A few weeks ago I got my hands on a “QiPack wireless portable charger”, a product which I took part in backing through Kickstarter a while back as part of my quest for wireless charging my iPhone which I covered before. As most of you probably experienced, most iPhones over a year old tend to lose their ability to go through the day on a full night charge, the more extensive your use, the more likely it is you have to carry a battery of some sort to make sure you go through the day without it shutting down just when you need it most…
Having connected the Qi receiver to the lighting socket for the night charger – the next thing you need to worry about is being able to charge on the go, and this is where wireless QI battery comes into play.
QiPack: The World’s Thinnest Wireless Portable Charger
The wireless QI battery truly – makes the charging process wireless (as long as you remembered to charge the battery in advance by plugging it via some wired USB cable) – you just pull it out of the bag, lay it on a flat surface – no strings / wires attached and lay the smartphone on it – and Voila! The power is transferred to the phone.
I have to admit, backing this project was pretty impulsive – part of fulfilling the wireless charging fantasy I had been cultivating, I did not know much about QI charging at the time so I jumped on board and here are my impressions on how the project was ran and of the end product.
QiPack should be compatible with a wide range of devices (Google nexus, HTC, LG Motorola & Nokia phones that have built in QI charging & also other devices via adapters such as Samsung and of course the iPhone which I am using) so the target audience is wide and not limited to iPhone users…
Project report card
QiPack promised to be “the world’s thinnest portable charger” and while no one can really test this claim, I have to say to product does look pretty thin – very close to the size of an iPhone model 5 / 5S.
The battery “feels” solid, light and made of good material. Seems like a good quality product overall from the moment you open the box to the various components included (the battery & charging cable).
Following several tests in real world situations – I found that it took about 2.5 hours for the battery to completely transfer all its power to a “dead” iPhone, so that’s pretty fast charging.
Overheating is an issue that’s been reported mostly by other backers, and happened for me as well, not pleasant, but not “unbearable” or anything like that.
With a reported capacity of 3000mAh, the QiPack should in theory provide 2 full charges for an iPhone 5 with its 1440mAh yet the creator stated it would get up to 110% charge… However, I never seem to get even 100% charge (usually up to about 70% – 75% charge) – which is a big #fail point.
With updates on delayed delivery showing up only 2 weeks after the project reached its target and some backers still waiting on delivery to this day, delivery targets were not exactly met (like so many other crowdfunding projects). What makes this a bigger issue in my view is the fact that one of the main promises of the project was quick delivery – they product was said to be all ready for delivery and was supposed to be shipped few weeks after the project was over. Failing to meet this target may indicated poor management and possibly some statements that should not have been made (if I am being gentle).
A promise for swift delivery must be accompanied with all the relevant preparations and have zero room for unexpected problems, otherwise the creator I setting up for a likely #fail…
Along the way, the creator seems to be doing a very good job in updating the backers on a regular base (an average of update every 3 days during the project and every week since than till now).
Several email updated sent from the company mail ended up in the spam folder which does not inspire a great deal of confidence to say the least caused customers to miss out on important updates (serious vendors are encouraged make sure the mail service & IP they use is in good standing to avoid such problems)
Value for money
This is the major drawback I guess, perhaps the early bird price of 45$ for the pack was ok (if we ignore for a moment the outrageously high additional international delivery price of 20$), but the retail price for the QiPack is expected to be around 84$ – 99$ and compared with some other alternatives in the market I am not sure the product offers enough (particularly due to operational issues I described).
Update: December 24, 2014
Following this and other reviews the creator of the project halted the shipping and promised to work on the issues that were brought up and resume shipping towards the end of September.
In reality, delivery apparently was resumed sometime during November but some backers (myself included) have not yet received the improved unites according to the forum, while others still complain on issues.
Following this status and since the creators have not responded to inquiries on the matter I decided to update the scores I gave.
Build quality – for the many flaws reported earlier on and now in the forum
Delivery targets – for obviously continuing to fail on meeting these targets (since the design flaws were recognized and the creator promised to fix them – the previous deliver of faulty units cannot be considered as meeting the targets).
Communication – Customer support and responsiveness have significantly been compromised since I last wrote this post unfortunately.
Value for money – with current much better power banks that have come out to the market and with smartphone batteries increasing in capacity – the specs of the QiPack are no longer adequate in my opinion for 2014-2015 devices.
(Pre Order of the QiPack on their online store is expected later in September 2014)
Alternatives / possible strong competitors*
Sold by Banggood online store, starting from 31.55$ (Note the high capacity vs. low price & free international shipping)
Sold by Amazon for under 60$ (unfortunately only ships within the US so if you are outside the US, you may have to arrange for delivery in other ways…)
For a detailed review see: RAVPower Qi Wireless Charger review by John P. | VIA geekbeat.tv
(* I did not personally check these two but they definitely seem like good candidates to consider!)
If you got any of these items and have a personal feedback to share or have any question, use the comment below!
- Build quality
- Operation targets
- Delivery targets
- Value for money
Following further observation and with recent updates the scores were updated, please consider all the above information and search for more review before you reach a final conclusion.