Here's the thing about wireless charging: in its current form, it's a convenience. A perk, another skirmish in the eternal arms race of mobile specifications. It's nice. Wireless charging is great if you happen to sit at a desk or other stationary place, for hours at a time, and need to constantly refer to your phone. Coincidentally, that pretty much describes the entire working life of a gadget blogger, so the Tango wireless charger is great for me. Whether or not it will work for you, or be worth the considerable expense for what's basically a neat way to avoid plugging your phone in half a dozen times, will depend on how much you value that convenience.
The Galaxy S6 has wireless charging. The HTC One M9 does not. There's a pretty good reason for this: metal interferes with the current methods for wireless charging, so you can't have your fancy metal phone and charge it (wirelessly) too. Engineers at Qualcomm have a solution to that, at least according to the company's latest press release. It's a newly-announced functionality of the existing Rezence wireless power standard, which is different from Qi and PMA.
According to Qualcomm, the Rezence/WiPower standard operates at a frequency that's more forgiving of extra material in between the contact and the receiver, including everything from metal to empty space.
Samsung makes some really cool monitors. Aside from looking nicer than your usual plastic-wrapped panels, they have versions with 4K resolution, curved screens, and advanced gaming sync tech. And now they've got one with a built in wireless charging port for your Samsung phone. Well, it'll work with any phone with Qi-compatible wireless charging. But I'm sure they'd prefer you to use it with a Samsung phone, preferably a new flagship model bought at full price.
The SE370 comes in 23.6-inch and 27-inch versions, and includes a little circular pad on the base that can charge a Qi-enabled phone or tablet.
When it comes to fancy ways to charge your fancy smartphone, the latest devices generally have two tricks up their sleeve: wireless charging and quick charging. The people behind the Qi wireless charging standard are hoping to have the best of both worlds. Today the Wireless Power Consortium (which includes members like Texas Instruments, Huawei, Nokia, Philips, and Logitech) announced that the latest version of the specification will support charging at a rate of up to 15 watts.
That's a very specific number, and if it sounds familiar, it should: 15 watts is the most common maximum input for the new quick charging standards in their various copyrighted incarnations, from Qualcomm, Samsung, ASUS, et cetera.
The Galaxy S6 comes with support for wireless charging, but if you're going to do (mostly) without cables, you're going to need a compatible pad. Samsung will gladly sell you one for $50, which some would consider a bit much to drop on an alternative way to power their device. Fortunately, you can currently get a third party option on Amazon for 1/5th the price.
Ionic Pro's Galaxy S6 wireless charging kit is priced at $20.95, but you can get it for $10.47 by entering the coupon code 2O5I8F45 at checkout.
The box comes with a wireless charging pad, a 2A wall USB adapter, and a microUSB 2.0 cable.
Wireless charging is nice. It really is - setting your phone down and picking it back up, without having to plug it in and remove the plug each time, saves you about four seconds. It's one of those "huh, that's neat" bonuses of modern technology that are interesting without being entirely necessary, like headlights that automatically turn themselves on. Duracell, always hoping to make a quick buck on mobile electronics by selling you things you don't need, also thinks that wireless charging is neat. So neat that customers with older or cheaper phones will plug their phone in to get it.
IKEA is jumping on the wireless charging bandwagon. The world's largest furniture maker and retailer understands the demands of the modern home. In a bid to streamline your interior's design as much as possible, remove redundant elements, and get rid of the cable clutter everywhere, it has designed a collection of bedside tables, lamps, and desks, with integrated wireless charging spots.
The collection, which is designed by David Wahl, employs the most common standard, Qi. If your Android device has wireless charging built-in, like the LG G3, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and dozens of others, chances are it uses Qi. If it doesn't, IKEA plans to make charging cases available for select smartphones, including some Samsung models.
One of my favorite innovations that has started to become more mainstream over the past several years is wireless charging. I'm bummed that every phone doesn't have it at this point (looking at you, Motorola - the Moto X should've been qi-compatible!), because it's easily one of the most convenient changes of all time. OK, maybe that's a little hyperbolic...but really, I do love it.
When it comes to wireless charging, my go-to charger has been the Tylt VU for as long as I can remember. The angle is great, it's super easy to use, and it's large enough to charge basically everything I own that has wireless charging.
It's been about a year since the original Air Dock wireless car charger smashed its Indiegogo funding goal, and now v2.0 is doing the same. The fixed funding campaign had a goal of $85,000, and it's already over that with a few more weeks to go. You've still got time to secure your Air Dock 2.0, and you should probably consider it—this car dock is one of the coolest, most convenient ways to charge your phone.
Wireless charging is undeniably convenient, but fast it is not. With wired charging getting even faster thanks to Qualcomm-based Quick Charge technology, sometimes it just makes more sense to plug your device in. Maybe that's about to change, though. Freescale Semiconductor says it has a new wireless charging chip that can triple current limits on power transfer.