Remember those cheap inductive chargers I got from Amazon? Well, I got my refund — and then promptly spent it on this…
LuguLake — I’m guessing that the company gets their name from an actual lake in China — may not have the brand recognition of Logitech or other big accessory makers, but in my searches on Amazon for a Qi charger this particular item kept popping up.
There’s really nothing else like it on the market.
What sets the LuguLake apart from other inductive chargers is its portability. You charge up the internal battery via AC, then take it with you — using its inductive mat to charge your Qi-compatible device while you’re out and about.
With 6,000mAh of available power I should, in theory, be able to charge my Nexus 5 and my girlfriend’s Nexus 4 — and then provide another half-charge to my Nexus 5 after that.
A Closer Look
The LuguLake charger is roughly the size of a typical phablet — as you can see in the photo above it’s bigger than my Nexus 5 but smaller than my Nexus 7.
The great thing about my official Nexus charger is that the connection beep comes from the device, sounding a lot less ghetto than the cheap, tinny beep you’ll hear from the LuguLake.
The panel is easy enough to understand… There’s a big-ass power button and an arc of blue LED lights underneath to indicate how much of a charge you’ve got. Curiously, the lights progress from right to left rather than left to right.
Quality control stickers for an almost-no-name Chinese product? Mmkay…
The sticky rubber feet are a nice touch, though, turning any flat surface like a desk, table or car dashboard into a no-slip zone.
To keep costs low the LuguLake charger ships without an AC adapter. They recommend a 5V minimum source for power; the micro-USB charger that came with my Nexus 7 seems to work fine, although it does take some eight hours to reach a full charge.
As for discharging the unit — that is, charging your device — my experience has so far been good but not great. I find the charger easier to hold when it’s charging my smaller phone rather than my larger tablet. That said, the magnet that holds your device in place could stand to be a lot stronger.
My biggest issue with the LuguLake is that there’s no automatic shut-off when charging. With nothing connected it will shut itself off in about five minutes; leave your device on it, however, and it will keep discharging until its own battery depletes.
The pay-off is that you no longer have to deal with cables. It sounds trivial, I know, but once you get hooked on inductive charging you’ll feel like some kind of caveman when you have to muck about with wires. And in the case of a portable charger it’s especially great to not have to worry about forgetting — or breaking — the delicate lifeline between your device and and an emergency power source.
So is the LuguLake worthy of the modern road warrior? Early results look promising — the thing is on its third charge and hasn’t let me down yet. The real test will be my trip to Hong Kong and Malaysia, which starts next week… I’ll be sure to post an update when I get back!