SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger 15W is an induction charger designed for all iPhones from 8 onwards, for Android enabled smartphones (practically all models from the mid-range upwards) and for compatible devices (such as wireless headphones).
This is a tempting alternative to Apple's MagSafe (reviewed here) especially for iPhones other than the iPhone 12 and if you accept some limitations even for those with one of the latest phones.
Premise: charging iPhones
Even if it is not clearly specified (the instructions are limited to charging “up to 15W”) it is good to say that the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger like all wireless chargers that are not a Magsafe it is not able to charge any iPhone at 15W . This due to the limitation imposed by Apple which with a move halfway between the need to protect the hardware from overheating and the will to protect its ecosystem reduces the charging potential of any Mfi wireless charger to 7.5W.
In the box
Having said the premise, let's get to the point. After having “broken in” the (cardboard) box to access the inside, the package shows the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger 15W the USB-C / USB-A cable , a small instruction manual and the power supply, although of course you can also use it safely connected to a computer (we connected it to both the wall socket and the Caldigit TS3 Plus HUB without problems). However, when the output in watts of the power port is not equal to the expectations of the device, it is possible that the performance is consequently not equal to that of the specifications.
the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger 15W is not afraid of the cover, if made of rubber and plastic, but it could have some problems with the metal covers or other materials that do not let the charge pass. induction
How it's done
The base has a diameter of 10 cm and a thickness of just under 1.5 cm, divided between the actual plate and the slightly smaller underlying base.
In the upper part there is a blue LED (which indicates operation, but turns red when we put something wrong) and a rubber in relief that allows the smartphone to be supported avoiding to swipe the back.
Finally, the USB-C cable is removable and, if desired, also carries the data so if necessary it can be used to connect a disk (we did the test with this).
How does it work
The SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger supports fast charging for compatible devices, thanks to the 15W of power. But let's talk about Android phones. As already mentioned with an Apple phone it reaches a maximum of 7.5W.
In practice, with an iPhone 8 (whose battery has a capacity of about 1650 mAh) tests in hand we got a decent 30% charge in 10 minutes and up to almost 50% in half an hour, although obviously there may be of variations based on battery health and capacity (an iPhone 12 Pro max, with its battery of over 3600 mAh we would not reach 25% in 30 minutes).
We also remember the iPhones have a battery charge control that limits its use in the highest percentages to preserve the health of the battery itself and to avoid excessive heat. This means that whatever chargers, be the ones that supply them, 5W, 7.5W and even 15W (like the Magsafe), when they have brought the battery to about 60% they begin to behave more or less the same way in the charging speed, the which amortizes the difference in overall times to reach 100%
In practice the difference between the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger and another charger will be only in the first charging phase up to around 45/60 minutes when a 5W, 7.5W or Magsafe charger on the iPhone 12 can offer maximum performance
We also remember that with any other iPhone that is not an iPhone 12 it is better to rely on a generic charger rather than a Magsafe. IPhones older than 12, for some unknown reason, are capped at around 2W when using Magsafe, while this one from SanDisk charges them at 7.5W.
A real and concrete limitation of Apple wireless chargers is the lack of a magnet that holds the phone and places it precisely when it is charging: the rubber surrounding the top is still viscous enough to prevent it from sliding up to an angle of 30 ° but something more would have been appreciated. However, we also remind you that here the problem is only tangible with iPhone 12. The other iPhones are not magnetically held by the Magsafe.
In judging the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger 15W we need an evaluation on the market of these power supplies, a market that is now very large, given that there are many similar devices, even if not all of them can match the characteristics of the SanDisk product.
The writer, who until a few days ago used the SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger with pleasure, cannot fail to notice that this model, despite being more powerful and elegant, lacks the backup function of its brother, which is an interesting feature especially for those who use smartphone on the go (and often for several days without Wi-Fi coverage, suitable for backup).
The comparison with Apple's MagSafe is difficult due to the intrinsic differences. In general we can say that the Magsafe is never worth it if you don't have an iPhone 12 . Those who have an iPhone 12, on the other hand, can evaluate whether the benefits obtained from Magsafe (higher speed in the first charging phase and magnetic connection system), are worth the price difference since the model without power supply of the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger, as without power supply is the Magsafe, it costs almost 20 euros less than the Magsafe (30.99 euros instead of 49.99 euros).
Although the SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger for the iPhone 12 does not reach 15W as Magsafe url does, but only 7.5W, it is still a recommended product for many users.
First, iPhone 12 users should know that the difference between 7.5W and 15W is less perceptible than the math would say especially when it comes to charging the battery to full (in fact it won't take twice as long to charge an iPhone).
Secondly if we talk about a phone that is not an iPhone 12 it is even better than a 15W Magsafe because all non-12 iPhones have a much slower charging using the new Apple accessory
If anything, we must ask ourselves if it is worthwhile to buy the SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger rather than compared to other brands that cost less. The answer is that the initial price difference is justified by several elements in favor.
In particular it is well built and refers to a brand that has a tradition of reliability, then it comes with a power supply. Considering that today many smartphones arrive without a power supply, by buying it we will save ourselves an extra purchase by having the possibility of recharging an iPhone at good speed (12W) even if not at maximum power since the port on the charger is a USB-A and therefore does not work. counts PowerDelivery technology required to get to recharge an iPhone at 18W.
• Fast charging for many iPhones • Power supply included in the package • Elgante
• A magnet is missing to hold the smartphone
• 51.99 Euro (with power supply) • 30.99 Euro (without power supply)
SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger 15W can be purchased directly from the website of the parent company, but it is available, at a price that is not competitive today, also directly from the Amazon.it pages.