from an engineering perspective, whether that’s vents or fins to dissipate excessive heat energy by up to 15-percent better than the average wireless charger. So whether a device is designed to charge wirelessly at 5W, 7.5W, or 10W, HyperAir will remain at a consistent output closer to that number for the duration of its charge. RAVPower says it only takes around 3 hours to charge a Samsung Galaxy S8 wirelessly. That’s not only consistent with our tests but is also slightly faster than with the average wireless charger.
Meanwhile, each also has an LED status indicator that is designed to be easy to read at a glance. When power is connected to one of RAVPower’s HyperAir devices, a red LED indicates that it is either connected or charging - in the case of the portable power bank. That turns off after around 10 seconds so that it doesn’t waste energy or wear on the LEDs. A flashing red LED indicator means that either the device placed on it is not compatible or that some other material is causing unsafe charging conditions and preventing charging, such as a protective case that contains metal. The light will flash green while a device charges and remain a solid green when charging is complete for around 15 seconds before shutting off. Each is also capable of charging a device through up to 3mm of protective case, which covers the vast majority of cases on the market.
Finally, each is also constructed of comfortable soft-touch plastics and rubbers since metals can't typically be used in wireless charging solutions. The build quality itself feels exceptionally sold and well thought-out. There aren’t any jagged edges or protruding ports to deal with here. On the other hand, these devices are obviously meant for indoor use and aren't ruggedized. So they can't be exposed to water and shouldn't be dropped. However they do features plenty of safety features to protect against power surges, temperature fluctuations, short-circuiting, or interferences. Having said that, and bearing all of those similarities in mind, these are not at all the same device.
HyperAir Alpha Series Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad
First up is RAVPower's HyperAir Alpha Series Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad, which costs $39.99. The HyperAir-enabled charging pad is exceptionally sleek in design, measuring just 88mm x 88mm x 10mm and weighing in at just 84 grams. On the input side of things, the charging pad requires a 12V/2A input and that's provided via micro USB. The underside of the charger features rubber feet, which seem to provide ample room underneath for the bottom-facing ventilation to do its work. This is one charger which doesn't seem to generate much heat at all.
Thankfully, this charging pad ships with a Quick Charge 3.0 24W USB wall adapter and a 4-foot USB to micro USB cable to accommodate its power needs. It also ships with an easy to follow manual that includes instructions in 6 different languages. That's in addition to the included warranty extension and customer service card.
Although it would be difficult to criticize RAVPower's efforts here, the size of this charger is one aspect of the wireless fast charging pad which occupies both positive and negative categories. The surface of the pad itself is coated in something approaching a non-slip material but, because that surface is so small, some devices may not work out. That's going to depend entirely on where the charging apparatus in a given device is situated. If that's toward the top or bottom of the phone, there's a chance it's going to slip off. The issue is exacerbated if a device is set to vibrate on notifications. We tested the charger using an LG G6 and that device sat just fine on the pad without falling off. At the same time, the small footprint also means that this is a charger that can occupy almost any desk, countertop, or bedside table - without interfering with the aesthetics of the room and without it being in the way.
HyperAir Wireless Fast Charging Stand
For those that require something that allows more screen visibility while charging, the RAVPower HyperAir Wireless Fast Charging Stand fits the bill almost perfectly. As with the charging pad, this takes an input of 12V/2A and translates that to up to 10W output. Output adapts to suit the phone that's placed on the stand and, thanks to dual coils, the stand can be used in either horizontal or vertical configuration. The device has been coated with a smooth-looking soft-touch plastic, with a heat-dissipation fin running along the back of the stand itself. The underside and where the bottom edge of the phone rests have been coated with rubber to prevent slipping. The stand also has a relatively small footprint, measuring at just 70mm x 70mm x 120mm and weighing in at just 129 grams.
As with the other chargers included here, users can expect to find a lifetime warranty extension and customer care cards in the box, alongside a dedicated USB wall adapter. Power is provided by via 4-foot micro USB to USB cable, which is included as well. The cables shipped with these chargers, with the notable exception of that shipped with the portable charger, are also of the more premium nylon-coated variety.
Aside from the fact that even the softer plastics used in this charger could ultimately scratch up a mobile device, there's not much to complain about at a cost of just $49.99. This charger will provide a quick boost of wireless power in a shape that's well suited for allowing device interaction while charging at a desk or for using a handset as an alarm clock on a bedside table. A longer cable might be desirable but that really shouldn't present too much of a problem since USB to micro USB cables are extremely affordable.
HyperAir Portable Wireless Fast Charger
Lastly, RAVPower's HyperAir Portable Fast Wireless Charger squeezes the features of the previous two entries in the series into a power bank. The power bank, measuring at 80mm x 163mm x 23mm and weighing less than the average smartphone, puts out exactly the same power as the other HyperAir chargers. However, it also features a smart USB port with a maximum output of 5V/2.4A and 10,400mAh of energy, there's more than enough to share. That's all packed into a very tidy looking package with the same LED indicators found on the other two HyperAir chargers, in addition to 4 LED lights to gauge how much charge is left. Every port and even the button used for checking the remaining power feel smooth and unobtrusive. The button is also nice and clicky, giving the whole package a solid feel.
Perhaps best of all, the box includes not only a USB to micro USB cable - which is used for charging the power bank at 5V/2A - but also includes a micro USB to USB Type-C adapter. Unfortunately, there's actually no wall plug adapter included with this portable battery pack. That shouldn't present too much of an issue since it most smartphones still charge at the required rate, so most users will have an adapter that can be used. Aside from those two items, however, is one of RAVPower's brilliant soft-cloth carry bags. The pouch won't protect against drops or anything quite that extreme but it does have a nice gray color and will prevent scratches. Finally, warranty extension, user manual, and customer care documents are all part of the package.
RAVPower has genuinely outdone themselves with this portable charger. The addition of super-effective temperature control and efficient charging mean that it will charge a device quickly, while the USB port is a great touch for those moments where a wired charger is needed. Meanwhile, the build quality feels great in the hand and the only thing that could have made this package better would have been the inclusion of a wall adapter. While it isn't an uncommon power rating that's required, it can still be a real pain to have to use an adapter that's meant for another device to charge up a power bank.
There's obviously a lot to love about RAVPower's HyperAir upgrade to its wireless charging solutions and there's really something there for almost everybody in any situation. Unfortunately, wireless charging probably won't be compatible with outdoors environments or ruggedization anytime soon. So these chargers effectively represent the current pinnacle of such technologies and at a price that isn't likely to break the bank. With some other solutions costing well over $100, one could possibly even justify buying more than one of RAVPower's HyperAir devices. With that said, the options available would certainly allow for that.