Nexus 7 on the Nexus Orb

The new 2013 Nexus 7 uses the same wireless charging standard as the Nexus 4 -- and the same chargers.

Google PlayIf you were one of the lucky ones who was already able to score a new 2013 Nexus 7, you might not know about a great feature -- Qi wireless charging. It doesn't charge your new tablet fast, and it still requires a cord be plugged into the wall, but it is a great feature for the nightstand or your desk. While the tablet is sitting there not being used to play games, surf the web, or browse your favorite social media network -- all things it does very, very well -- it can be collecting a few charged electrons to keep the battery bumped up. And it makes a great nightstand clock with the Dashclock extension and Daydream feature activated.

We've got a handful of Qi chargers laying around, so I've been fiddling with them all morning. I want to see which ones work the best out of the bunch, and fans of the Nexus brand will be pleased with the result -- the Nexus Charging orb is a perfect match for your new Nexus 7.

They all work. Nokia's charger seems to work fine on my tablet, but offers no compelling reason to choose it over any others. The big Energizer Qi charging mat works fine, too, but it's ugly as sin and life is too short for ugly accessories. The LG puck works really well, and the fact that the charging coil is mounted directly in the center of the back cover of the Nexus 7 makes it easy to place and it stays put. But that blinking light will drive you bonkers at night.

Enter the Nexus charging orb. You new tablet grips the funky rubber surface of the orb just fine and won't slip, and the angle it keeps your Nexus 7 resting at makes that big, beautiful screen easily viewable while it's charging. Combined with some of the great Daydreams available in Google Play, it's the perfect solution. And it's powered by holo. Ok, not really, but it does say NEXUS on the face of it.

If you've got a Qi charger laying around, by all means use that one with your Nexus 7. If you have to buy one, because come on, you have to, grab the Nexus Orb from Google Play. You can use the link above. There are a couple pics after the break, and plenty of room for all your comments.


There are 63 comments

brendilon says:

The Palm Pre still did it best.

jsabo says:

Word. I grabbed an adapter so I can use my TouchStones with my S4, but it's not quite the same.

mcgowan398 says:

Another reason why I can't wait for mine to come in :D

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Come join an awesome NEW Nexus 7 community on Google+!

Levent Cinar says:


jwyche007 says:

There's no pics after the break for app users Phil. There's never pics after the break for app users.

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crxssi says:

While you are correct that there are no additional photos, the article was by Jerry, not Phil.

darren9735 says:

I'm in chromecast me......

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Hand_O_Death says:


Pipusz says:

I'm planning to grab one for my Nexus 4. Unfortunately, no Play Store devices here in Hungary, so I guess I just hunt on Ebay.

never knew the 'get it on google play' widgets worked for devices too...

BB_Bmore says:

can't wait to get this not much longer!

ikulander says:

Bought the Nokia charger per androidcentrals recommendation for my n4,but it didn't work at all. Let's hope it works for the n7 when it finally arrives...

michael4man says:

My Nokia dt-910 doesn't seem to work with the new N7 so if that is the one you have I'm sorry to give you the bad news.

rxnelson says:

Yes, I didn't get that recommendation. I'd like to see it working. There is a whole thread on xda and it is pretty much the consensus it doesn't work on the N4. My buddy has one and it would charge for a few seconds then stop and once it made the N4 crazy and simulated touches. It was kind of freaky watching stuff happen with nobody touching it.

rxnelson says:

Yes, I didn't get that recommendation. I'd like to see it working. There is a whole thread on xda and it is pretty much the consensus it doesn't work on the N4. My buddy has one and it would charge for a few seconds then stop and once it made the N4 crazy and simulated touches. It was kind of freaky watching stuff happen with nobody touching it.

TechZOnline says:

I've mentioned it before, but I think the LG WCP-300 has more of a power output than most of the other wireless chargers out there, it tends to keep up quite well with the stock Nexus 4 wall socket charger in terms of charge time.

irie111 says:

I second that, it's like it was made for the N4, fits like a glove and charges FAST!!!... Plus it does work fine for the N7 although not the perfect size it just covers it which is fine and takes up less desk space... No doubt the WCP is high output, it charges at least as fast as the stock wall charger, I love mine... Thanks everyone for your comments, hope mine helps...


mhmmdy123 says:

I am moving to windows tablets for my job. Non of the Android tablet non Apple has flash player, even if you download one never works good as the windows tablets anyway... I love the Android OS but not on tablet. I`ve Asus TF700 Champaign gold and I love it. I was using it until they update and the flash gone, I did download it back but never works good.

Adam Smith1 says:

I must be dense.

You can get an original Nexus 7 charger from Asus (At Amazon) for $15.

