As a recent convert to the Nexus 4 (after waiting months for my Sprint ETF to drop), I'm in love with the wireless charging orb. That's not to say it doesn't have issues (besides its price), though. While I've had nary an problem with the orb, I have heard a few times that it has one serious issue – failing to keep the Nexus in place as it charges.

A few days ago, I came across a potential solution to this problem – the Nexus 4 Charging Orb Cradle by Etsy user Pixil3D.


The 3D-printed cradle isn't necessarily the most elegant solution imaginable, and adding a $24 fix to a product that already costs $60 isn't exactly palatable to this writer, but the cradle has one thing going for it – it's 3D-printed, and anyone that has a 3D printer can make their own. The design is readily available over at Thingiverse, as reported at MoDaCo.

If you're tired of your precious N4 slipping from its otherwise awesome charging device, and this solution looks appealing to you, you have two options – buy it for $24, or bust out a 3D printer and make it yourself. Make your choice and hit the appropriate link below.

Etsy, Thingiverse

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://mavi222.deviantart.com/gallery/ Mavi

    That's one dirty charging orb.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It gets dirty quite easily from what I've heard. Don't own one myself.

      • http://bitshift.tumblr.com/ esjay

        The dirt is actually what causes it to slip off. As others have mentioned, it is way easier to just wipe the tacky ring off if it attracts a lot of dust. (And maybe change out your furnace filter?)

    • http://www.androidheadlines.com/ Alexander Maxham

      I've heard it gets dirty, easily. I haven't bought one, don't see the need for it yet.

      • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

        Mine haven't but I keep a clean house. Occasionally I just lick my thumb and wipe the ring off. 3 orbs with 2 phones and no slipping.

  • andy_o

    Why didn't they freaking put in that freaking magnet that they freaking said it would be there in the first freaking place?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1470850958 Peter ‘Firefox’ Fox

      Did they though? people just said it was like the Touchstone charger which has a magnet, I don't think google ever said it would have one, everyone just reviewed it implied that and no one made a point of saying they were wrong

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.henn Joe Henn

    Just roll over your charging orb with a lintroller.

    • Sean Royce


      • http://twitter.com/xyzyxx Zachary Parker

        That's the idea.

    • http://twitter.com/xyzyxx Zachary Parker

      Or a piece of tape.

  • Justin Grathwohl

    I wiped mine off with a clorox wipe. Made it ultra sticky.

  • Jones

    Or just rub a little water around it. An insanely cheaper solution that actually works.

    People who complain about their charging orb really piss me off.

  • siphyn

    Just buy the wcp-300 instead. Its the orb without the orb. No worries of sliding off.

    • GazaIan

      It's... it's almost 80. No thanks.

      A simple wipe with some water, alcohol, or regular cleaning substance will do the trick.

      • siphyn

        Verizon wireless sells them for $39. Cheaper than the orb.

        • PhilNelwyn

          That's probably $39 on contract then... ;-)

          • siphyn

            Lol surprisingly it's not. I just bought one the other day from them. I like it, and you can't beat it for the price. Amazon sells the WCP-300 for $49.

          • sunnycheeba

            Verizon customers can buy the WCP-300 for $29.99 (25% off sale on accessories for Verizon Wireless customers) People who don't have a contract with Verizon can purchase the charger for $39.99 or get $10 off if you purchase two chargers. The Google Nexus Orb (aka WCP-400) is nearly double the cost. These are no longer selling for $80 ..they are sold on Ebay for $58 total, shipped anywhere in the world.

          • andy_o

            I'm not getting $10 off when I add 2 chargers, I'm guessing it requires a code? Also, if you log in to your Verizon account, would the price automatically go down, I'm assuming?

  • GazaIan

    Sorta relevant... but does anyone else's Nexus 4 fall off of a totally flat and leveled surface? It's absolutely creepy... I'll place my phone on my nightstand, and wake up to it on the floor. I have marbles on it that won't roll off.

    For now, I'm just putting it on the floor. It's extra annoying too, since my Nexus 4 has the two nipples on the bottom to prevent slipping.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      That's actually a feature, not a flaw. It's for 4.3's upcoming air hockey compatibility.

    • XBIRDIE98

      I originally thought the new feet were for the slipping but have since heard that they were actually to address the glass-on-cold-surface-cracking problem.
      This holder is neat - but $24 is a bit steep if I can find a printer - though that's a rather big if.

    • Stacey

      Disable vibration. My phone stopped acting like a hockey puck since I did that. I don't have the nipples though.

      • GazaIan

        My vibration is always off. I'm hoping to get a bumper, and a protector for the glass back, because it's already showing some damage.

        • Jon Langevin

          Had same issue, every surface would see it slip off, whether wood, glass, metal, stone. (Wood surprised me)
          Got the bumper case, no issues now. Just hate that I lose the slick feeling when swiping from the edge of the phone, loved that...

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Yeah I love that feeling. That's another reason why I don't get a case for it. I just used a dBrand skin on the back to get rid of the slipping issue. Just a thought. :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    My Nexus 4 doesn't really slip off the orb all that much (it's still quite sticky), but sometimes charging just stops for some reason - and I have a strong suspicion that it might be software related. I've had a couple of unpleasant mornings when I unlocked the phone when it was still on the orb, and realised that it had stopped charging a few hours after I'd gone to sleep, even though the phone was still firmly in place.

    I discovered that it wasn't a slippage problem after I set up a Tasker profile to alert me whenever wireless charging stops. That alert wakes up my screen; on the several occasions that I've seen the alert go off while the phone hasn't fully charged, I noticed that charging resumes almost immediately (the "charging" message suddenly appears on my stock lock screen and the battery icon gets the charging "bolt") without me adjusting the position of the phone.

