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TgD

November 23rd 2013 11:16 am

Wireless Charging: Is it worth it yet?

Ever since the Nexus 4, and early Nokia Lumia's were announced, I was somewhat excited by wireless charging. This was the future. I wanted to have this functionality.

Over a year later, I own a nexus 4 and still plug in a cable every night. In my opinion I still don't think wireless charging is at the place I want it to be. Here is why:

1. You have to find one that will work well for your phone

I know Qi charging is rapidly becoming the best standard in wireless charging, but a lot of the wireless charging models will only work well with a certain phone, or just not work well at all.

The 2012 Nexus Orb wireless charger is well documented to lose suction and have your phone fall off mid cycle. If you try and use the Nexus 4 with the Nokia DT900 charger the magnets magically pull the Nexus 4 off it over time (www.youtube.com­/watch­?v­=FRU72ruJ7fk ). There are other off-brand chargers where supposedly you need to line up your phone correctly to start the charging. No thanks.

I suppose my requirement for a good charger would be that it works nicely with ALL or most Qi compatible phones, not just the brand/model it was designed for.

2. Price. OMG expensive (maybe just in Canada)??

The 2013 Nexus wireless charger is $50 plus shipping. The Nokia DT900 is $30. Granted there are cheaper knockoff ones but I don't feel comfortable in juicing up my phone with off brand electronics. I realize this means I can't have my cake and eat it too. If I want to start using wireless charging in my home and office I am looking at a minimum of $50 to get 2 chargers. If I get a 2013 Nexus 7 and need another charger for that, that's even more money.

Maybe I am just incredibly cheap frugal, but I think I would rather stick with the cable that came free with my device. The saving grace of wireless charging is that if I ever break my charging port, it is an alternative to get juice into my devices

So...

I am interested in your thoughts on wireless charging. Do you use it daily? Is it a novelty, or the best thing since sliced bread? Do you think its worth the money? What charger do you use with which phone?

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15 replies

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teamkiller

i use my wireless charger on my nexus 5, when im at the desk in my office. for long term charging yea i still use a cord but the ease of just dropping it on my wireless charger is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally convinient. nokia 910
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iMario

I bought the cheapest one out there, $15.99.
cgi.ebay.com­/ws­/eBayISAPI.dll­?ViewItem­&item­=38...

It's working, it's also novelty not really worth the money. I see it like this...I usually use a 2A charger from my Nexus 7 to charge both N7 and N4 so the charging speed is really amazing. Qi charger outputs max 1A, and even less if you don't align the phone properly, so the time needed for a full charge at least doubles.
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joshdrr

The Panasonic QE-TM101-K is awesome. It requires absolutely no aligning of the device, just put your phone (or nexus tablet, it's big enough) anywhere on the surface and you're done. Or watch it for a moment, it's pretty cool to watch the light-up coil find your phone.

It was made for the Japanese market, but you can get it on amazon (mine came with Japanese manuals, but it is easy to figure out).

vimeo.com­/56386654
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cbcharlie

well i use wireless charging almost every day on my nexus 5, is it worth the novelty? probably not, it's just 'cool', i use the panasonic qi charger (imported from japan), which is a bit more expensive, but i chose this one because this charger finds your phone, don't have to put your phone down on a 'sweet spot'. it charges very quickly, just as quick as a wire, and i have not noticed any negative side effects yet. so its definitely cool, but probably not worth the money.
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sombraala

Have a Nexus 5 and a charger at work and home - definitely end up charging it more than I absolutely need to, but it not only serves as a charger but also is a nice way to always know where my phone will be - if it's not in my pocket, it's (generally) on the charger and, for someone as scatterbrained as I am, that's really helpful.

I had used the Palm Pre and its Touchstone before (to be honest, that implementation was even better than Qi at this point - though it has the advantage of being implementation specific) and I also have two HP Touchpads and their Touchstones. I really wish my Nexus 7 was 2nd gen so I could use Qi on it as well - I do find that my Nexus 7 is the only device of all of them (Nexus 5 and two Touchpads) which ever runs out of power.

