So I decided I wanted to give wireless charging a try. I scoured eBay and Amazon for days reading review after review. There are under $20 chargers shipped straight from China, and there are $100 ones offered up by Google (Nexus 4 charger) and Nokia among others. Reviews on all are split between "Best ever" to "Junk" for any one you pick.
So, how do you choose?
1st make sure you have a Qi capable device. This will either be built in (Verizon G2) or available with a special battery door or adaptor (S4 for example). This sounds like a no brained 1st step. It apparently isn't based on reviews. Many folks order these thinking it works with any device. If you aren't sure check the web. There are tons of sites with specs for devices.
2nd, budget. There are some good chargers in the $20 range. The biggest difference between most will be speed and styling, including lights/sounds that indicate charging has started or is complete. Constant beeping in the middle of the night could be worth avoiding by spending a few extra bucks. Performance can vary wildly so read multiple reviews. Remember to look for recurring issues across multiple reviews and sites.
So after considerable time I decided to go with the Google charger. One of the biggest reasons were the magnets. The Nexus 5 has 4 magnets under the back cover. These work with the charger to aide in alignment and to secure the phone on the diminutive charger. Its small. No wider than the phone and square. The device sticks to it securely with the aide of the magnets and feels solid. The charger has a tacky bottom that holds to surfaces tight when removing the phone. I'm impressed that you can pick it up one handed.
The second reason is consistency. Reviews mentioned across the board that the charger worked well, worked quickly, and didn't generate heat. Heat and electronics are mortal enemies, so I didn't want to potentially shorten the battery's lifespan using a cheap charger.
The charger itself is a glass topped square. That's it. No lights, no sounds. A minimalistic black square that compliments Googles design perfectly. When you place the Nexus on the charger the phone will give you an audible alert and begin charging. An Xposed module will allow you to customize the sound if you're rooted.
I haven't really timed the charge, but initially it seems about as fast as plugged in, maybe a little slower. Your milage may vary depending on device/battery size.
This is a convenience. Its simple, eliminates fumbling for cords in the dark, but isn't life altering. That being said, more and more devices are including Qi so it could be a bigger deal to have one in the future.
Overall, I recommend the Google charger based on simplicity, magnets, styling, and reliability. Remove the convenience factor and I would give this a 5 star rating.
This is an excellent write up and pretty much sums up the options. Its a shame how the price margins don't compare to the 'hit or miss' of the options available. After getting my N5, my girlfriend bought me a Samsung charging pad i was a bit leery due to the branding difference specifics in coil placements etc, but it works fine and through a standard sized bodyglove skin style case. The ironic part is I (drunkenly) purchased two of some super cheap ebay charging pads for the living room and office and they work just as well. Its actually a bit quicker to drop the phone on the samsung version, but it has smaller led's so its not so bright out there. The only thing i would suggest is to confirm the output is 1000 mA as it is the standard and even brand names like Nokia have lower outputs...
I won't deny that there are other equally good chargers, I've read so many reviews on Amazon and other sites. For me the biggest appeal was my annoying desire to have "Official" accessories when it comes to power. I've tried aftermarket stuff with mixed results.
I've found I get heat issues when a wake lock occurs. Took me forever to find why it was hearing up once. Turns out a setting in Gravity Box was causing the CPU yo spike, producing heat.
Anyway, thanks for the reply and welcome to Pinstack. Stick around.
It's one of the good and handy things around. No wires, that's a bliss.
Welcome Jay. Welcome to the wireless chargers that I've been talking about since I got the Nokia. I hope Apple pops the Qi idea with the new iPhone 6.
And a nice write up too! Thanks.
Chapstickman, welcome bud! Glad to have you on PS.