18
Aug
nexusae0_orb8

Here's one we haven't done before for the weekend poll - wireless charging. As Qi wireless charging slowly becomes more and more popular, more handsets and tablets are supporting the standard. The big barrier to entry for many, though, are the charging pads that such devices require in order to take advantage of the feature. They aren't usually cheap if you choose to go with official OEM accessories, and even 3rd party solutions don't exactly come in at bargain-bin prices, and the few that do yield less than consistent results.

If I had a phone and could find a decent, well-rated Qi charge pad for under $20, it'd be a no-brainer. But at $40+ on average, I'm not really compelled, especially when I could purchase a whole box full of 2A wall chargers and microUSB cables for that kind of money. The convenience of wireless charging is certainly a draw, though, and given the choice between picking up a cord and plugging it into my phone or simply placing my device on a pad, I'm obviously going for the latter. If cars supported it (how awesome would that be?) or you could buy a desk with a built-in "Qi zone," I could definitely see a lot more appeal for the tech.

Either way, we're curious: have you made the plunge and purchased a Qi wireless charger for your compatible phone / tablet, and do you actually use it? Vote in the poll below.

Do you own a Qi wireless charger?

View Results

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David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

    If I find a good enough deal, I'll buy one for my new N7.

    • kindrudekid

      craigslist is your friend, people who bought Nokia on ATT are always selling theirs, i got mine DT-910 from a guy who lost his for $20. WORTH EVERY DOLLAR!

  • Justin W

    I bought he Nexus Orb, and used it with my Nexus 4, but upgraded to the HTC One and now its just sitting there.

    • Stacey Liu

      I'll gladly use it for you. My Nexus 4 is stuck with the stock charger.

  • DJ SPY

    This is only $10
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002CMEIWK/ref=cm_sw_r_an_am_ap_am_us?ie=UTF8
    There's a Duracell one for $30

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      The Palm charger is not Qi compatible. The subject has been beaten to death, and the device has been tested with virtually every Android phone out there, it just doesn't work. A few people have claimed to get it working with different models for a few minutes, or claimed to get a phone to show it was charging while no actual charging was taking place, but I wouldn't put that in the Success category.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Some people just keep looking to hate. The guy was just trying to help. Why vote him down for that? I don't know if the Duracell and Powermat work with Android devices but here they are:
      http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-Powermat-M2PB1-PowerMat-Devices/dp/B0082YVBTA
      http://www.amazon.com/Power-Mat-PMM-2P-B1-Powermat-Powercube-Black/dp/B003F0RQ0O/

      • Rodalpho

        Umm, they voted him down because he recommended a device that doesn't work. That is the reason why we have voting buttons in the first place.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          The Duracell one sure works, I looked up on it.. so according to your logic, they should've voted him down and then up? smh..

          • Rodalpho

            If you provide incorrect info, you get voted down. Is that so hard to understand?

      • andy_o

        Powermat is a compteting standard, it doesn't work with Qi devices.

  • Alex Lam

    Sadly I don't even own a phone thats capable of wireless charging

    • NeonMunky

      I know that feel bro, international Galaxy S2 here. Can't wait until December to upgrade (I may be pledging for the Ubuntu Edge though)

      • Alex Lam

        Might get a Nexus 5 :)

        • NeonMunky

          Hmmm, I'm also considering that :D

      • jordanjay29

        If you pledge for that, expect your money back.

        • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

          too bad they made it Fixed campaign....

        • NeonMunky

          Well, I'm kind of still hoping that Mark will fund the rest himself, or at least extends the deadline. He could afford to after all, I mean, he's valued at $0.5b

          • jordanjay29

            Unlikely. The point of the campaign probably isn't that Ubuntu can make a phone, it's to prove that there are enough Linux fans to put money down to drive the market of such phone. Which, at the moment, appears to be failing.

