Review

Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand review

Introduction

Hot on the heels of the Cheotech Iron review, it is time to cover the latest addition to Samsung's fast wireless charging line-up.

I received the new model kindly sent by MobileFun in the UK, the Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand (model code: EP-NG930). Readers from the USA can pick one up from Amazon.com.

While this review is of the USA version of the charging stand, which includes a Samsung adaptive fast charger and micro USB cable, the UK will not be getting any such extras, yet is expected to pay the same price. I do not know why this is, but it was the same with the outgoing wireless charging base from 2015.

Right: The UK packaging is the same as the 2015 model

The USA packaging is nicer too. We get thin plastic two-piece packaging, whereas the USA gets a slick box. For reference, the UK price for the official adaptive USB fast charger alone is £20 ($28 USD), so asking full price for the new stand without including the USB charger and cable seems like UK customers are being cheated somewhat.

Dear Samsung, why do you hate us so?

New vs old

The new fast wireless charger offers some welcome revisions over the 2015 model. Firstly, the angle of the back panel is such that it's very comfortable using the phone sat at a desk and seeing everything on screen. The LED isn't too bright either so it certainly should not be a distraction when charging in dim lighting conditions on the desktop or night stand.

The LED has 3 colours: blue, cyan and green. The colour key remains unchanged from the 2015 pad, and is as follows:

Specifications

EP-NG930 (2016) EP-PN920 (2015)
Input 5V 2A, 9V 1.67A 5V 2A, 9V 1.67A
Output Up to 15W Up to 15W
Indicator(s) Blue, cyan, green LED Blue, cyan, green LED
Dimensions

113,4 x 87,2 x 84 mm

102 x 20,8 mm

Weight 167 g 117 g

On paper, both units offer the exact same power specifications. It will be interesting to see if there are any efficiency differences between the two resulting in the new model perhaps charging slightly faster than the old one.

Out of the box

It is a shame that it's not metal surrounding the inductive charging surface considering the UK price of £60 ($60 USD), but all things considered, it is made of good quality plastic, and feels like it has been put together to a high standard with well thought out design touches, like the placement of the LED and Micro USB port.

I don't know why Samsung keeps throwing in white cables with their black accessories though. These things should be colour coded to the product, in my opinion.

A large rubber base keeps the stand from sliding about, exactly the same as the old model, and just as prone to clogging up with dust and losing its rubbery friction. I give these a wipe with a damp cloth every now and then just to minimise slip.

The new model also has a fan built in to exhaust heat generated during fast charging. The fan is barely audible and can be likened to the idle fan noise on a modern laptop.

I was also asked what the total height with a Galaxy S7 Edge was when charging. I measured it to be just over 120 mm.

Performance

I used my Galaxy S7 edge (3600 mAh) for this test since it is one of the few handsets that supports 15W Qi charging.

Articles on the web during Q3/Q4 2015 were suggesting that Qi 15W pads could charge a phone to 50% in 30 minutes. This has not been my experience. Due to conversion efficiency, there will always be a trade-off.

Nevertheless, my findings are quite favourable for fast wireless charging, which is currently only supported by the Galaxy Note 5, S6 edge+, S7 and S7 edge. Other Qi enabled phones and accessories will charge at standard speeds.

Time elapsed from 5% Battery level Wired (QC2.0)
10 minutes 14% -
30 minutes 28% 50%
60 minutes 49% -
90 minutes 65% 95%
120 minutes 78% -
150 minutes 90% -
180 minutes 100% -
Total Qi wireless charge time: 3 hours (less if left untouched)
Total wired Quick Charge 2.0 time: 1 hour 40 minutes

I did the same test on the 2015 model and came to near enough the exact same results. Not bad for inductive charging!

Curiously, I wanted to see if a QC3.0 adapter would work, as I had a few Anker blocks kicking about. I found that both 2015 and 2016 fast wireless chargers from Samsung did not like QC3.0 adapters at all, and would either fail to continue charging or the blue LED would blink endlessly.

Even though QC3.0 is backwards compatible with QC2.0, I am guessing this issue is due to the way that inductive charging works, which throws off the IC chips inside the QC3.0 charger and it can't decide what voltage/current to supply.

Lastly, I monitored the voltage and current draw using a dongle sitting between the Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging adapter and the stand. The power output was averaging between 11W and 13W depending on the battery percentage, as well as idle activity on the phone.

I found that using an Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 (UK / USA) adapter with the stand gave better results. The readings were consistently around 9.11V at ~1.63A which gave a power output rating of 14.84W. Much closer to the maximum capability of supported Qi fast chargers.

Final thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised when looking in the box and seeing an adaptive fast charger included. But then dismayed as I received new information that this inclusion is once again for the USA only. It is a huge shame because Samsung haven't adjusted the price to reflect this, and I do hope something is done about it.

While the EP-NG930 doesn't have the same metal construction as a few other inductive charging stands, it does offer better performance in an all round nicer looking package.

Overall, I feel that the new wireless charging stand does a great job. It is functional, and if you are in the USA, it comes with everything you need to get going.

For the rest of us, a purchase of a Quick Charge 2.0 wall adapter and perhaps a spare Micro USB cable should be considered in addition.

 

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