Qi Chargers and their worth. [Updated]
The release of the phones such as the Droid DNA, Nexus 4, LG Optimus G, and some of Nokia's Windows Phone 8's (just to names a few), there is now a new way to charge out phone. Inductive charging isn't new, its been around for a while actually, but when it comes to phones and having it built in, its new territory.
I remember the years when phones had different plugs in them, be it mini USB or micro or any number of different slots on phones, and if you didn't have that charger, you were pretty much out of luck, and asking a co-worker or friend didn't always mean you were going to find the one you needed. "No, mine only works for LG..". Luckily now, for the most part we have the same chargers everywhere, aside from the iPhones, who now have to have two different chargers, depending on the generation. With the wave of inducting charging being adopted, I'm concerned that we may run into the same problems we did a decade ago with physical plugs.
I personally own a Nexus 4 and have been waiting for the opportunity to witness wireless charging myself. I have searched around at local Best Buys and phone stores and most of the retail people have no clue that the products they are selling are even capable, let alone sell the accessories. The only luck i have had with finding a wireless charger in the wild were at AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores and even then they were not aware of their existence in their own stores. The chargers in question were the Nokia branded chargers for their Lumia Phones and when i sat my Nexus 4 atop the pad, at first it responded only to blink that it was, then was not, then again charging. This was not a the result i was hoping for. Any other chargers i have come across have been online and with already experiencing a failed attempt with some chargers, i am less inclined to want to order another from somewhere else only to get the same conclusion.
Another major concern is the cost of these suckers. The cost the Qi Chargers that i have come across have all been in the ballpark of 60 US Dollars. That's a lot of money for the luxury of simply setting the phone down and having it charge, and even then, that's only in one location unless you plan on carrying the pad with you where ever you go. I believe the idea situation would be to have one at your nightstand, one at your Desk at work, or where ever you spend most of your day, maybe another in the kitchen or your TV room.. You get the point. By the time you have one in most of the places you'd ideally want, you've possibly spent half if not more of the value on your phone!
All this to say, the technology is cool, and i think it could be useful and satisfying to just set the phone down and know its charging. No need to hunt for that cord and plug it in, especially at night when you may not have the lights on (First world problems am i right?). All this thinking and i could still be talked into the Orb that was first showed off with the reveal of the Nexus 4. i just hope it wont be as expensive as the current charges will be. But i do question how worthy is that when it may not be compatible with other phones, say upgrades down the line, and all the money it cost to achieve a cordless utopia. Think of the chargers you have accumulated over the years you'll no longer need. The future is coming, just not sure if we are quite there yet. Are you sold on the value of wireless charging?
Update: The Nexus 4 wireless charger is now available from the play store. its 60 bucks. Who's Jumping for it?
picture via www.geek.com