            So sad, as Linux gamers drive the Humble Bundle sales up the wall. But Ubuntu is much more well known than the Humble Bundle folks, so I'm guessing plenty of tech companies are going to look at this campaign as more proof that Linux just isn't ready for primetime.

            Mark screwed both Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux world with the outrageous goal.

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

    Just picked up 3 Samsung ones when the 50 percent off was working, direct from Samsung. Kind of love them. Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 4 are the only devices that support it that I own, still waiting for the S4 Active replacement backs to be made.

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

    The technology MUST standardise on whatever is best (Qi is not, there is some other that Intel are behind that doesn't require such accurate positioning of the device being charged) and the charging pads need to be more practical, ideally, adjustable so you can lay them flat when next to bed, or angle the device when on a desk.

    Currently there are two active 'standards' and no one had produced the perfect charging pad/dock/receptacle.

    What will make things worse if Apple launched a non standard wireless charging system and manage to get coffee shops to embed the tech into tables, creating havoc for other platforms.

  • Duncankrebbers

    I've bought a Philips charging pad for my Nexus 4 when they were on sale for 25 euro's and I really love it!
    The top of the little cabinet next to my bed has a glass top with a matte finish and I modified the cabinet so that the charger fits under the glass and isn't visible from the outside, nice way to impress visitors and it looks really clean!

    Too bad there isn't a standard for wireless charging now, otherwise I would be willing to invest more in this technology.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    I'm hardly the first to say it, but I think Qi would be far more popular if cars started coming with docking cups to set your phone into, or a dock with locking arms. This is the need POGO pins solved, but those are already dying off, probably because docks had to be model-specific.

    Wireless charging in the home is a nice novelty, and a minor convenience, but it's hardly necessary or solving a real problem. It solves a real and obvious problem in the car though, so I don't understand why an accessory maker isn't jumping on that.

    • kindrudekid

      Yes. I found a Nokia DT-910 for my new Nexus 7 and god I love it.
      just leave it on top and forget it..

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Duracell has started doing it already. They're teamed up with GM to offer integrated Qi charging in the phone holder compartment. Hope other car makers pick this up too.

    • PacoBell

      Uh... http://owlpad.net/

      You're welcome?

  • silver_arrow

    Picked up a LG WCP-300 charging puck a few months ago and I truly love it. Its small, fits in my pocket and the blinking light reminds me to charge my phone. Too many times I went out in the evening and forgot to charge my phone before going out but now I always remember to do so

  • Shitiz Garg

    Nexus 4 + Official Qi charger, use it daily :D

  • Poussah

    I'd gladly buy the Nexus Orb for my N4 if it were sold in France... #angryatGoogle

    • selonmoi

      Maybe those of outside of the US should make deals to help each other out. I could buy you an Orb from Canada, and you could buy me 8 months of All Access Music. ;-)

    • Ryan Stewart

      Like Ive posted on other forums, I doubt Google has an issue with Frenchists. Its likely more due to the Orb having to have some sort of additional certification to be available for sale in your country, which LG (lets be honest who is making it, Google is just branding it and selling it) may not have thought they would sell enough to justify.

      • Poussah

        Maybe, but then they should'nt emphasize this feature, imho. It's available on Amazon Marketplace, but for 100 € ($133) !

        • Ryan Stewart

          Its still a feature even if you dont get their official option. And on the Amazon marketplace /= official sales channel. There are always sellers who jack up the prices of unavailable products.

          You could get someone in the US to source an Orb or, for a LOT less, get one of the 3rd party pads that are available everywhere. I've been using one of the cheap Chinese ones in my office for a while now without issues.

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    Well i own an s4 and i was thinking about it, but it feels losing its purpose as it doesnt take time to plug it. With 4 chargers all around the house and a car dock it feels like it would be a while since i get one

  • nagi

    I might have bought the Nexus Orb for my Nexus 4... but, and as with many other services, Google simply does not want my money.

    • vaghoust

      our info are enough for them

  • http://chromebookguru.tumblr.com Jason C

    No, I would if T-Mobile gave them away a month before they did. Can't find one online either.

