Wireless charging has become common enough that it’s not difficult to find accessories for accomplishing the task at prices ranging from $10 for charging pads to over $400 for furniture-embedded solutions. Not every wireless charger is equal, however. Satechi’s Wireless Charger V2, sold by the manufacturer as the “Aluminum Type-C PD & QC Wireless Charger,” costs just $45 and differentiates itself in a few ways. Not least of all, Satechi sets its charging pad apart through its use of metal in the build and its focus on design and aesthetics. It’s also noticeably smaller than other charging devices in the category without sacrificing on functionality -- offering a range of charging speeds for different smartphones. Although the Satechi Wireless Charger V2 isn’t perfect, it is definitely one to consider for anybody looking either to enter into the world of wireless charging or in just in need of another charging pad around the house or workspace.
As is most often the case with wireless chargers and charging docks, the Satechi Wireless Charger V2 doesn’t come with a wall adapter. A USB Type-C to USB cable is included but the charging hardware that came with a user’s smartphone or another adapter with the appropriate output rating is needed to get started. That’s not really a deal breaker but, as we’ll discuss later on, can become a bit of an annoyance in this case since the minimum requirement -- 5V 900mA -- doesn’t provide for fast charging. The charger has two sets of input standards and two separate outputs rates for Android. Inputs can be at either 5V or 9V. Support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 and for Power Delivery 2.0 and 3.0 are part of the package. Charging of the smartphone happens at either 5W or 10W on Android -- 5W or 7.5W on iOS devices.
Satechi hasn’t provided any dimensions for this charging pad but we measured it at right around 99 x 99mm in diameter and around 19mm thin. Looking at the Wireless Charger V2 edge-on, the bottom portion is comprised of either a silver or space gray aluminum housing. The bottom edge of that curves inward for a smooth, rounded in-hand feel and sleek aesthetic. On the bottom, four rubbery feet prevent any slipping or sliding. A thin slice at the top of the device is made up of soft-touch polycarbonates to prevent device scratching and allow energy transference. That’s also where Satechi branding has been lightly engraved and an almost rubber-like polycarbonate ‘plus’ symbol sits raised in the center, stretching almost across the entire device surface. Between the two layers and surrounding the circular charging pad is a bright silver polished accent ring.
On the back of the device is a USB Type-C port for plugging in the included USB-C to USB cable. Around the font is an LED light that shines through in either a bright green or blue hue depending on the status of charging. A green light indicates that the charging is not fast charging. As we discovered, that can also indicate that the wall adapter in use isn’t quite a high enough power rating to drive 10W fast charging -- users are advised not to use the charger with a PC or laptop USB port. A blue light indicates that charging at 7.5W for iOS or 10W for Android has been enabled. Both lights shine brightly enough, with accurate enough color tones, to be seen and read easily from across a very well-lit room. The hardware here is obviously designed to look as good as it is at charging up a smartphone.
We did notice a couple of minor issues with this wireless charger that may cause some annoyance for buyers and which feel as though they should have been caught before release since the charger costs nearly $50. To begin with, even using the Samsung adaptive charging box that came with our Galaxy Note 9, we initially thought there might be something wrong because the LED never shone in blue to indicate that fast charging was enabled. We eventually discovered that reversing the USB Port on the wireless charging pad side of the equation fixed the issue. There’s not really much of an issue with that but it does mean that at least part of the point of USB-C -- its reversible nature -- is not really used to its full potential here. Moreover, it could cause some confusion for users since there’s nothing to indicate that’s what the problem is and many modern flagships don’t charge very quickly, if at all, at 5W.
The second minor issue relates directly to the charging itself and the shape of the surface on the charging pad. The materials used here do exactly what they are intended to. They aren’t easily damaged, don’t collect dust or particulates, and certainly aren’t going to damage a smartphone that’s placed on them. They also aren’t exactly as grippy as the materials used in other pads and that can cause issues thanks to the raised ‘plus’ symbol mentioned above. We had our charging pad placed on a relatively flat surface and generally the phone -- a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 -- stayed in place. Bearing that in mind, the Satechi Wireless Charger V2 is also just slippery enough and with enough of an angle from the raised portion that our device slid off at least twice on its own. A third time, the smartphone slipped off onto the table it was placed on due to vibrations upon receiving a message or a call. That’s most likely not going to be a common occurrence once a good position for the phone has been found but we did see it happen a few times.
Fortunately, the most important aspect of any wireless fast charger was intact with Satechi’s latest offering. This is an accessory that will, if a device supports Qi standards, charge a smartphone very quickly. Once we worked out why it hadn’t been charging properly it showed no major discrepancy between other wireless fast chargers, taking around just over one-and-a-half hours to get a full charge from 20-percent. Despite the complete lack of any fans to serve as an active cooling system, it also didn’t heat up at all and our smartphone stayed as cool as possible as a result. Better still, all of that was possible with or without a case in place, although it isn't immediately apparent how thick of a case this will charge through. One of the only remaining drawbacks is that due to the accessory's flat design, there's no real way to watch a movie or anything else while the device is charging. With that said, it does look very good in almost any environment and works as advertised, making Satechi's Wireless Charger V2 well worth the money for anybody who wants a wireless charger with those attributes.