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The Nexus Wireless Charger (2013)

Google gives us a $49 Qi-compatible charger that you'll actually want to use.

Once you switch to wireless charging full-time, you might well wonder how you ever lived without it. Sure, plugging a microUSB cable into your phone is easy. But we are lazy creatures. (And we can all agree that mono-directional USB plugs are asinine, right?)

Enter wireless charging. It's had its hiccups, to be sure. Multiple standards (hi, PowerMat), and even incompatibilities within single standards such at Qi. Things are finally settling down, though. And today we have the new Nexus Wireless Charger (opens in new tab), available from the Google Play Store for $49.99. 

That's not cheap, but you can get a good bit of mileage out of this guy.

Wireless chargers aren't cheap. But unlike last year's abomination, you'll get your money's worth out of this one.

So first things first: Pop the charger out of the box — and someone certainly paid attention to detail with the packaging — and you'll be surprised at how small this thing is, about 2.5 inches square, just a little smaller than the WCP-300 wireless charger that LG put out last year. The base slopes in like an inverted pyramid, so the bottom's a tad smaller than the top. But where it really gets fun is the tacky ring that affixes it firmly to a desk or table or, yes, a vertical surface. It's that sticky. (Nobody actually recommends charging your phone vertically, folks.) The tacky part picks up dust and dirt pretty easily, as you'd expect, so you need to keep it clean so it does its job.

The charger itself gets power via a microUSB port. To that end, Google's included a 9W power adapter. You plug it into the wall and attach the included microUSB cable to the charger, then you're on your way. Put a Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 — or whatever other Qi-compatible device you have laying around — on the charger. Then, charge! (Output is rated at 1.8A.) 

We mentioned that the base of the charger is pretty darn tacky, but that's not the only surprise up its sleeve. It's also magnetic around the outer edges of the face. That keeps the Nexus 5 firmly in place, unlike its predecessor. (Which, by the way, can still go sliding off this thing, even though it also makes use of a weaker magnetic pull.)

Nexus Wireless Charger

Just how good is that magnetic hold? Again, we don't recommend you try to charge your phone vertically — but you can if you really want to.

And that's it, basically. The charger itself is stylish enough to keep out when you're not actually charging something, though the glossy face (with the Nexus logo subtly peeking through) does attract fingerprints like nobody's business. And as an added bonus, it works through the official Nexus cases as well. And it's way better than the much-maligned Nexus 4 Wireless Charger. You can get Qi-compatible chargers for cheaper, we suppose. But this one says Nexus. So you know it's good.

  • Awesome, I have been looking at wireless chargers and saw this the other day. But after reading this... Its the one! Thanks Posted via Android Central App
  • Don't buy anything from Amazon unless you use ZON DEALS GO (just google it). They have a yellow widget on their website that finds all of the different merchants who sell the same products and spits out the discounts that you're looking for. This tool really puts you at an advantage for saving money on Amazon. This charger was about 40% off from one vendor and it's been awesome since I bought it. We use that widget before buying anything on Amazon now. Just amazing.
  • Wish I had waited a week longer before buying the Nokia chargers I bought. Oh well, they were only around $20. Ugh, I waste so much money when new phones are released...
  • I have several Nokia chargers and they are great. I may get one of these for the car. Posted via Android Central App
  • Picked up 3 Nokia chargers off AT&T website for $55 plus tax. Free shipping too. Now I have one for home, work, and even the car if I get around to modding it.
  • I hope you're right, I have some of the Nokias on the way from AT&Ts deal for my Nexus 5. 3 of them for the price of one of these, we'll see if it works out.
  • Phil's "WEEEEEEEEEEEEE" was the best part
  • Just got a G2 and Note 3 on Verizon with wireless charging (added it for the Note 3) thinking I would be using it all the time at work mostly where I was constantly plugging in my old phone at my desk and unplugging every time I leave. With the G2 & Note 3, who the crap cares because my battery lasts all day with heavy usage. The only time I use a charger is right at bed and I hardly mind plugging it in before I'm out for the wireless is not as fast. Wireless charging is a dream for those with poor battery life with a ton of standby time with your phone just sitting on a desk/dresser doing nothing. If you are talking on the phone, surfing the net, or playing games, a wireless charger won't help and you need the traditional cable.
  • For anyone who has this charger, how long does it generally take to fully charge? Is it comparable to the time it takes on the USB charger, or is it a lot slower?
  • it charges very fast. my estimate is slightly less fast than direct cable.
  • It does charge fast, but not as fast as a direct cable connection (depending on charger rating) - this is correct. the following comment frwom impulse is incorrect and I replied in more detail.
  • Its about 10-15% faster than using a cable.
  • Where are you getting your information? "The Output is rated at 1.8A". The charger that comes with the nexus is 2.0A, and the Nexus 5 can handle 2.5A (and possibly higher) rated chargers. I often use a HP Touchpad charger (rated at 10A) to charge my Nexus 5. Since the Nexus 5 has protection built in it will not damage your phone to use higher rated chargers - the phone will only draw what it can handle. From simple common sense and math you can see the wireless charger is not nearly as powerful as a direct plug USB charger. The wireless charger itself draws about 1,8 to 2.0 amps but much of this is lost to heat conversion and power lost to distance (very small distances are exponential power loses with wireless charging). If you have a case on your phone your charging speed can drop by as much 50%, IF the charger can get through the case in the first place. That said; a bare Nexus 5 will charge much slower on the wireless charger than it would with the charger included wit.h the phone. If you are plugging your phone into your computer, than yes, it's faster than that as computers usually put out about 500mAh (0.5A) through USB ports.
    If that's not enough for you I have one of these, and while its very cool and I highly recommend it, I can tell you from personal experience it's slower than a USB charger plugged into the wall (as long as that charger is over 1.5A). It's