Nexus 5 and Zens charger


Oh, wireless charging, how I missed you. Having used the HTC One and Moto X for the past 8 months or so, I'd been resigned to plugging in my phone every night. Not a huge deal, of course, but it does become a bit of a pain if you're like me and tend to top off at your desk while you're working.

The Nexus 5 can charge wirelessly, of course. That is, you don't actually have to plug the phone to do so. There are any number of wireless charges out there — and if you have one that's Qi-compatiable, you should be good to go. But I've very much been enjoying the Zens Wireless Charger of late, as provided by our pals at

This is a no-frills wireless charger. It fits a single device, phones or tablets. (I've also been using it with the Nexus 7.) It comes in white or black, and has a single LED that shows you when your phone is properly placed on the pad, and when it's charged. The matte finish does tend to pick up dust, but it also helps keep most phones in place — save for that pesky Nexus 4, which nobody seems able to contain. Four rubber feat on the bottom keep the charger in place nicely.

Probably what I most enjoy about this charger, though, is the slim profile. It doesn't take up anymore space than my phone would, really, and I can tuck the cable out of the way.


Reader comments

What I'm using: The Zens Wireless Charger with the Nexus 5


Hey Phil, how long does it take to charge the Nexus 5 from "red" to full?

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Battery Widget reborn tells me that last night I went from 8% to full charge in about 1 hour 45 minutes (plugged in at 12:15 and fully charged around 2:00)

EDIT: Sorry that was for plugged in directly. It took me around an hour to an hour and a half longer on the inductive plate (Nokia DT-900)

Nokia's charge slower than a lot of the other Qi pads. That's some really fast charging tho (sans pad).

Looks pretty nice, but I'm waiting for one that uses magnets. Something like a Touchstone would be perfect for my Nexus 5!

What is the benefit of magnets on a mat that's sitting flat?

I want a Qi charger as well and never had one before. Trying to figure out what to look for.

Wait for the Vu? Its available at vzw been there a couple months

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$70's kind of expensive, and it only charges the Nexus 7 in landscape... Rather get a $30-40 LG puck and fit it into a stand or just use it as is. I had totally forgotten about that LG cradle tho, gonna have to take a look at it, I've got the puck already (been using it w/the N7).

I got the Tylt charger last month and ended up having to send it back. When trying to charge my DNA, it kept turning on and off every few seconds randomly and prior to the phone being fully charged. Besides not ever fully charging the phone, it made it impossible to use the phone while on the charger because the charging/not charging popup window would be continually interfering with my work. You can't type or use the phone when the message is present. I also have the Nokia inductive charger and it works flawlessly, but the phone lies flat and isn't at a convenient angle for typing, etc.

I spoke with a rep at the manufacturer and they admitted there was a bug in the firmware, not a problem with my particular charger or phone. I didn't think to ask him if this problem occurred just with certain models of phones, but my guess is that it does. He said that they were working on new firmware and it should be finished by the first week of November. Unfortunately, there is no way for the end-user to upgrade the firmware. He suggested calling them this month to check on the status of the new firmware and ordering directly from them to make sure you get a unit with the latest firmware. Unfortunately, the charger is about $100 when ordering it from them as opposed to $60-$70 (or less) from other sources.

Nokia makes a stand charger similar to the Tylt, slightly more compact actually, I've seen it a few times at Microsoft's store. Problem is all the Nokias are <1A...

Time to break out my LG charging mat from the nexus 4 days. Kinda gimmicky but nice to have at your desk so you can continue to use your phone without a cord attached.

Sent from my Moto X!

Ordered one of these after Jerry reviewed it a couple months ago. Used it with my new Droid Maxx. Totally cooked the max and the charger heated up to be very hot as well. I was very careful about placement too, even without a case. Ended up sending it back to ShopAndroid. Using a couple other cheaper chargers without those issues.

I like a wireless charger that sits at an angle so that I can see the phone tilted up more. Anyone make something like that?

That thing's a tank Phil. Go sexy, big guy....

Get the Metrans MWT03 puck for $20 and clear up some desk space. ~$20 online...

Slightly off-topic, but any issues with the Nexus 4 slipping down on the official Nexus wireless charging orb do not apply to the Nexus 5 at all. I've been sitting at my desk all day and the N5 has been sitting on the orb for hours without slipping a millimeter.

The Nexus 4 with a screen protector on back NEVER falls off the orb. In fact, it's grip is tremendous...can't get any better.

