Samsung Galaxy S5 wireless charging pad

The question is ... should you risk the water resistance and put up with that unsightly bulge?

The Samsung Galaxy S5, sadly, does not come with wireless charging out of the box. The good news is that Samsung has a couple of options available — we've already taken a look at the official Galaxy S5 wireless charging back, as well as the Wireless S-View Flip Cover.

But you can't go hunting around for these weird little inserts, these "blue wireless receiver cards" that fit between the battery and the battery cover. It's basically just a Qi coil, controller board and contacts for phone — a surprisingly simple answer for just a few dollars.

But of course there's a catch.

Adding wireless charging while putting pressure on the stock cover might not be the best of ideas.

First off, wireless charging almost always means a little extra thickness. And instead of a little extra uniform thickness, you end up with an unsightly bulge in your phone. Plus you're adding a little extra pressure to the stock case — and that worries us a little bit, be it because of the extra force you're exerting on the phone's removable back, or for the unintended stress you'll be putting on the IP67 water resistance rating.

This is also an unofficial product, meaning that Samsung's not backing it. You break, you buy.

We asked Samsung to weigh in on this little guy —specifically in regards to keeping IP67 rating — and it declined, simply noting that it recommends the official Wireless Charging Cover.

So you have to ask yourself: Is a $10 charging solution really worth it? If you're not really worried about that IP67 rating, and you're not worried about that unsightly bulge, and you're not worried about using an unsupported accessory, then, well, maybe. As for us, we're not going to recommend risking your $700 phone (more or less) on a $10 wireless accessory. If you want the real thing, we suggest sticking with the official accessories.

 
There are 30 comments

My issue with the wireless charging back is that wouldn't it make all the current S5 cases no longer fit properly? It's the main thing keeping me from buying a wireless charging option.

Mac58 says:

which is why I am glad (at least if everything I have read stands true) that the G3 includes this. Having to buy extra cases on top of spending 50 bucks for a wireless charging back from Samsung is kind of pushing it. I know they want to make as much money as possible, but I mean, really?? For the wireless back, a charger and a additional case you are looking at close to a extra hundred bucks in total.

garment69 says:

You're assuming that there will be cases made that will fit the GS5 with the wireless back. I dont believe that will be the case. So it will be naked.

Thermalx says:

I'd find it hard to believe that Samsung won't have at least one case that will fit, but at a min the options will be very limited.

I think you can see that case if you search for the first story on here claiming to have a video of the S5 Prime. That was simply a regular GS5 with a Qi replacement cover.

hoosiercub says:

If you put a case that's not ultra thin *adds no actual protection at that point* then your wireless charging won't work anyway.

Hadn't thought about that. Good point.

kuri22 says:

Is that really true for the S5? From my own experience and many others with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, good TPU cases such as Diztronic all play nice with wireless charging. I tried with the official charger, a Tylt Vu, and a cheap one from eBay. Even cases like the Otterbox Defender works fine with phones like the S3/S4 and L920s per posts on xda.

hoosiercub says:

I mean.. as with any mod where you're buying funky parts from China on Amazon.. YMMV.

I don't get what the huge deal with wireless charging is anyway, it's so damn slow, and if you're using the device it won't charge, merely hold or very gradually drop. So the only cool application I could see for Qi charging, doesn't really work that well, like if I were to use it on a phone/tablet in my vehicle as a GPS and bluetooth streaming device, Qi charging would not be able to keep up. Heck.. a 2.1A car charger can barely keep up when I used my Note II to drive to Florida from Arkansas last year streaming music via bluetooth on Spotify and GPS navigation.

deegan87 says:

You make a valid point. It's annoying that you can't use the device while it's charging. However, my Nexus 5 charges from near-empty in about two to two-and-a-half hours with my wireless charger running on a 2.1 amp charging brick.

For me, the wireless charger is a way to reduce wear-and-tear on the phone. My last two smartphones could easily lose the charging cable is I wasn't paying attention. I may be outside the norm on the wear-and-tear thing though; I even bought one of the smart cover style cases to save stress on the power button.

Xenx says:

I have my old Samsung car charger and an M8. I can stream music with the screen on and continue charging battery. I'm sure barring gps nav, wireless charging could probably keep up or at least minor battery loss.Qi charging in the car is more for keeping the phone topped off or reducing loss of battery, which not having to fiddle with plugging in cables. With my infrequent use I don't find it overly inconvenient to plug in the charger, but I could see the benefit for others.

kigmatzomat says:

Not true. I had a palm Pre with wireless charging and pretty thick snap-on cover and the charging all worked fine. Metal cases and maybe something like an Otterbox may be an issue but that's it.

deparson says:

We have a thick silicon 'kid proof' case on a Nexus 7 and still charges just fine on a generic wireless charger dock.