  • andreaspreg

    Who owns an Orb and dont use it, please send it to me :D Thanks.

  • Blair Ginley

    $40? Ha! I bought my girlfriend one basically soon after they first came out. It was around $60 thru Google

  • sourabh

    i would gladly use one if samsung bundled it with my S3

  • https://twitter.com/KryptosXLayer2 KryptosXLayer2

    Nokia makes a QI wireless charging car dock:

    http://www.nokia.com/global/products/accessory/cr-200/

    and there's also the guy doing a DIY wireless car dock for the S4 on XDA:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2262808

    Only issue with either one of those is the amperage - sub 1A outputs and not only is the S4 not going to charge while using Google Navigation and Google Music like I do every time I get behind the wheel, but it will start to drain instead!

    I have the OEM Samsung S4 wireless charging cover and bought two 1A QI charging mat I got on eBay for $37.XX each. Definitely worth it! Whenever I charge my phone on the mat, it's usually for extended periods of time at my desk or in the kitchen (the two locations of my charging mats), my phone goes on the 2A desktop charger at night to ensure a full charge by morning....

  • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur
    • PacoBell

      You totally win the thread. Congratulations!

    • Elias

      Nice, but the qi pad seems to be $16.

      • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

        They must have run out of the $10 stock I guess, it was $9.99 before I believe. Oh well :/

        • Elias

          Now wonder: they're getting these for $4 from some Chinese manufacturer which makes them for $0.50.

  • TY

    IMO the cons of wireless charging outweighs the pros, so I will not use it in a foreseeable future.

    Pros:
    Convenient, pick up phone as you want, put it down to charge
    Less damage to USB port (however, micro-usbs are specifically designed to put wear on the wire side, which is easy to replace)

    Cons:
    Inconvenient, phone cannot charge if you want to pick it up
    Energy loss (~30% loss), cannot charge over USB, non-environmental friendly
    More heat generated, bad for internal components and battery
    Need a separate charger
    Makes the phone thicker by 1-2mm/less battery in the same chassis, also heavier and increases cost

    • shadowdude777

      Pogo pins were amazing. It's so stupid that they were put into one device and then never used ever again.

      • DrMacinyasha

        > one device and then never used again

        All of the Nexus phones (minus the Nexus 4), the Nexus 7 (2012), and Nexus 10 had pogo pins. Until the Galaxy Nexus (thanks to the car and desktop docks both being useful and available for sale, for a while) they were never frequently used.

        A bit of a chicken-and-the-egg scenario, since there weren't any official pogo-equipped docks/chargers for the Nexus One or Nexus S. The Galaxy Nexus helped kick off interest in the pogo pins since it was the first Nexus sold by America's biggest carrier and the GSM pogo docks could be modified easily to work with it. Unfortunately, despite the Nexus 7's popularity, interest in its pogo dock hasn't been that great.

        And so, the pogo goes the way of the dodo.

        • TY

          Sony is using a similar approach though, putting metal connectors on their waterproof phones for charging.

        • PacoBell

          Huh? I owned an official HTC pogo pin car dock for the N1. It was a terrible PoS, though, as the USB port eventually broke and the suction cup didn't hold worth a damn.

        • Ryan Stewart

          IT sucks too because all it took was for Samsung/Asus/Google to publish what the Pogo was capable of and how to integrate with it and we might have seen more accessories. I love the Pogo cable for my N10 and wished someone would have made a factory like dock for it.

    • NathanDrago

      Totally agree. I wouldn't use a wireless charger even if they were for free.

  • MattH818

    I really like my N4 and the Orb. The Orb needs to be wiped down with a damp rag every so often, but it's perfect for a bedside clock.

  • Sean Powell

    I would if they were easily available in the UK

  • zephiK

    Nope. I don't see a purpose of paying $20-$75 for a Qi charger. If it was supplied with my phone then I'd use it.

