Tatsuhiko Miyagawa's Blog

Wireless Charging now becomes real

October 01, 2013

When I bought Nexus 4 last year, the first and most exciting thing about this phone was the ability to charge it wirelessly. That’s why I bought the wireless charging orb immediately and was kind of disappointed because of its poor implementation.

Now 6 months later, it seems there’re new generations of Qi (the wireless charging standard Nexus 4 uses, along with Windows Phone Lumia and Nexus 7) charging devices.

The most interesting kind of such charging devices is the one with mobile battery built-in, such as RAVPower 2-in-1 (Amazon.co.jp for those in Japan).

Thanks to @drikin for telling me about this device.

The battery looks a lot like a little big phone (like Galaxy Note), and when plugged with the micro USB (comes with 1.5A output wall charger), you just leave your phone on the battery, and it charges the phone first, then charges itself once the phone gets fully charged.

Because it has mobile battery inside (for 4800mAh), you can charge wirelessly even in the mobile situation — like when you’re in the meeting/cafe, you leave your phone on the battery on the table, then it’s charged! No cable required.

You have to press the button once to get the wireless charging started, and it automatically turns off after 60 seconds of not charging.

The battery also has a USB output, so you can charge a phone without Qi support (i.e. iPhone), or you want to charge at the full speed inside a bag.

This is revolutionary and changes the way I think about phone battery. Usually with the mobile battery, I tend to avoid charging it until the last minute, since using a phone while it’s plugged in to the mobile battery is so awkward. With this wireless charger, i can put the battery on the table and put the phone on the battery whenever I need (no need to unplug to just make a call), then come home and plug the USB cable to charge both. Not to mention this is awesome for traveling as well.

Now, back to the original nexus wireless charging orb — as pointed out by a lot of people, carefully wiping all the dusts with the alcohol/paper towel will make the phone stick, and it works nicely.

The only problem I still have is that when the phone vibrates with the notifications, it vibrates the entire desk, making a huge sound. The only solution is to entirely mute the phone and disable vibration as well when charging it.

The orb works great when you enable Android’s Daydream feature. I use DashClock widget for this. When you put the phone on charge and leave the screen on, DayDream (kind of like screensaver) kicks in, and it shows the clock, notifications, next appointment, and most importantly, the battery charging status on the screen.

To me the wireless charging is now a real thing. It’s unclear how Qi becomes the standard though — at least there are three standard bodies, and there’s no doubt that Apple wouldn’t stick to any of the standard.