Two weeks, I finally caved in and accepted that my Nexus 4 wasn’t just a little old and creaky; it was beginning to malfunction. I replaced it with another Nexus because there are few models I could point to and be impressed by their reliability… and naturally that brought me around to accessories, and to this – the Choetech USB Type C Charger.
Chargers are normally a dime a dozen, but once you start using them in anger – especially the Micro USB ones, you soon notice which don’t fit in your phone quite right and those that don’t seem to charge your phone in a timely manner. A certain amount of this has to do with the cable and whatnot; whether you’ve been tieing the thing up in a big snarly knot, or it gets kinked six ways to Sunday will make a difference over the duration. The other part is the charger itself. Even before the advent of standardised Quick Charging via Qualcomm’s proprietary system (which is also used extensively under a host of different manufacturer-given names), older phones used the a lower power version over USB.
All this is a long-winded introduction to explain a charging system that isn’t QuickCharge 2 or 3. The Choetech USB Type C Charger is one of the few native USB C chargers out there, but even more importantly, it’s one of an even rarer breed that follows the USB PD2 specification. Simply put, the Choetech USB charger can deliver 5 volts at 3 amps. For phones that have Fast Charging over USB implemented (which is just different enough to Quick Charge to be incompatible), you’re cooking on gas. And guess what? Right now, the new Nexuses have just that.
Remember I was talking about having limited options? The only other charger that would output 5V 3A and were guaranteed to work were the ones you could get directly from Google themselves. The cheapest one from Google is £20 and the cable is fixed. Some of us are not a fan of having to throw away the whole charger because of a frayed cable.
Enter Choetech, who kindly sent through the charger for me to test some time ago. Before I’d even got the Nexus 6P. In order to test it out, I asked a colleague to take it home and put it through its paces. He looked at me strangely when I handed him the plug, but accepted the request. He came back a couple of days later, and shrugged when I asked him how it was working out for him.
“It’s a charger. I put my phone on it, and it charged.” Upon reflection, I decided that was a fair comment. Did it feel slow?
“Not that I noticed. I charge it up overnight, and don’t bother with a charger at work. The battery is fairly low by the time I get home and it seems to be about an hour or so.” I nodded. That fit within expectation. The Nexus 6P battery is some 3600+ mAh worth of storage, so charging up to full in about an hour wasn’t bad. From the sounds of it, this USB Fast Charge thing worked.
A few weeks later, my own phone arrived, and went straight into the Choetech charger at work. Sometimes conference calls can be the bane of a person’s professional existence, but it’s a good way to run down your battery some. As are the games played at medium brightness at lunchtime in the name of ‘testing’. The good news is that the Choetech charger delivered. The lowest I ran the battery down to was about 30%, because it was still a work environment and there was work to do. And whaddyaknow? My colleague was right. It took about an hour before I remembered to check the battery, and it was fully topped up. Even when I have a 20-minute break, the charger pushed the battery at least 30% that I could notice.
What does that mean? It means I’m very happy with the Choetech USB Type C Charger. It’s cheaper than the official one that Google sells, which is the only rival so far, but does the same job. It does what it’s supposed to do, and as it’s type C, something tells me that I’ll be keeping it around for a goodly long while yet. I’m quietly impressed with Choetech. Hope to check out more of their gear soon.
One word of warning. The charger does not ship with a cable, and it only has a port for a USB C cable. You may not have too many of those around either. If you have a phone or tablet that uses USB C, which isn’t a huge number of phones at the moment, (a few off the top of my head include the forthcoming LG G5, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, and the upcoming cracker of the HP Elite X3, as well as the OnePlus Two, the Pixel C, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X that I can name off the top of my head) then a spare charger is always a good idea. Having one that can push 5V 3A, is another good idea. You can find the charger at Amazon for about £14.