Thanks to their pretty substantial range of mega-cheap gadgets, Poundland has become an almost one-stop shop for basic phone accessories and other electronics. And when I recently picked up my new Google Pixel 7A, I wanted something cheap and cheerful to try out the wireless charging capabilities. My first port of call? The electronics aisle in Poundland. And after a short search, I walked away with the Viido Wireless Charging Pad for just £3.
Low cost, low quality?
The packaging that houses this thing is a fairly standard cardboard box with the usual marketing blurbs and fancy pictures on it. I really don’t like that it came with a molded plastic inner sleeve. Surely it would be cheaper (not to mention more environmentally friendly) to package it up with some lightly structured cardboard? Negative points for this for sure. I know of some maginally more expensive products in much greener packaging.
Inside is one of the BLANDEST pieces of technology I’ve ever gotten my hands on. It’s a cheap disk of plastic with a short detachable wire coming out of it. The device does come in either black or white though, which is nice. Other than the aforementioned items, there is also some paper documentation.
Pretty bland design
The charging disk is extremely light, almost weighing nothing. Most of it is made with faintly textured plastic, with a single circle of smoother plastic on each face, which acts as a slightly raised resting area for a wireless device. On the bottom is a sticker with some basic information on it. Model number. Input and output figures. Stuff like that. There’s also a tiny power indicator light on the edge, with a power socket directly opposite.
Power-wise, it outputs a 5W charge. Not exactly efficient compared to some of the more expensive models. However, for the Pixel 7A, known for only having a 7.5W maximum wireless charge limit, this low figure didn’t matter too much.
Here’s the thing though. When I placed my phone on the disk, it didn’t charge. It recognised the device and even displayed the usual “charging” sign in the top right of my phone display. But when I delved into the battery section of the settings, it wasn’t charging. I tried exchanging the wire. Taking the protective case off my phone. I even used a USB-compatable wall plug to see if that helped. Nothing. After some digging, I found that Pixel phones are notorious for being incompatible with non-Google devices. I imagine this may be the reason it wasn’t charging.
Not up to standard
It should be noted that the Viido Wireless Charging Pad doesn’t seem to be QI certified. Pronounced “chee”, this is a standard introduced in 2010 that acts as a benchmark wireless chargers can be held to. The logo can usually be found on either the packaging or documentation. In this case, I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find the device on the relevant website database either, so I’m fairly confident it isn’t certified. Could this have been the reason why it wasn’t charging? Maybe?
Regardless of the reason, the device wasn’t doing anything to my phone. Judging by the fact it came packaged with a micro-USB cable, the technology inside is…fairly old. This combined with the lack of the QI certification and the possible compatibility issues with modern phones makes it hard to recommend this gadget. And it feels very weird to have my phone balancing on a slightly raised bit of plastic, ready to be accidentally knocked onto the floor.
I totally understand that there is a target demographic for these devices. If said devices don’t work though, then I can’t really recommend them. In my opinion, the Viido Wireless Charging Pad is an utter waste of money, even for £3.