How is this an advantage at 4x the price vs leaving an extra wired charger it plugged in at your nightstand?

crxssi says:

Because it is less work and less stress on the connector. I had inductive charging with my Palm Pre and it was great- just place the phone on the magnetic holder and walk away, no fishing out a stupid cable and trying to plug in a micro USB connector that is small and never the right way the first time.

It is not a HUGE thing, but once you get used to it, it is hard to go back to the "old way".

John-Smith says:

It's the future. Dick.

ailima says:

It was said before but I'll say it again - the MicroUSB standard was a step backward for connectors. It's thinner but it's almost always a weak point in the build quality of android devices. They don't stand up well to the constant plugging and unplugging of cords well. And heaven forbid if you accidentally yank on it the wrong way. Wireless chargers decrease the dependency on MicroUSB and lessen the wear and tear.

That being said I wish they had just made it compatible with the old POGO charger. I understand where wireless is going - with chargers embedded into all the tables at cafes and such but I don't want to go spending another $60 extra.

sevans says:

It's expensive but the Tylt VU is a great charger. Screen is easy to read in portrait or landscape.

bearda says:

Except that they're no longer get available for sale since they found the bug charging the S4. On kickstarter they're saying it's going to be a few months until they're ready again.

This was literally one of the first things I checked when I got home with my new N7. I do wonder, however, if they are going to make an awesome Qi stand for it down the road.

Hand_O_Death says:

I hope they come out with a good case/stand that will still allow the Qi charging to work.

sequoia462 says:

Can you charge it in Portrait orientation on the nexus charger?

rxnelson says:

Not really. The tablet is to tall. If you put the charger at the edge of a desk so the bottom of the tablet can hang off it would probably work. I'm hoping someone come up with some type of little stand for the charger that lifts it off the table an inch or so so you can use it either way.

NoNexus says:

For those of you waiting for a Nexus stand, you might get it, but this is a Nexus and not know for its accessories at all.

Great tablet though, glad it is a universal size so that some of the other 3rd party accessories will work with it.

Oskar Tegby says:

Great article!

valapsp says:

i got a question. Will the Nexus orb supply enough power? (I say because it's designed for N4) Dont we have to wait for the official charger for N7?

NoNexus says:

If I remember correctly qi is a standard meaning if it works for one it will work for all.

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Alan_Peery says:

AnandTech says Qi charging only gives 5 watts of charging power ( This is not enough for my planned usage, as I want the Qi charger sitting stylishly on the nightstand to insure that the Nexus 7 is 100% charged in the morning -- and 5 watts is not enough to guarantee this.

Wow. That is really bad. Only 5 watts??? I mean, seriously???

keilflex says:

Any reviews on the zen wireless charger? New version

rogeratm says:

My Nexus 7 from Amazon is due tomorrow. The Nexus Orb sounds like the perfect accessory!

Gblier says:

I can't get my orb to charge my N7. Does it have to be enabled? Setting maybe?

draconus says:

It's not just you. I'm having the same problem. I verified that my orb is charging my Nexus 4, and I couldn't find any settings on my Nexus 7 (2013) to enable wireless charging... so I'm not sure what the problem is. Let me know if you find a solution or hear about a mass problem.

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rxnelson says:

I think there may be issues with some. A guy on xda said he went through 3 of them before he found one that worked.

draconus says:

Please, would you link the thread?
Good thing I got my N7 from Best Buy... Two week return policy :)

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rxnelson says:

Looks like some are taking charger with them.

Gblier says:

I ended up returning my unit at Best Buy this morning for a new one and it now charges with my nexus orb. I've read on xda a bunch of other people are having this issue. Must have been some bad batches.

draconus says:

I'll probably go Exchange mine sometime this week then. Damn it, that's a waste of a few hours time getting logged into 50 apps.

droid33 says:

same issue here. I bought the LG WCP-300 wireless charging pad and it's showing a solid amber light, which indicates it's connected to it's power supply, but no matter where I place the Nexus 7 (2013) on it this tablet won't even begin to accept a charge. Back to Best Buy it goes.

droid33 says:

THIS FORUM ROCKS! Sure enough, I exchanged my Nexus 7 32GB at Best Buy this morning and put the new one straight on the wireless charger, than BANG! it starts charging wirelessly from the same LG wireless charging pad.

I'm betting there are a high number of these new tablets out there in circulation with non-functioning Qi receivers. Do they even test this feature at the factory before shipping? Seems like the answer is no.

The good news for Google/Asus is that most people will never use the wireless charging capabilities.

