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Charge Block Solo
Score: 87%
Developer: Nyko
Device Type: Power


At first glance, Nyko's Xbox One Charge Block Solo is your standard wireless controller charger, very similar in fact to some of the company's other charging stations. What the Charge Block offers though, is the ability to join a single charger with a charger for a PlayStation 4 controller - something that cross-platform gamers could find handy for a cleaner gaming area setup.

Since the Xbox One controller doesn't come with rechargeable batteries by default, included in the package is both a battery pack to replace the pair of AA's that power the controller and a new battery cover to expose the rechargeable battery's connections. This appears to be the same battery and cover that comes with other Nyko Xbox One charges, for instance, the Charge Base, which makes sense from a manufacturing perspective.

Used on it's own, and with the new battery installed, the Charge Block Solo is a cradle that the controller easily slips into and begins charging. White LEDs flanking the front of the charger blink to show that the controller is charging and when fully charged, the lights remain solid and lit.

When setting up the charger, you plug the provided USB micro cable into the back of the device and the other end into either the A/C-USB adapter found in the box, or into a normal USB port like that found on your Xbox One console.

By itself, the Solo is a fairly generic charging station, it's when you combine it with a second Charge Block that it's design really shines. The front panel of a Charge Block can be removed and doing so exposes a male USB micro port. Connecting one Solo into the back of another lets you charge multiple controllers at the same time. Since this includes being able to connect the PlayStation 4 version of the Charge Block, you now have a charging station with mix-and-match controllers, something we haven't really seen before.


Both the rechargeable battery and the Charge Block Solo itself work really well together. While the new battery doesn't last an extremely long time (nowhere near as long as a pair of standard AA's, of course), it will get a player through several lengthy gaming sessions before having to be put on the Charge Block for recharging.

The ability to connect multiple Charge Block units together to make a more versatile charging station works great, but there are a few details that need to be explored before you go out and buy up a few of these chargers. Primarily, it's the fact that you can only connect up to four Charge Blocks at a time, and if you do need to hook up more than two units, you will have to plug the USB cable into a USB 3.0 port and not use the wall outlet adapter. While both the Xbox One and the PS4 sport USB 3.0 ports, this means that you will most likely have to move your charging station from the side of your couch to the entertainment center, and that could cause some other issues - but more on that in the next section.

  • Drop and Charge Design Allows for Easy, One Handed Uses
  • One 1200mAh NiMH Rechargeable Battery Included
  • Low-Profile Design, Ideal for Most Entertainment Centers
  • LED Lights Clearly Indicate When Charging is Complete
  • Plugs Into Any Wall Outlet or USB Port to Charge
  • Connect Multiple Charging Blocks Together From Different Platforms
  • Elite Controller Compatible

Drawbacks & Problems::

Overall, Nyko's Charge Block Solo does everything it advertises, but there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed.

As mentioned above, while hooking up a pair of Solo units is all fine and dandy, if you happen to have three or four controllers, you will want to read the paperwork in order to make sure everything charges up as it should. Not only do you need to have the charging station(s) plugged into a USB 3.0 port so you can have enough juice to actually charge up all those controllers, but there are some cases where you will want to make sure some controllers are more full than others before adding a third or fourth battery to the load. This is especially true if you are charging up a completely dead battery. While I don't find this to be too much of an issue, it is something that has to be considered. Then again, if you are looking for a solution to keep four controllers of different system types topped off, you might want to break up the charging stations into two pairs so you can have an Xbox One controller and a PS4 controller on either side of the couch. If you are talking about more than four controllers though, I would definitely pay attention to the small print.

So, let's say you really need to plug in all of those Charge Block units into one device and you have to use the console's USB port. Not only do you need to remember to set up the console's sleep mode so that the USB port remains powered even when you've stopped playing, but you have another issue to contend with - those nice bright LED indicator lights on the sides of the Charge Block Solo.

While they definitely serve a purpose, they can also cast a lot of light, and if you are chaining two, three or four of these devices together, most likely you will have an eyeful of white light glowing from somewhere around your TV. Not exactly good and given their somewhat frenetic blinking while actively charging, possibly even a bit distracting. Other Nyko Xbox One chargers, like the aforementioned Charge Base, have a much more subdued indicator, and it's a real shame that the same design philosophy wasn't carried over into the Charge Block line, because I feel like this was a decision made from a design standpoint and a problem that could have been avoided. I have no doubt that there are technical issues surrounding the potentially convoluted three or four block charging station and how much power you need versus which order the controllers need to be placed. While still an issue, I can see how those issues would be hard to get around. When it comes to an apparently purely design-centric decision though, like the overly-bright lights, it's hard to overlook.

The Charge Block Solo is a great idea that is generally well-executed. There are some considerations to be made when you want to go beyond two controllers, but those issues aren't enough to keep me from recommending this product. Granted, if you've already got solutions to charging your controllers, the Charge Block line isn't going to provide you with anything extra - unless you just really want a cleaner and more unified charging station, of course.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Sony PlayStation4 Charge Block Solo

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated