Home Reviews Peripherals Wireless charging a necessity - review of Qi chargers

Would you rather plug and unplug your smartphone or simply place it on a charging pad? That is the convenience of Qi charging.

After two weeks testing the new Galaxy S5 the only thing missing from an almost perfect package is Qi charging – Nokia got that right with its flagship Lumias.

But it is possible to retro fit Qi charging to many recent smartphones including Samsung Galaxy Note 2/3, S3, S4 and S5; Apple iPhone 4s, 5s; Nokia’s 720, 820, 925, and 1020; and Sony Xperia Z/Z2.

Aussie online sales MobileZap has an amazing 91 options in its Qi range.

There are several ways to do this.

If the rear cover can be removed e.g. Samsung Galaxy - you can slip a wafer thin, charging receiver inside the case. This is my preferred option as it is a set and forget thing. MobileZap tell me that the A$30.49, Galaxy S5 internal receiver has sold out – by far the most popular accessory.

 

 

 

Remaining with the removable back cover scenario, there is a range of replacement covers that incorporate Qi charging receivers. The S5 has an IP67 water and dust resistant black or white cover for A$45.95 – again sold out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the back cannot be removed e.g., iPhone, Nokia, or Sony there is a range of clip on cases and flip covers. These are available for any phone that has external charging contacts – usually two little gold dots somewhere on the back or side of the case.

There are also versions that attach the charging receiver via a micro USB or Lightning connector – although these are not as convenient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you enable the phone, it is a simple matter of placing them on a Qi charge plate. Most will recharge the battery in about the same time as it takes with a normal charger. Note that the Samsung S5 with its USB 3.0 port will fast charge at 2.1A and the Qi receiver is rated at 750mA, so it will be a slower. The added advantage of using Qi is that it constantly tops up the battery.

There are many charge plates. I like the stylish $75.95 Adata Elite CE700 that can be used flat or upright as a phone stand. It has 1000mAh output and will charge the S5 in about 3 hours. It does not come with a USB charger – you can use your phones charger.

 

 

 

 

Nokia make a 2400mAh charger plate in red, cyan, magenta and white – these will do the recharge in just over 1 hour if your cover/receiver has a sufficiently high rating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qi-Time have a nice $90.49 combo charger plate, Bluetooth speaker/microphone, and alarm clock that would look good on any bedside table.

It is time to discover the convenience of Qi.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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