Back in December Tesla announced the Wireless charging platform This is powered by FreePower’s newest “anywhere anywhere” Qi system. Orders are now being shipped to the first customers, and we’ve been able to test the premium multi-device charger that delivers the AirPower dream of Apple’s free mode.
a bit of background. FreePower (now the product and company name, formerly Aira) first launched its free Qi wireless charging technology with the Nomad Base Station Pro in 2020.
This used to be a great charger, but when Apple launched MagSafe for the iPhone 12 just two months later, it ended up interfering with FreePower Qi charging. FreePower released a firmware update almost immediately to improve wireless charging for iPhones with MagSafe, but customers still had a better experience with Android smartphones.
Fast forward to 2023, Tesla is FreePower’s launch partner for the second generation of our unique and improved free Qi technology.
I had a chance to chat with FreePower founder and CEO Jake Slatnick, and he shared that the second generation system solved previous issues with MagSafe iPhones.
He also noted the changes that will benefit all devices with the second generation of FreePower, including coil improvements for greater efficiency and faster charging times, improved foreign object detection, intelligent power delivery for each device, and more accurate power transmission field.
Well, let’s move on to the review 😁.
Tesla wireless charger review
- Wireless power for up to three devices simultaneously
- Place devices anywhere thanks to FreePower gen 2 with 30 wireless coils (up from 18 coils used in 2020 Nomad Base Station Pro)
- Up to 15W for Android and 7.5W for iPhone
- Matte black aluminum frame inspired by the Tesla Cybertruck
- Soft Alcantara finish on cargo deck
- Weight: 981g (2.16lbs) with base, 715g (1.58lbs) without base
- Detachable magnetic base for high angle orientation or low flat
- USB-C cable included with wireless charger
- 65W USB-C Power Adapter (Cybertruck Design)
- price: $300
Materials and construction
The body of the charger is made of solid aluminum, and the same goes for the detachable base. With the Cybertruck aesthetic as the inspiration, the sharp, angular lines in matte black provide an ultra-clean, minimalist look and feel.
The built-in USB-C cord is a flat-type cable and Tesla didn’t settle for a boring power brick, it’s like a Hot Wheels-sized Cybertruck plugged into your wall.
The magnetic base easily detaches and reattaches to switch between the raised angle and flat angle orientation. Both the larger base and the magnetic base have rubber feet to give the charger grip.
As for the charging status, there is a subtle LED indicator below the Tesla logo in the center of the charger.
Here are all the signals an LED can give:
- Charging start: 5 seconds light on and then dim
- Charging: static dim
- Device Removal: Device 1 – Turn off the LED, Multiple Devices – Turn the LED off and then back on
- Power supply error: fast flashing
- System error: quick burst 3 bink
- Metal object detected: slow pulsating flash
I’ve been loving this charger. From the look and feel of the hardware to the second-generation FreePower technology, it really does deliver a great experience.
The adjustable design with removable magnetic base is a clever and useful touch to make it more adaptable to different use cases such as offices, bedrooms, kitchens, etc. The attention to detail is spot on with features such as ultra-smooth Alcantara that makes up the entire charger’s top surface, and cable management. Built into the magnetic base, the thoughtful LED light won’t bother you if this is in your bedroom — but can still indicate status without you having to look at your phone.
Regarding FreePower’s claim of making iPhones reliable with MagSafe, I’ve found that to be the case. Every time I put my iPhone in, it quickly registers and starts charging right away.
Well, for some nitty-gritty. I tested the charger in a combination of ways with the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro, and AirPods Pro Gen 1 and 2 (but of course, this works with any Qi-capable devices).
Just for fun, I tried stacking two sets of AirPods Pro in the middle of the two phones just in case all four are charged. But it is actually limited to three such as Tesla / Free Power.
You can put two 6-inch smartphones as well as AirPods Pro on the board. Because it has an angled top, the bottom is a touch narrower than the top — so the available top is about 7.75 inches wide.
Most 6″ smartphones come with a width of 2.8″ and 6.8″ smartphones are approximately 3.07″ wide (without covers). This means that it will be difficult to fit two large smartphones in addition to the earphone case (the shortest side of the AirPods Pro is 1.75 inches).
But if you have one 6-inch phone and one 6.8-inch phone, that should work to fit the earphone case in there as well. Fun fact, three iPhone 12/13 mini should fit side by side on this charger (at least without cases).
Another convenient option is to charge multiple pairs of earphones with a single smartphone.
As far as 7.5W for iPhones maxes out and 15W for Android devices (when many of those can charge more than that), it wasn’t a sacrifice. If I’m in a hurry and need to charge as fast as possible, I’d better reach for a wired cable with a fast charging brick. But honestly, I can’t remember a time when I was in such trouble (and if I was, I probably would have had a portable battery or in-car charge).
For me, the convenience of being able to power off the device without having to think about putting it down is worth the trade-off for wireless charging speeds.
I have some constructive thoughts. First, if the Tesla Wireless Charger was only an inch wider, it would be more flexible for households with more than one large smartphone (6.8 inches or larger).
Second, the removable cable would have been valuable. I know the built-in USB-C cord helps with the clean, simple design. But it would be a hard swallow to buy this premium charger and damage the cord. Especially if you have pets, make sure the cable is out of reach.
Closure of the Tesla wireless charger
All in all, I think Tesla and FreePower have delivered what Apple dreamed of for AirPower with an even higher-end design.
If free placement, multi-device wireless charging, premium build, and sleek design are important to you, the Tesla Wireless Charging Dock has you covered.
- All-metal frame plus soft Alcantara design
- Unique and simple aesthetic
- The second generation FreePower ran consistently and was really “place anywhere” in testing
- Versatile setup with removable base
- The USB-C cable is not removable
- It is not suitable for multi-device charging for families with several large smartphones
- Excellent price
I give the Tesla Wireless Charger a rating of 4.5/5. I think overall, they are successful in offering a high-end design and a premium experience.
You can pick it up Straight from the company for a cool $300. And for those who placed an order earlier, they should start arriving as soon as today.
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