  • howardbamber

    31% claim to use it? Seems way to high. Maybe its because it's a tech
    Site. Still .....

    .

  • ElfirBFG

    I'd buy one of my phone supported it. I mean, I shelled out 30 just for an NTT Docomo charger just to use the dock that came with my phone, which was odd since the phone uses mUSB not Docomo's proprietary connection. Wireless only seems more convenient than a dock, so I'd be silly not to.

  • Greg

    I use it in my car. The best idea i came up in a long time. Recently also as a n7 charger and holder.

  • lensgrabber

    Bought two of the Nokia 900's from AT&T for $40 delivered. Liked them so much I just bought two more to place around the house. They work fine with the N7/13 and N4.

  • Clive Viagas

    Got one for my Galaxy S3 (which I love) and just placed an order for a larger pad for my Nexus 7 2nd Gen

    • PacoBell

      Just curious, what model did you end up getting for the tablet?

      • Clive Viagas

        I got this one from fast tech Qi Inductive Wireless Charger (Large).

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    I'd gladly use one but they're too damn expensive for chargers.. at least in India.

  • Antonio

    I use an LG WCP-300 ($40) with my S3, using a $10 Qi receiver module. It's pretty convenient, but the phone does get a bit hot sometimes.

  • Rodalpho

    I do have one, but due to the bug with wireless chargers stopping the device from going to deep sleep, unfortunately I can't use it. It's a shame.

    The bug refers to nexus4s only, but it happens on my nexus7 FLO also.

    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=52034

  • http://skorch.co.uk/ Antony Derham

    Nexus 4 with LG WCP-300. Perfect combination and the WCP-300 is cheap to get from imported Korea.

  • Rob Johnson

    No, I don't see the appeal of wireless charging. Instead of plugging your phone in, you rest it on top of something that's plugged in...

    • Rodalpho

      You don't need to bother with those mini-USB plugs that never seem to fit properly the first time, so you flip it around, and that doesn't fit either, then you flip it back to the original orientation and wiggle a bit and oh yeah there it goes, finally.

      I hate that.

  • Mike Loomis

    While not technically a Qi charger, we have two HP Touchpads still kicking along with two wireless charging stands for them, all bought on the cheap during HP's tablet housecleaning. A while ago the micro USB ports on the Touchpads became somewhat unreliable so now we almost exclusively charge them on the stands. It really is a nice thing to have.

    I also have a Nexus 4, but there is no way in hell I will pay over $10 for the Qi charging puck. But ask me the question again if the micro usb port goes bad the way the Touchpads did.

  • Ankhwatcher

    My phone slides off because my desk isn't flat. Also the cat sometimes kicks the phone off the charger in the night.

  • sidamos

    I use Nexus 4 with LG WCP-300. But it does not work well with Daydream as a night clock. Some time after reaching 100%, the display goes off. Anyone else with this problem?

  • QwietStorm

    Yep, got the Nexus 4 charger, and thankfully never had the slippage issues many other people have experienced.

  • a

    Call me when they've got a six foot range. :P

  • http://www.themediaman.com/ theMediaman

    I'll admit it. A big part of why I have an Orb for my Nexus 4 is to get the oohs and ahhhs from my co-workers in an otherwise iOS heavy office.

  • GazaIan
    • PacoBell

      That's a great price, considering that some barebones Qi pads cost roughly the same.

  • Riko Gonzalez

    I just received My Nokia DT900's from ATT I Got 3 for $59 Lees than $19 each, I'm testing them right now on my 2013 N7 and my White N4 ,so far so good, just a bit slow, compared to regular wired charging, will report back later!

  • Marten

    Is it [Nexus ORB] working with Samsung Galaxy S4 + Wireless charger kit?

  • Michael W.

