Incredibly small but powerful USB-C wall charger
Big things happen in technology when Apple makes special announcements. They are legendary for their fall keynote events that ultimately change the landscape of mobile technology. Within the past few weeks Apple has made some monumental announcements including their commitments to the environment. Earlier this summer, they announced plans to be 100% carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by the year 2030. Consumers have already seen the effects of this pledge in the way that Apple is packaging their newest products — the iPhone 12 product line and the Series 5 Apple Watch. With these newest product releases, Apple announced that power adapters would no longer be included as part of their retail packaging. While this move for carbon neutrality is certainly a great option for the environment, it is leaving users wondering where to turn for their power adapter needs. Third-party suppliers will certainly come into play, but with so many out there, how do you choose? Hopefully, this review will make your decision much easier. The ArcStation Pro from Spine PowerArc is a premium power adapter with a minimal physical footprint. It’s a great place to start.
For starters, the ArcStation Pro is a GaN, 1-port, USB-C PD 3.0 adapter that is capable of up to 20W of power delivery. With this charger, the iPhone 12 series can be charged 3.1x faster than a 5W stock charger. The ArcStation Pro is also the world’s smallest charger that utilizes GaN (gallium nitrate) technology, which allows the charger to operate with higher efficiency and generate less heat than standard wall chargers. With 20W of PD enabled the ArcStation Pro is able to charge an iPhone 12/11/Pro/Max/Mini/XS/SR/SE 2020 and other compatible devices to 50% in just 30 minutes. In addition to the GaN technology, the ArcStation Pro features QuantumBoost technology, which is a proprietary protocol that optimizes the flow of power to maximize charging efficiency. The charger is designed to be portable and has a foldable plug along with its compact body. There is a 15-point safety standard applied to all PowerArc products that ensure safe charging.
|Input: 100-240V, 50/60Hz, 1.0A Max|
|Output: 5.0V/3.0A, 9.0V/2.22A TOTAL: 20.0W|
|Dimensions: 1.56″ x 1.36″ x 1.09″|
|Weight: 1.48 oz|
The ArcStation Pro comes in a basic retail box with a photo of the product on the cover. The name is printed at the bottom of the picture along with an image demonstrating the foldable plug. The Spigen logo is displayed in the upper left hand corner, but one thing I want to point out is that this product is sold under the Spigen PowerArc brand and not just Spigen. The back of the box has some descriptions of the features including the 24-month hassle-free warranty, QuantumBoost, and Intelligent Safety.
The feature I noticed first and foremost was the charger’s size. It’s tiny. You can see a size comparison between the ArcStation Pro and a quarter in the photos that are provided in this article. It’s only slightly bigger than the original power adapters for the iPhone and those only charge with 5W of power. Apple also offers a 20W USB-C Power Adapter. It does not have a foldable plug. Apple is charging $19 for their charger, while Spigen PowerArc is charging a slightly higher price of $19.99.
When it came to testing the efficiency of the charger, I plugged in an iPhone 11 Pro using a lighting to USB-C cable. The charger was plugged directly into the wall. When I started the charging process the iPhone had a charge of 36%. My goal was to test the claim that the ArcStation Pro could charge the iPhone 11 Pro by 50% within 30 minutes. After plugging the phone into the charger, I checked it every 10 minutes until 30 minutes had elapsed. At that time, I took a final reading. I have included the results in the table below
|10:22 p.m.||51% (15% gain; 1.5% per minute)|
|10:32 p.m.||64% (13% gain; 1.3% per minute)|
|10:42 p.m.||75% (11% gain; 1.1% per minute)|
|Total Elapsed Time = 30 minutes||Total Gain = 39%; 1.3% per minute|
As it turns out with my test run, this charger does not meet the claim that is proposed within its product details. With a claim of 50% charge within 30 minutes, the charging rate would be 2.86% per minute. Through my testing efforts, I measured a charging rate of 1.3% per minute, which is less than half of the claimed charging rate. At the 1.3% charging rate, I was still very impressed with the charger’s performance.
The ArcStation Pro wall charger is a very good option to replace the missing power adapters from Apple products. It’s very lightweight and compact. It is an efficient power adapter/charger even if it didn’t quite meet the standards described by the manufacturer. I do plan to keep this little wonder around for those times when I can’t charge my phone wirelessly.