While the Qi wireless charging specification has been around since 2009, it is still slowly catching on in newer devices. That hasn’t stopped companies from offering many choices in Qi compatible wireless chargers, and we take a look at one of TYLT’s latest products in our VU SOLO review.
The VU SOLO has a simple square design with a coloured top pad and is available in 4 colors – blue, red, green, and grey. It’s very light making it great for portability, and also has two sticky strips on the bottom to affix it in place on your desk or counter. A neat addition that a lot of other wireless chargers don’t include is an adjustable mobile phone alignment ledge. Place your smartphone on the VU SOLO and position it until you see the charging indicator on your phone, then set the alignment ledge to the edge of your phone. Each time you place your device on the charger, you simply align the edge of your phone with the alignment ledge and you don’t have to worry about it not lining up and charging.
While your device is charging, a green light near the bottom of the base lights up indicating a charge is active. Unfortunately the angled design of the base makes this light difficult to see depending on the size of the smartphone or phablet you have and would have made more sense being placed on the side of the charger.
The VU SOLO charges your Qi compatible device at a rate of 1 Amp. While there are faster methods of charging devices, I was able to get roughly 30% charge in about an hour on my Nexus 5, and went from 52% to 96% on a Moto 360 in about an hour. The VU SOLO works well on devices with or without a case and neither the Nexus 5 (in a case) or the Nexus 6 (without a case) felt overly warm to the touch after removing them from the charger. The Moto 360 on the other hand felt a bit warm on the back after removing it from the charger.
As mentioned in our opening paragraph, Qi wireless chargers are a dime a dozen and as such there’s a wide range in prices. There are quite a few cheaper alternatives on the market, but the VU SOLO is still cheaper than Google’s Nexus wireless charger. As well, the VU SOLO doesn’t come with a USB power supply, and recommends using a 1.8 Amp (1800mA) power supply with the included USB cable so that’s something else you may have to add to the cost if you don’t have one already. Most smartphones and tablets come with these, so it should only be a matter of determining whether or not it meets the recommended amps. While you can use a lower rated power supply, your device will charge slower and the charger will indicate a slower charge by making the green charging light blink.
The charge indicator light could use moving but the alignment ledge and sticky strips are nice additions to have in a wireless charger. Overall, the VU SOLO is light and works well with the devices we tested on.