Earlier in January of this year, two wireless charging organizations announced a plan to merge their forces in order to combat the monstrous market leader Qi. And now Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP) seem to have finally combined their assets and member lists to create a new identity: AirFuel Alliance.
PMA, the most famous of the two organizations, uses magnetic induction to achieve wireless charging and has been commercialized in Duracell's Powermats and certain variants of the LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy S6. A4WP is a more obscure player since its resonance-based charging protocol hasn't been seen in consumer products yet.
Android Wear devices have gone from novelty to necessity for many of us Android lovers in the past year. They are just so doggone handy, and some of them also make quite a fashion statement. One of the better looking devices on the market is the second generation Moto 360.
The problem the 360 has, along with every other Android Wear device, is that the battery depletes rather quickly, especially when compared to a traditional watch. Fortunately, the watch is pretty easy to charge thanks to a handy dock that is like a tiny little throne for your 360.
Google was one of the first to embrace wireless charging when it was added to the Nexus line back in 2012. All the Nexus phones since have had Qi wireless charging, but not this year. The Nexus 5X and 6P have to be plugged in with a cable, and Google's Android head Hiroshi Lockheimer has explained why in a Reddit AMA. Basically, it's all about the Z (axis).
Earlier today (well, maybe one or two hours ago today, we're not entirely aware of time anymore), we brought you the sad news that both of Google's new Nexus devices won't have a MicroSD card slot. But don't put away your sad trombone just yet. The sad news stretches a little bit more because we're about to let you in on another difficult decision Google had to make: there's no wireless charging on either of these phones.
This isn't really so much news as "I thought this was kind of cool and wanted to share it with all of you." I just received an evaluation unit of Samsung's new wireless fast charge pad for the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Note 5, and upon opening I noticed immediately that it was quite a bit thicker than Samsung's old Galaxy S6 wireless charging pad. I then spied an array of what looked like (and as it turns out, are) ventilation openings all along the bottom of the charging puck. Could it be? Did Samsung build a phone charger with a fan inside it?
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.