With the introduction of Qi wireless charging in the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8-Plus and Apple’s flagship iPhone X, you maybe on the lookout for a wireless charging mount in your car. As a new iPhone X owner myself, the Funxim (also branded as Neotrix) W5 Qi wireless magnetic car charger was a sleek-looking charger that caught my eye, but does it perform as good as it looks? Let’s find out…
The W5 comes in a tidy little box, packed full of everything you need to get your iPhone mounted and charging. Inside the box you’ll find the magnetic W5 mount plate with attached clip, an adhesive metal ring to attach to the back of your iPhone (or inside a case), an alternative dashboard or desktop ‘cup’ mount with adhesive backing, a 1m (3.28ft) micro-USB cable, and manuals.
The mount itself is very sleek and tidy. The clip at the back that attaches to the car’s plastic ventilation blades is surprisingly strong and robust. A button on the side is pressed to open the jaws of the clip, you then slide it onto a chosen blade, then release the button to apply grip. The mount holds its position very well. The low-profile depth of the mount sits very close to the vent, giving added stability and reduce ‘wobble’ whilst on the move. Just like most ventilation mounts, this close fitting mount will restrict the airflow from the vent that it is mounted on to, so be aware of this trait.
The thin metal ring, with adhesive on one side, is placed around the charging coil of the iPhone – which is roughly in the centre portion of the iPhone. Personally, I don’t like to stick things onto my shiny iPhone, so because I use a leather case, I loosely placed the ring in between the back of my iPhone X and the leather case.
Connecting the iPhone to the magnetic plate is a simple as placing the middle portion of the iPhone onto the mount and let the magnets keep the iPhone in place. Being magnetic, swapping between portrait and landscape is as simple as pulling your iPhone off the mount, rotating the iPhone and dropping it back onto the mount. This is much quicker and easier than physically messing around with the mount itself. A small blue LED at the back of the mount indicates that the iPhone is charging.
The mount plate itself can rotate a full 360-degrees, and it tilts up to 15-degrees to allow you to position your iPhone at the desired angle. The 360 rotation helps to perfect the placement of the USB cable which plugs into the side of the mount and powers the W5. Once powered, a Mercedes badge-like cross illuminates in the centre of the mount, which is handy when locating the mount in the dark at night. This light turns off once all power to the USB is removed – usually a few seconds after locking the car.
The 1m long micro-USB cable is black in colour and is a decent length to suit most car interiors. For my Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI, I was able to run the cable down from the centre vent mount, along the side of the centre console and into a female AMI USB adapter cable, located in the compartment below the temperature control panel.
The W5 has a 5 Volt / 1.5 Amp input, with a 5 Volt / 1 Amp output. This allows for up to 5 Watt charging, which is capable of charging the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X, as long as it is being sufficiently powered from a nearby USB socket/adapter in the car. Sadly, you will not get the maximum 7.5 Watts that the iPhone 8/8-Plus/X can receive out of the W5.
Actual charge times will depend on a number of factors: such if you’re using a case on your iPhone, the type of power from the USB socket, position of the iPhone on the W5 charger, screen brightness level and the app/s running on the iPhone. During my tests I tried a variation of apps running, from Spotify to Apple Maps, to not running any apps whilst the display is off. In general I was able to keep the phone charging during app navigation, and I would get around 5-6% battery increase between 25-35mins of charging time.
Charging via a wireless mount will not beat the overall speed when compared to the wired alternative, but the convenience alone drastically out-weighs the reduced charging times. Being able to jump in the car and drop your iPhone onto the magnetic mount without fiddling around with wires is ideal for short journeys, such as a daily commute. The W5 kept my iPhone X battery topped up during navigation and Spotify playback, which is more than I could ask for from the low-voltage charger.
In every day use, the W5’s grip on the vents wasn’t flawless, compared to the Mountek AIRSNAP vent mount it replaced. This is always an issue with clip-based vent mounts. Without a stability arm the W5 needed readjustment over the last month of use. However, once I perfected its location and angle, the W5 hasn’t required any intervention from me for at least a few weeks. The firm grip from the clip and stiff ball-joint of the mount plate meant it didn’t need constant adjustment, which can’t be said for other ventilation mounts that I have tried in the past, without stability arms.
The mount also comes with a small plastic ‘cup’, that the clip slides into, should you wish to stick the mount directly onto any flat surface of the dashboard. With this addition, you could also use the W5 elsewhere, such as on a table top at home; but due to its small footprint and light plastic material, it would need its adhesive backing to stop it from tipping over once the iPhone’s weight is placed on top.
Retailing at $34.99 on Amazon US and £27.99 on Amazon UK, it’s a little pricier than some other alternatives, but the performance and the build quality justifies the additional outlay. The icing on the cake would be some improved stability, but this would require a totally different design. Faster charging would also be desired, but we’re at the limit of this technology in the car, for now.
If you’re after a Qi wireless magnetic car charger for your shiny new iPhone 8, iPhone 8-Plus or iPhone X, the Funxim W5 ticked all the boxes for me, and it is definitely worthy of your attention.