Gallium nitride (GaN) technology is driving a revolution in small, efficient, low-temperature USB-C chargers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more compact GaN charging companion than the Spigen PowerArc 20W ArcStation Pro wall charger.
Of course, picking out the right charger for your gadgets depends on how much power you need as well as the supported fast charging standards. We’ll take you through the pros and cons of this adapter in Android Authority’s Spigen PowerArc ArcStation Pro review.
See also: The best phone charging accessories
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What you need to know about the Spigen PowerArc ArcStation Pro
- Spigen PowerArc ArcStation Pro 20W: $29.99
With an MSRP of $29.99, Spigen’s PowerArc 20W ArcStation Pro is a little on the expensive side at a glance. However, you can now regularly pick it up for less than $20 from various retailers, including Amazon. At that price, it’s an affordable option for those looking for a compact replacement phone charger.
With up to 20W of power supplied via USB Power Delivery 3.0 over a single USB-C port, this adapter will have you covered when charging the vast majority of modern gadgets. The supported power modes are 5V, 3A, and 9V 2.22A. There’s no 12V option that a small number of other gadgets may require.
The Spigen PowerArc 20W comes in black and white colors and is only available in the US. The tiny charger measures 39.5 x 34.5 x 27.7mm (1.56 x 1.36 x 1.09in) and weighs just 42g (1.48oz). It’s the smallest charging adapter I’ve ever seen.
The ultra-compact design is the main reason to buy the Spigen PowerArc 20W ArcStation Pro. It’s seriously small and light, making it the perfect travel companion or even just a sleek replacement for an older, bulkier USB-C adapter. If anything, there’s a real risk this little plug may end up lost at the bottom of your laptop bag.
Thanks to GaN technology, the Spigen PowerArc 20W remains nice and cool when charging too. With an averaged 80% power efficiency score, it’s not the most energy-efficient model on the market but it’s certainly not bad either.
|Spigen PowerArc 20W ArcStation Pro||Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus||Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max||Google Pixel 5||ZTE Axon 11||LG G8X||Microsoft Surface Pro X|
|USB Power Test||14.3W / 25W||19.5W / 20W||18 / 18W||12.7 / 18W||7.1 / 21W||18.1W / 60W|
|Voltage & Current||8.76V, 1.63A||8.93V, 2.18A||8.93V, 2.06A||8.97V, 1.42A||5.05V, 1.41A||8.94V, 2.02A|
|Charging Standard||USB PD 3.0||USB PD 3.0||USB PD 2.0||USB PD||USB DCP||USB PD 3.0|
|Power from wall||17.8W||24.1W||22.7W||16.0W||9.3W||22,4W|
|Energy Efficiency||80.2%, OK.||80.8%, OK.||81.0%, OK.||79.6%, OK.||76.6%, OK.||80.6%, OK.|
Despite the compact nature of this charger, it will power up small USB Power Delivery gadgets at up to 20W, which has most smartphones covered. We tested the Google Pixel 5 (18W), Apple iPhone 12 Pro (20W), and Nintendo Switch (18W), obtaining essentially full speed from these devices. Spigen claims clean power from its plug to ensure consistent fast charging and that’s definitely the case in my experience. 20W is obviously not suitable for charging bigger USB-C laptops up quickly, although it will work if you’re in a pinch.
What’s not so good?
Spigen PowerArc 20W doesn’t feature the USB PD PSS protocol to charge recent Samsung handsets at their full speeds. The charger also doesn’t support fast charging standards used by some older gadgets, such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging. It will still charge phones that use these standards, but at 15W or less depending on the model. So it might not be a universal replacement for all of your existing wall plugs.
The charger is also still quite expensive when purchased directly from Spigen, where it costs $29.99. At this price, you can pick up slightly more futureproof USB PD PSS plugs and even multi-port hubs. Definitely keep an eye out for discounts from other retailers; the Spigen PowerArc 20W is much better value at under $20, especially as there are no cables or international adapters included in the box.
Spigen PowerArc ArcStation Pro review: Should I buy it?
The Spigen PowerArc 20W ArcStation Pro is a solid, micro charging package for powering up USB Power Delivery gadgets. 20W of power with USB Power Delivery is an ideal companion for the Google Pixel phones, the Nintendo Switch, Apple’s iPhones, and a good selection of other USB-C gadgets.
You won’t find a product more streamlined and lightweight than Spigen’s PowerArc ArcStation Pro.
Of course, 20W is too limited for many USB-C tablets and laptops. It’s also not really future-proof, owing to its lack of USB PD PSS support. There’s no support for Quick Charge or other proprietary standards here either. It will still charge these and other USB products, but not as quickly as you might hope.
For me, the real selling point of this plug is the compact design. If you’re looking for an ultra-portable smartphone plug to keep your handheld devices powered up on the go, you won’t find a product more streamlined and lightweight than Spigen’s PowerArc ArcStation Pro wall charger.
The most compact GaN charger around
- $16.99 at Amazon