At CES 2020, Aira announced that FreePower technology will soon be available to allow mobile devices to be placed on charging pads and charged almost anywhere. Approximately a year after Apple canceled a similar initiative with AirPower, it promised easy and seamless wireless charging.
In September 2020, ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani tried Nomad Basestation Pro, the first commercial device to incorporate FreePower technology. Since then, the price of Nomad products has dropped to $ 200, making it a very good mass market product demonstrating this technology.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to charge all my smartphones and headsets with the Volonic Valet 3 wireless charging pad. Volonic is a luxury brand focused on the fusion of technology and fashionable works of art. They even offer the 18K Gold Volonic Valet 3 at a ridiculous price of $ 250,000.
Also: Best Wireless Charger 2021: Easily Charge Your Phone
Needless to say, a limited edition 18K yellow gold charging pad for testing wasn’t sent, but I was given the opportunity to walk through a custom design shop to design a review unit. You can also purchase one of the four standard design versions of Valet 3. Prices range from $ 585 to $ 650. Let’s take a closer look at the process and my experience with the Volonic Valet3 wireless charging pad.
Custom design shop experience
Visit the Custom Design Shop website to start the process. There are four main design elements that you can customize for your own Volonic Valet 3. Collection, color options, leg types, chargers and cables.
In the collection section, you have the option to choose an aluminum oxide body or a high-gloss “grand piano” body that includes a frame around the edges and bottom of the charging pad. The “Grand Piano” option has an additional charge of $ 65.
The next step includes color options, in this area the frame color (black or silver for aluminum, black or white for glossy options), the Volonic logo color, and the top charging plate. You can select the color / material of. .. There are 4 color options for Alcantara material and 8 color options for leather material. Choosing the leather option adds $ 65 to $ 115 to the price of the charging pad. There are some nice options available, and when you make a selection, the 360-degree view to the left of the selection updates with your selection so you can get a live view of your design as the process progresses.
Next, the basic choices for choosing a stud or diamond leg design are made. The legs are small silicone legs on the bottom of the charging pad that prevent them from slipping around the table. The two options are similar.
The final option includes choosing a black or white 36W USB-C wall charger and then choosing your preferred cable length (1, 3, 6, or 10 feet). No price difference applies to the selected cable length.
After several processes, choosing the color and material of the plate was clearly the most difficult choice for me, and I ended up with three favorites. After all, my evaluation unit had the following characteristics.
- Aluminum collection
- Silver alumite frame color
- Gunmetal gray logo processing
- Blue Lamborghini Nappa Full Grain Delphi Leather Plate Option
- Stud leg
- Black charger and 6ft cable
The total price of the Valet 3 I designed is $ 800. It arrived about a week after I assembled it, designed it at the store, and ordered it.
Walk around clerk 3
The Volonic Valet 3 I created weighs 702 grams (1 lb, 8.7 ounces), so it’s a high-density weighted charging pad that stays in place on the table.
Blue leather is very dark blue and looks great. It has a very nice leather odor and rises just above the anodized aluminum silver frame. The pad and frame have rounded corners, and the leather surface is approximately 8.5 inches long and 4.75 inches wide. The Volonic name is in the center of the front of the frame, with a touch of texture on the surface.
The edges are perfectly cut with a flat, angled surface that provides a nice look and a soft feel. Not all USB-C cables connect because the USB-C port is centered on the back and set from the edge. It is highly recommended to use the included charger and cable to optimize the performance of the charger.
Looking back, there are three openings in the center under the Volonic logo that allow the white LED light to show through. These lights indicate that the device is located in one of the three areas of the pad and is actively charging. In the review unit, the area on the left is shown with brighter light than the other two areas, so I’m not sure why there is a difference in brightness here.
There are four legs on the bottom to prevent the charger from slipping on a flat surface. Four small Torx screws are located on the bottom plate.
The cable is covered with a durable cloth, which matches the elegant and high-end design of the charging pad.
Also: Nomad Basestation Pro Review: Premium Price for Premium Experience
Charging pad software update
One of the unique aspects of Aira FreePower technology is the ability to apply software updates to the charging pad. As you can read on the FreePower Technology website, Aira and Volonic can tune and improve the technology by using a unique algorithm and multiple dynamic coils to provide charging to the device.
Software releases can provide charging improvements, bug fixes, and additional device compatibility. To update, download the Updater Utility to your Windows or Mac computer, then connect the wireless charging pad via a USB-C cable. The Volonic website lists several devices, including iPhones, AirPods, Android phones, tablets, and other wireless earphones. All the standard Qi devices I tested worked with VolonicValet 3, so some unlisted devices may work fine on the pad as well.
Daily charging experience
There are 18 coils inside the charging pad, and the gear can be placed anywhere. The coil does not extend completely to the edge of the pad, so keep the device about 0.5 inches away from the edge. Understand that there are three zones for charging the gear, which are evenly divided along the width of the charging pad.
When I placed two sets of earphones in the central zone, I found that only one was charged at a time in the same zone. Even the most enthusiastic fans of mobile technology, three charging areas are sufficient.
I’ve noticed that it can take 4-7 seconds for the charging pad to recognize that the device is in place until the device’s charging light is activated. The LED on the front of the Volonic lights up faster, but don’t worry if the device takes a few seconds to activate the charging light after you put it on the charging pad.
Volonic Valet 3 focuses on elegant and luxurious art with utilities to conveniently charge your gear. The power supplied by Valet 3 is 10W for Samsung and Google phones, 7.5W for iPhones, and 5W for other devices such as headsets. This isn’t the fastest charging capacity available, but these levels are more than enough, as wireless chargers focus on the convenience of not having to worry about cables. We also found that high-speed wireless chargers require an internal fan to cool the coil, and no one wants a gorgeous work of art that makes a fan noise.
If you’ve ever woken up to a dead smartphone resting on a wireless charger, I’ve had it many times, and if you want high-end items in your office or home, you might consider VolonicValet3. The starting price is $ 585. , It’s too abundant in my wallet.
Volonic Valet 3 Review: Elegant and Luxurious FreePower Wireless Charging Pad Review
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