Is it for everyone? Probably not, but it is something incredibly useful for some people, like myself.
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pwattre

Qi standard, using induction charging, is barely using wireless capabilities and is too restrictive for consumers.

However, other solutions such as COTA technology will be able to change this, and make wireless charging widely used.
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izzuken

Being a proud owner of Nexus 5, i can state that yes, it has arrived:) There are a lot of good QI chargers, that still do a great job charging your device and are not that expensive. I personally bought a lugulake QI charger with 6000mah battery, so it acts as a battery bank as well and for 60 bucks its a bargain. You can pick up a good charger pad for 20-30 USD from amazon or any big retailer, just read customer reviews and do not get fooled into overpaying for brand name.
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WilliamKern

II think regardless its efficient, the Qi charger did a good job to me. I have got LuguLake charger too, 2+ times charger and I plan to buy an updated one.
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sombraala

I got the Lugulake QI charger too and I love the concept - my biggest problem with my other power banks was that I'd use them and never plug them back in afterwards... but this one I will because it's how I charge my phone (also a Nexus 5).

I wish that I didn't have to open up both the chargers I have (the other is a Koolpad - which seems to be more forgiving on where the phone is placed) and remove the speakers to get rid of the annoying beeping noises they have. That's my one major complaint about both... otherwise it is so nice to just set down and pick up my phone and not deal with any plugs.
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Friiduh

It is not.

It is worthless as long the charging plate isn't size of 30x30cm and just 2-3mm thin.
It is as well worthless as long you can not get 1.3-1.5A output from them for fast charge.

With a big size they would come more useful if you can just "hide it".
Then you could keep it on desktop where having all devices in charge.
But attaching a cable to device isn't a problem what needs fixing if you just have 1-2 devices.

In car the situation is different. There it would be nice just to mount device (smartphone or tablet) to dashboard dock for navigation/musicplaying and device would charge at same time quickly for those 15-60 minutes you are driving daily.

A much better effort to do for devices would be making them 2-3mm thicker, especially the smartphones could be 3-5mm thicker. Spend that extra space for larger battery what can give you at least 50% more so you really survive trough 1-2 days without charging device.
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sombraala

I don't feel like I need a fast charge from Qi, personally. Since I just put my phone on the charger when I get in to work or before I go to bed, I don't really care how long it takes to charge it (as long as it can get a complete charge in 7 or so hours, I suppose).

If I didn't sit at a desk all day for work perhaps I would care more, but for my purposes it works quite well.
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Met

I know flat designs would kinda suck compared to having your phone tilted for easier viewing, but there is the new Nexus Wireless Charger: https:­/­/play.google.com­/store­/devices­/details­?id­=n...
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Dignan17

The Nexus Orb didn't lose suction, it lost traction. It only held up phones with the friction of rubber against glass. Don't get me wrong, this was a bad design. Inevitably dust was going to collect on the rubber part of the Orb and create less friction, or it just wouldn't work in the first place because the back of the Nexus 4 was so dang slippery.

The price is, indeed, too expensive. It needs to come down and it will come down. But it's a relatively new technology (compared to plugging a cable into a socket), so we early adopters will have to pay more. That's the way it's always been.

But I agree that it has to work well in order for the technology to move forward and to come down in price.

Personally I'm excited to use one of the newer Qi chargers. I hate plugging my phone in at night - I invariably end up putting the micro USB cable in the wrong way up, and I feel like I'm breaking the jack a little more every time I do that.

The charger I'd really like is the Tylt Vu, but talk about expensive!

tylt.com­/vu/
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TgD

Ah you got me. I did substitute suction for traction.

I hadn't seen that Tylt Vu. I think it looks great and would prefer one of those to a flat design!
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Sk0ly

Ya I like that one too but just way too much of a rip off.........like most Tylt products.........really nice, really overpriced. Funny thing is, if they dropped their prices even a little, they would likely sell way more.
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