I don't have any other NFC devices so I'm not able to test if that feature is working or not. There is a tear down of this new tablet on and it says the NFC module is mounted on top of the Qi receiver.

leghk says:

Possible solution to QI Charging Woes:

So I just got my nexus yesterday 8/6, direct from Google and I ran into the same problem as everybody else. Qi charging didn't work. I tried putting my WCP 300 charger at the bottom of the unit, top of the unit, middle of unit. I tried leaving it there for 5 minutes. I tried with the nexus rotated 90 degrees. The WCP 300 never would recognize the nexus 7. My nexus 4, of course, worked great on the wireless charging. I tried power cycling, upgrading to the latest android, everything. I probably messed around with it for 30 minutes getting more annoyed.

I found this thread (and the one on xda) and I assumed I got a bum unit just like everybody else. My NFC did work though. I called google from work (but left the wireless charger at home :( ) and after convincing the guy that the new nexus 7 really DID support wireless charging, he went and talked to his manager. He walked me through a bunch of steps which I assumed were just busy work to make it seem like they were trying to help. He said to try it again when I got home and email him back if it didn't work. I had no expectations it would work.

But the thing friggin worked first try, I didn't even have to line it up. I even tried putting a case on the nexus and it'll charge right through it (probably 4mm thick padding+pleather).

I don't really understand why this would work unless the units that can't do Qi Charging properly for some reason aren't flashing the new bootloader which support Qi charging after upgrading to android 4.3, or perhaps I never tried rebooting after I applied the last android update? Not sure, but here are the steps that worked for me:

1. Plug the unit into USB power; wait for the unit to start charging
2. Power down the unit
3. Hold down Power + Down Arrow
4. Wait for the surgery android screen to appear
5. Use the arrow keys to select 'Restart bootloader'
6. Hit the power button to select
7. System will restart back to the surgery android screen
8. Select 'Start' and hit the power button to select
9. System boots, and qi charging seems to work

Ofcourse it's also possible the gunk on the pins that everybody says is making the Qi charging not work evaporated over the last 24 hours. But I figure it's worth a try for anybody else who finds this thread and is tempted to throw their nexus through a window.

TheJeremyP says:

Add one more to the list of people with an N7 that doesn't charge via wireless. You'd think there would be some quality control going on. This is starting to look like a common issue.

draconus says:

Did you return yours for a replacement?

TheJeremyP says:

I'm going to try today. Doesn't looks like any Best Buy in my area has them in stock anymore though. So I may just return it and buy another one in a month or 2.

chrismage says:

Want this so bad, but I'll have to wait until September - October when I have a little more money

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Schwack says:

Too funny. Yesterday, as I was playing with my new N7 tablet, I looked at my orb and thought "mmmm, will it charge the tablet??"

So I leaned it against it and voila... Charging!

gravage says:

The Nexus orb is a horrible piece of crop. The Nexus 4 slides off of it and stops charging. The same goes for the Nexus 7. You're better off with a Nokia charger.

tutor says:

The Verizon fatboy qi charger is also a Nokia, but it doesn't seem to work the qi of the Nexus 7 (2013), although it charges my wife's dna just fine :(

MarkSeven says:

Pics after the break? I only see one.

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Caspian#IM says:

Has anyone tried the new Nexus 7 with the Palm Pre wireless charger? Don't laugh, I have four of the things and I would love to put them to good use.

rxnelson says:

Pre isn't qi compatible from everything I've least that was the story with N4.

rx76onu says:

Is it time for the LTE version yet? I want it but want mobile data.

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skulls4me says:

Yep, I could use one of these....

Implying that the charging orb designed for the Nexus 4 is "perfect" for the Nexus 7 (2013) is just hopeless fanboyism.

It works, but it is an awkward fit. Just look at the pictures. In landscape mode it is just waiting to be knocked off. It can work in potrait mode, if you place it *exactly* correctly -- in which case it is even less unstable.

And the dual-position Energizer pictured shows the problem even more clearly. If you position everything correctly you could fit your Nexus 7 (2013) *and* a smartphone. But there is no way you could fit *two* Nexus 7's.

The clear message should be that if you already own a Qi wireless charger, you should go ahead and get the new Nexus 7 knowing that your existing charger will work. But if you have not bought a wireless charger yet, just wait a month or so for the chargers to appear that will fit 7" tablets correctly.

Great. Just need to be able to get either device in the UK. Come on Google, sort it out

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madcrabs says:

I managed to snag a new N7 pretty easily. It was the Chromecast that got away. Dont have a wireless charging unit though, but I might try to grab one this week to try this out.

Schwack says:

I never said it was a perfect fit but it does charge my N7. Yes, I have experienced the orb-slippage on my N4 and was pretty upset with myself for buying 2. But once I cleaned them up (a bit dusty), I leaned my N7 against it and it charged through the night.