    Nexus 4 and official orb for it and they work awesome. I love both of them. Sure the orb needs to be wiped down from time to time, and the phone does get a little warm. But other than that, I love it. I have had my nexus 4 since launch and the heat has never harmed it yet. The sleep bug is a qualcomm issue, not android so to fix it just download this app,

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sash.sodeliminator

    It works perfectly and uses no resources. My new Nexus 7 works fine on the orb too, but I don't care for the angle of the orb for the N7. I will be getting the ZENS qi charger for it soon.

  • live2ski

    Yes. I use the LG hockey puck and it works great with the nexus 4. Ironically Verizon has the best price on it for $40.

    It's mostly for convenience as I just drop it on the charger by my bed.

    • Matt Goldey

      Same charger & phone. I love the convenience of it. I also love that I'm saving wear & tear on the USB port.

  • TD

    i have two, one at home the other at work. love the way it props up the phone so i can see my notifications. it is a "convenience" but one that is used daily. making it necessary on any phone i have in the future. can't wait until they start making everything Qi compatible.

  • Ryan Stewart

    3 orbs in our home and I have a cheap one on my desk at work. My USB port on my N4 is virginal.

  • MrWicket

    should be another option of "no, but I want one"

  • Kie

    Where's the "No, but I want to buy one" option?

  • Dan Herrera

    You guys forgot this option: No, I don't have one but I want one and have a phone/tablet that supports it.

  • Gnex

    I kind of like being able to use my phone while it's charging, so no.

  • simp1istic

    Energizer dual pad charges N4 and N7 simultaneously. It's glorious on the nightstand.

    • my95z34

      Same pad I have. Use it on my SGS3.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    No Qi charger grabbed my attention.... they all make my devices lay flat(aside from the nexus 4 orb) and are pretty expensive... for broke college kid that aint good.

  • FrillArtist

    What about "No but my device supports it and I want to buy one at the right price".

    • firethorn

      Exactly this, I'd get a Qi charger at once if they weren't so expensive. I want one but I don't really need one that bad. (also, it doesn't help that the N4 charging orb isn't even available in Germany and will probably never be...)

  • Paul Taylor

    Yes, but I don't use it - because I can't figure out a way to stop my phone getting so hot that it could fry an egg. Also, one slight slip and it stops charging all together. This is one of those areas where Apple probably would do a better job.

  • Steve Freeman

    If they were cheap (MAYBE as much as $20), I would think about it. But I'm not spending a bunch of money to make it so I can just put my phone or tablet down on a charging stand or pad, instead of taking 2 seconds to plug it in. It's just not worth it.

  • r0xp0x

    I've been really tempted in getting a Qi charger and a reciever for my Galaxy S3 because of the convenience of just placing it on the pad and remove it whenever needed. Sure, I might not be able to use it while charging, but I'd probably put the pad on my nightstand so it doesn't really matter.

  • Elias

    Still waiting for the $10 chinese knockoffs.

  • http://www.qitah.com/ Project Qitah

    Well I for one wasn't satisfied with the ones out there.
    Eight months in and I made my own - igg.me/at/qitah

  • texsc

    Just got this one a few days ago... <$30, says it'll charge up to 1A. http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Charging-Samsung-Galaxy-Iphone/dp/B00C40OG22/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377185210&sr=8-1&keywords=choe+qi+charger

    I'm getting 640mA with my phone & 3rd party receiver, but I think it's limitation of the phone and/or receiver

  • Shaun Capps

    The new 2014 Toyota Avalon Limited has a QI charging dock as a standard feature.

  • Ajzen

    I've got my eyes on the RAVPower Qi wireless charger. http://amzn.to/17trJQw
    It would make a perfect accessory for Nexus 4/7 and the new Nexus 5. And would charge some other cellphones out of the box.

  • Jeff Herd

    Thanks to choe, In my opinion this is the shop where you can search end for wireless solution for your iphone and smart phone devices. Yes i have owned qi wireless charger for my galaxy note 3 becasue most of time i was worried before about phone battery down after that i decided to buy wireless charger for my note 3 from choe amazon shop http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FPFM4AY/

    and i made some picture and want to share with you, where you can see the importance of wireless power