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A little off topic, the shop Android link says it won't work then with my S4, is that right? Does Samsung use a different charging standard?

I have added a Qi charging coil to an S4 and it works fine with the Qi pad I have. There is no reason it wouldn't work. This is of course if you already added the Qi coil. It does not come standard with the S4. It is really easy to install.

I personally am using a touchstone most of the time. I really like the satisfaction of that magnetic thunk when you drop it on the touchstone "puck". That and I've got a bunch of cheap touchstones around.

I'm glad to see Matias is exerting his influence at Google. He added the same magnet scheme to the Nexus 5 - Genius I say. Funny though, the Qi consortium was pretty adamant about _not_ using magnets. I think it will make it much better.

Just wanted to be sure I read this correctly, are you saying the Touchstone puck from Palm will charge and hold the Nexus 5? If you are I'll be getting the phone as soon as I read your response!

Just looked it up, the auto-sensing moving coil is like straight up sci-fi, probably the easiest pad to use out there... Shame it doesn't trickle charge. Might get one to tinker with anyway, I see one listing on Ebay for $35 while most are nearly double that.

It's actually $35 + $18 shipping, bleh, think I'll pass and see how the new Google one turns up. If it didn't turn itself off after one charge cycle I'd probably still get it, but that limits it's usefulness to my tablet more so than the phone. Really interesting design tho, kinda overkill too.

Some of the better pads out there just have multiple overlapping coils so that placement is more flexible, that's probably the best approach.

I'm sure prices will come down once they become more commonplace.
BTW, I'm using a small LG-like puck style (2 3/4 X 1/4") I bought from an online Chinese retailer for about 21 bucks. Works like a charm on the N5 & N7!

I think it was. The last time they talked about this charger I bought one. So it must drive sales.

Thus far, I've been happy with it and my Droid Maxx. :-)

At $60 for a basic charging pad that's no better than all the $20 ones on Ebay, I'd say yes, it's an ad.

Looks like it doesn't use a standard USB connector? If I'm gonna pay $50 for a no-frills Qi pad I'd like it to at 'least use standard USB/AC chargers.

I have been using the Zens wireless charger since August (bought it from ShopAndroid) and last week I noticed bare wires where the cord enters the plug that goes into the outlet. I have taken excellent care of this and I don't know why it's having this problem. Aside from that, I have loved it. I used a little electrical tape and that seems to have solved the issue for now. I was planning on buying an extra but after that problem i'm not so sure if I will or not.

I bought the Zens pad for my Nexus 7 from the AC store for 40% off a few weeks ago, loving it.

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It's shame the website doesn't list what the output of the amps are too the device.

While wireless charging is convenient if amps are low then the slow charge gets real lame real quick.

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I never really understood the appeal of wireless charging. Just seems like a good way for me to accidentally move it so that it stops charging and I don't notice.

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Once you have broken micro USB port like I did on my GNex, you will understand. And it was less than 1yr old, with !e being very careful with it.

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That's a very YMMV kinda thing, my EVO LTE has fallen off the couch several times and ended up hanging from the USB cord, the port's no worse for wear after a year and a half. All three of my EVO had pretty solid ports really.

To me it's more about convenience, no fishing out the cable etc. It's totally a luxury/laziness kinda thing but once toy get used to it you'd miss it.

I was really digging the tylt by because of its 3 coils, but 70 dollars is pretty expensive. Are their any cheaper alternatives with multiple coils?

I was really digging the tylt by because of its 3 coils, but 70 dollars is pretty expensive. Are their any cheaper alternatives with multiple coils?

Ordered this from shop android the other day. Can't wait for it to get here.

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I'm using the same Google Nexus Orb one that came out when the Nexus 4 did. It is TEN TIMES better with this phone than it ever was with my Nexus 4. The Nexus 5 sits perfectly snug on it and I haven't had any issues with it at all. Its great, I don't need to go out and buy any new style ones. The back of the Nexus 5 compliments the Nexus Orb wireless charger much better than the Nexus 4 ever did. You don't even have to fight trying to find the "sweet" spot anymore, it just works.

Also I like to ad, the daydream clock stays constantly on this time even after the phone is fully charged. My Nexus 4 would end up with a shut off screen not long after it was fully charged.

I like mine even if it does make the phone get a little hotter than I'd like. I have it on my desk so my phone stays topped up most of the day.