    So I think there's a possibility that some people's problems with the orb, may not be with the orb itself...


    This is actually pretty cool, but I'm not sure I need it. I've only had it slip off overnight once or twice. Anyone else remember the Galaxy Nexus Dock? That thing was ridiculously unreliable, much more so than a not-sticking orb.

    • PhilNelwyn

      Unreliable? Why?

      • XBIRDIE98

        With both the Nexus 4 orb and Galaxy Nexus dock, I've woken up to a nearly dead phone once or twice, so my take is that neither is perfect, but the Galaxy Nexus dock was much less consistent in working. It was notoriously finicky - I would find that it often failed to dock on insert, and required multiple re-insertions to get it working. It tended to dock better with the 2100mAh extended battery to guide the device in. (The dock was designed for both.) I think the contacts on the phone for the pogo pins wore down over time, but I can't completely confirm that. I was, for this reason, very nervous about the Nexus 7 dock, but the Nexus 7 Dock works like a charm. (My dock was a GSM "maguro" Galaxy Nexus dock - I can't say anything about the Verizon "toro" version of the dock.)

        • PhilNelwyn

          I must be lucky then, cause I've never had any problem with mine.

  • moelsen8

    Or just wipe it off once every week or two with a wet paper towel..

  • Bryan

    Every month or so I just wipe down the surface of the orb with a damp paper towel to remove the dust and it prevents slippage just fine. (Its called house keeping. :)

  • Chargers

    Or just geting the Nokia QI charger?...

    • http://blog.drunknbass.com drunknbass

      doesn't work well with the nexus 4. I had 2 that went back.

  • squiddy20

    Yeahhhh.... You shouldn't need to spend money on another product to make the initial one work as it should.

  • erikiksaz

    Or use a zagg style rear protector, which will give it enough grip

  • SlipperieSlope

    The screen protector I put on the front and back of my N4 by GhostArmor stopped my slipping entirely. In fact, it can be a little too sticky and move my orb when I go to remove it.

    But hey, beats it slipping off.

  • nickFe

    To me this is a solution in search of a problem. I had that issue. Very annoying. Cleaning the orb from dust fixed in a matter of seconds and it just as good as new.

  • Nathan J

    Yeah, but who just has a 3D printer sitting around? Bill Gates' kid? The people who can afford such tech wizardry can surely afford the fix. The 1% probably don't care about 3D printing to save a couple bucks, if they care about 3D printing to start with. The rest of us would just have to buy the thing, or redneck rig it. I would rig the charging puck to lay flat. That should have been the design to start with.

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  • Juan Marquez

    Why not Use sugru? (google it) would do the job much better and cheaper

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    My Nexus 4 slips off everything, but I still love it. It even moves on horizontally flat surfaces! I think it uses Google Levitate, but it's in Beta, hence it doesn't yet fly...

  • http://blog.drunknbass.com drunknbass

    This is my orb, and dispite your keen observations the orb is quite clean. Wiping it down makes no difference, it'll slide off after 20+ minutes. My suspicions are the heat the phone generates causes the silicon to not stick as well. Maybe they only tested the orb with phones that had nothing running on them?

    Not only does this hold it in place, its quicker for me to set the phone down and not have to press the phone into the orb with 30lb of force hoping it wont slide off.

    I also use the 2 position energizer charger( http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Qi-Enabled-Position-Inductive-Charger/dp/B0041RRORA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368463443&sr=8-1&keywords=qi+charger ) but its also kind of inconvenient because you have to pay it on the right area, and the indicator light is about 5 sec delayed so you have to sit around for a bit after laying it down to know if its even working. Working on a plate that lays over top of this with an inset so this wont be an issue(and block this light), since the indicator light could illuminate an airport runway.

  • Eric Bird

    There's an even cheaper fix I discovered. My Nexus would stay on the orb for about 60 seconds before sliding off. So, I ordered a replacement and noticed the difference between how the surfaces felt. So here's what I used to fix the "broken" orb.

    A damp paper towel. A month later, it hasn't slid off once.

  • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

    Besides the great viewing angle it gives me, one of the reasons I chose to pay $60 for the Orb as opposed to other Qi chargers is because of its stylish look. This cradle, IMO, completely ruins the look. If you want a quick solution to this (and any other Nexus 4 sliding issue) problem, put a skin on the back of it. I bought a dBrand skin for it and no more sliding issues with the Orb or with any surface. As an added bonus, my Vavo kickstand now has an amazing grip on the back since it's no longer trying to grasp onto glass. :-)

  • Drew

    I used to have this problem. It's caused by the dust that builds up on it.
    Simply solution: Every few weeks, take two seconds to lick your thumb and wipe off the dirt. Boom.

  • Richard

    These phones are awesome but freaky in a way. I too have had the issue of falling off the orb. I cleaned it thoroughly with no change. The freaky part comes in when the nexus starts moving by itself on a horizontal surface and falling off the table!! What have you been drinking I hear you say. Nothing ... search for it on YouTube. Freakier still is when I shutdown the phone AND IT STILL HAPPENS horizontal and orb. This, in my case is an intermittent problem as it currently is staying still. I can't track down what is causing this

  • nestorotsen

    LIke most people, you guys probably took off the protective film on the back that came with your new phone. When I first bought the charger I had no problems with the orb and as soon as I took off the film on the back it became an issue, so what I did was I bought a new screen protector for the back of the phone and ever since then I haven't had the slip off problem. I think its safe to assume that a screen protector adds more friction and helps keep the phone on the orb without slipping off.