Wireless charging, and more specifically the Qi standard, is finally gaining steam. Tylt has released the VU SOLO wireless charger, which sports a more traditional design compared to the standard VU but has some innovative features of its own. With wireless chargers like the Nexus Wireless Charger on the market, the VU SOLO has some serious competition?
Output: 1A, 5W
Port: Micro USB
What’s in the box: Charger, micro USB cable
Size: 3.3″ (85mm) x 3.4″ (87mm) x 0.6″ (14mm)
Where to buy: Tylt
The design of the VU SOLO wireless charger is quite simple. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the Nexus Wireless Charger, which I’ve used daily for almost a year. It’s a simple square with a sticky base that sticks to a surface exceedingly well and won’t come off without some persuasion, something I love about both chargers. Fortunately, it leaves no residue when taken off the surface and can be used again; it isn’t adhesive.
It’s also significantly bigger than the Nexus Wireless Charger. It doesn’t feature magnets like the Nexus Wireless Charger does, instead using a rubberized top to keep your device in place. And just like the Nexus Wireless Charger, it uses a simple micro USB cable for operation.
However, the magnets in the Nexus Wireless Charger help you align the device onto the single wireless charging coil, and they don’t do a great job of it. I always have to fiddle with positioning a bit to get my device to start charging, as the magnets don’t really center the device vertically. The Tylt VU SOLO uses a more interesting method to align your device.
Included with the charger is a flat micro USB cable that features something a bit special. It has a “physical marker” on the cable that acts as a wall for your device to push up against. It can be moved along the cable to your desired position and won’t budge after that thanks to its tight fit onto the cable. This means that aligning your device is a thing of the past. Simply place it onto the charger and push up until the device presses up against this marker.
I think it’s a very clever design, though it does require a little more extra space. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (sporting a genuine Samsung wireless charger back plate), I have the marker extended about 4mm.
As for charging time, it’s about the same compared to other wireless chargers. It easily charges my device overnight with its 1 amp output, and though it isn’t quite as fast as a 2 amp wall charger and USB cable, it’s plenty fast for me. And the VU SOLO is not any slower than the Nexus Wireless Charger or the original VU.
One thing I don’t quite like about this charger is the indicator LED. It has an LED on the front end of it that glows green when a device is charging on it. It’s a bit brighter than I’d like, and since it’s in my bedroom, it’s shining in my face when I’m in bed from across the desk. The light should be dimmer, though it’s a nice touch so you know your device is charging without having to turn the screen on and potentially move it. But of course it’s easy to just reposition the charger.
I should note that this charger does not come with a wall adapter, so you’ll have to use your own. Any USB wall adapter will work, so you can use the one from your phone. Tylt also offers a wall charger with two USB ports outputting a total of 2.1 amps for $19.99, so you can pick one up if you wish. There’s also a 4.8 amp version if you need it.
In the end, it’s a fantastic wireless charger at a pretty low price. It undercuts the Nexus Wireless Charger and, in my experience, is easier to use. Plus, it’s fairly small and looks very inconspicuous in gray. It’s also available in a few bright neon colors, as is typical with Tylt, if you want to go that route. You’ll soon be able to pick one up on Tylt’s site for $39.99!