3rdpig says:

Too bad that Sammy didn't make it stock, I'm not giving up my Otterbox for wireless charging and besides, I already used my 50% off coupon for the spare battery kit.

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acelucero75 says:

Exactly. I got my S3 in an armor case

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pptarr says:

The problem is that the official Wireless Charging Cover is still not available. The S5 has been out for nearly 2 months, Samsung should make sure their accessories come out at the same time, or closer to, the phone's release dates.

guygg says:

I know. I've had the charger pad and car mount waiting around for a couple weeks. Yet still, the charging cover is yet to be available. They are taking their sweet time with them. :(

ChrisFricke says:

I'd read somewhere that these add on charging accessories potentially cause a lot of excess heat as well. Did you guys experience this during your testing?

kigmatzomat says:

There is some additional heat from any wireless charger and the recharge rate can be a bit slower. My Palm Pre and touchpad got warmer from wireless charging than using a cable. But it wasn't hot, just warm. Probably not a big deal compared to keeping the phone in your pocket for the same amount of time.

Now that was a well-designed wireless charger. A crappy one could always turn into a heater, pushing ~10w of heat right into your battery. I wouldn't mess with these knockoffs.

rcgaryk says:

I have one of these for my note 3 & I will say it sucks. I hate to say it but I may end up buying the Samsung product

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dsignori says:

There doesn't have to be be a bulge at all. You just need to find a receiver that is thinner like this one for the GS5 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3J2KNI/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?i... . No bulge at all :-). they exist for the GS4 as well and work perfectly with all existing backs and cases - no bulge ... :-)

gravage says:

If Samsung would actually make their wireless charging back available, we wouldn't have to look for third party alternatives. Why does it take 3 months after a phone is released to make accessories available? And they do it every time.

jaltman says:

Hear Hear! I'd buy the official back, except, of course, I can't buy the official back. So, while continuing to wait for "coming soon" to come soon, the $10 solution is worth it. I figure buying the $10 solution is like the old days when we could smoke in restaurants. No better way to make the food come than to light up. No better way to make the official one come out than to buy the $10 alternative.

water damage? sure...

what's worse is that these no-name charging pads can become fire hazard...

how would you feel if you let you kids play with the phone and the battery starts to burn or explode?

jsabo says:

Since I jumped from Palm, I had a bunch of Touchstones still lying around, and I used something similar for a few months. It eventually put a permanent dent in my back cover, although it otherwise was ok shape-wise.

I eventually jumped to the official rig, but mostly because I had a few nights where it slipped off the Touchstone and didn't charge.

Finding a case that would fit the expanded back wasn't a big deal, a handful of searches showed cases that were stretchy enough to make up the distance.

GWaLL13 says:

Best bang for your buck, just get the spare battery kit, charge and switch. You never have to open the USB flap on the phone and you don't have to worry about your phone not fitting in a case.

-via Android Central App on GWaLL's S5

DataHawg says:

I have a charging coil in my Note 3 and it works great. The back fits well with a Cellto flip case on it. It doesn't get hot while charging either. So what if it charges slow. I keep my charging pad next to my bed so it charges all night. If I need a quick charge at the end of the day I keep the OEM USB 3.0 by my couch for a quick boost

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Well I went with the 10 dollar option about 5 weeks ago. It has been awesome. First off, I don't know about any bulging bc unless you have a stock S5 next to mine, you would never know that I had the QI adapter. This also allows me to use Amy case for the S5, and the range on the Qi means I don't have to take the case off to charge the phone. I keep seeing all these negative comments by people who have clearly yet to even try the adapter. As for Samsung, they can go ahead abd recommend whatever they want but I can't get their "official back plate" anywhere abd Amazon said I'll be waiting at least another couple weeks. Ordered the adapter instead through Amazon, paid a 3rd the price, abd has out on less than a week. Oh and the original cover connect into place just fine even with the pad. It still deals in every spot it did without the adapter.

speculatrix says:

I fitted a very thin Qi coil card to my note 2 and it made the back bulge very very slightly. It was most useful on my desk at work so I could use the phone regularly yet top it up without wearing out the USB socket.

I have an s3 right now, but will be upgrading to the s5. I was warned of this extra "bulge" you speak with my s3, but really...there isn't one. I have lugulake charging pad, I don't know the brand of the little thing you stick on the battery...but it works great! there is absolutely no difference that I can see on the back of the phone, and it even charges when I have my sparkly case attached. I would be very surprised if it would be any different for the s5.