Review: A Qi Wireless Phone Charger
Father’s Day. The one day of the year that you can call someone a motherfucker and they can’t take offence.
Father’s Day was a few weeks ago now, but the reason I mention it is the gift that I got. A wireless charger for my Google Nexus 4 phone.
I’ve always been a bit techno-geeky. I love hearing about new technology and how it will change things. I remember doubling my internet speed by upgrading my modem from 28.8k to a 56k modem.
Only a few years later I was looking at 1Mb speeds via (what was then called) BlueYonder’s fibre optic service. These days I can get speed faster than that on my mobile.
When I picked up my Nexus 4 at the start of the year I noted that it supported wireless charging, though the cost of the chargers were upwards of £30 whereas I could buy a standard wired charger for just a few pounds.
Over time though, given that the chargers are being used by me and four kids, I found that that the part that connects to the phone gets knocked about and it then doesn’t always charge.
For Fathers Day I was given a £30 Amazon voucher and so I decided to take a quick look online to see if the wireless chargers had come down in price. Success! They had. Not by much, but at £24.99 I thought I may as well take the plunge.
After checking that the charger I was looking at would charge my phone (as apparently some won’t), I placed the order, and a few days later my PowerQI Wirless Charger (or to give it the full Amazon name, my “White Wireless Charging Pad Powermat Mat Qi Standard Charger for Nokia Lumia 920 , Lumia 820 and Google Nexus 4“) dropped through my door.
The instructions were in drawing format only, and the reasons for this are because it’s so easy to set up. I plugged the plug into the wall socket, ran the power lead up to the charging unit and plugged it in and it was done and ready to go.
The green light at the bottom indicates that the unit is ready to use, and when you place your phone on the pad it beeps and the light changes to blue to show that it is charging. Your phone displays also shows that it is charging too.
There’s nothing else to it. The phone, incidentally, fits nicely onto the pad.
The unit comes with a warning that due to magnetism you shouldn’t place anything too near the charger that can be affected by magnets, so it’s best to keep your credit and debit cards out of the way, and it states that the unit has Qi which is the new universal standard for charging. This means that any Qi-enabled device can be charged on the unit
The only downside to the product (aside from the price which is still fairly high in comparison to wired chargers) is the speed at which it charges.
If I use the charger that came with the phone, I can be assured that it’ll charge the phone from practically empty to full in an hour or so. With the wireless charger it seems to trickle charge, which I’m told is dependent on the output, which is 5V 500mA to 800mA on this model.
Of course, the charging speed could be powered by invisible sour-faced lemmings but I’d know no different. This makes the charger ideal to use at bedtime, where you can set your phone down for several hours without touching it.
I tend to use it by my chair in the living room, where I can pick it up and put it down between phone use, though if I’m going out, I still plug in a charger and leave it charging.
I’d definitely recommend it, though it’s certainly not something I couldn’t live without, and had it not been a gift it’s not something I probably would have parted with cold hard cash for.
The best part of it all is pretending that the phone and the charger are having some kind of wire-free hanky-panky. At least that WOULD be the best part if you’re a little odd with too much time on your hands.
Amazon link - White Wireless Qi Standard Charger
2015 edit: Wow! There are some REALLY cheap Wireless Qi chargers now. This link at Amazon has some for less than £3!