Samsung bringing contact charging back to the Nexus?

We're getting a little too excited over this little feature, but it's one we're happy to see on another phone. See those three dots we're circled in Samsung's teaser of what's to come next week at CTIA? Those point to probably contact charging.

That's a feature that never quite took off like we'd hoped. We first saw it on the Nexus One with the desktop dock and car dock, and later on the myTouch 4G, and it's back on the HTC Rhyme. There's no fiddling with plugs when seating the phone in a dock. Just place and go. Sure, you have to plug the dock into a power source. But chances are your dock is pretty stationary.

Put it this way. Once you go plugless, you're going to have a hard time going back. Check out what we're talking about after the break.

More in the Nexus Prime forums

Youtube link for mobile viewing

Phil Nickinson
  • This device it looking more amazing by the minute, but I do have one question. I know the curved screen is supposed to feel better against your face while talking on the device, but how well will it slide into a pocket?
    Seems like it could be more difficult than a normal flat phone like the GS2 to pocket due to the screen shape. Any thoughts???
  • I never thought about that, but looking at this render, it doesn't look like it curves enough to really affect pocketability. It will, however, render the phone effectively thicker than it would be if it were traditionally shaped. I don't care for the curve, but I'll deal with it to have what's shaping up to be a gorgeous phone.
  • I think the blue line in the photo make it look more curved then it really is. Just have to wait and see if it is curved at all. Can't wait till the 14th.
  • Personally I don't think it makes too much of a difference. You might have to be mindful of which way the curve is when you put in your pocket. For most people there are no truly flat parts on your body and so a flat slab is not any more ergonomic than a curved phone.
  • my concern isnt for my pocket, its for my face.. phones get HOT, what better way to ensure an even bake on your cheek than by increasing the surface area of where your cheek touches the phone.... BRILLIANT!!! im probably going to buy one though.. as long as it becomes available in a reasonable amount of time
  • All phones need to go to this!
  • The nexus s has a curved screen. Its nothing to be concerned with
  • these curves are ugly.
  • ***It depends*** Contact charging is only neat and cool *IF* you can still charge ALSO via a standard micro USB port. Otherwise it is just a proprietary pain in the ass.
  • Looked like a camera key at first glance.
  • Nice!
  • I want to see a charging dock that automatically connects my phone to my Wifi and allows me to stream and transfer movies/music/pictures/files from phone to whatever computer or tv I want.
  • Um....heard of DLNA? Before I put CM7 on my DX, I had this capability. My current dock also is connected via HDMI to my TV (which also has DLNA). I think we already have this unless I am missing something.
  • you missed the part where i said wifi, and streaming. I want to walk into my house, drop my phone on its dock, grab my tablet and tell my sound system to play a song i just bought on the phone.
  • You might be able to set something like that up with Tasker. Have it turn on WiFi when you're within a certain radius of your house (I do this, it works great), and have it load up WiFi Explorer or something similar to create a Windows/Samba share when plugged in at home. I'm sure there are other ways too, but off the top, it's already doable with just one or two apps.
  • Captain Spectacular is correct. I'm quite sure you could automate everything you just asked for using Tasker whenever you drop your phone into the dock. There is a steep learning curve to initially figure Tasker out, but once you's an amazing little app.
  • NFC on the dock will do this for you...
  • Phil said that it's not a huge deal, but this would be one of the selling points to me. I'm annoyed every time I place my phone on it's dock, and have to be fiddling with it to get plugged in. I see the Prime or the next Nexus device, being my next Android device.
  • The title made it seem like a cool new features where you can charge your contacts cash money. Ambiguous as hell! Fix it !
  • You're joking, right?
  • I hope the device still has charging via the standard micro usb. I have spent a fortune on micro usb chargers for my car, home, and office assuming that was the new standard. To have to replace all those chargers again would be a pain and a definite downside to this phone.
  • I think you should be safe there. The Nexus One had microUSB charging in addition to the contact points. It would sort-of betray the spirit of the Nexus series to go with a proprietary connector. I still have doubts about these dots though, I find it hard to believe they would block the power button in the dock. I suppose maybe the dock itself could wake the phone but that seems to be a stretch to me. Personally I'd like them to be LEDs that lit up. Inductive charging would be super nice too, lol. Now I'm just dreaming.
  • My old OG Droid docked and undocked just as easily, although it was a landscape dock instead of portrait. The USB plug on the dock didn't have the barbs that usually hold a USB cable in the socket so it slipped in and out of the phone's socket without resistance. The dock itself was manufactured so that when you dropped the phone into it, everything lined up perfectly and plugged in without any extra effort or aligning.
  • I agree that the OG dock was pretty good for the "line-up-the-connector" style. The X dock, not as good. Too easy to bend things with 2 ports to line up. That said I still used both docks every day. Now that I have an HTC, I get annoyed that they don't offer real accessories for their phones other than a battery or inductive charging. No dock. No car cradle. Oh well, I will have the Nexus soon enough so it won't matter.
  • I really doubt those are charging contacts. For one thing, they look recessed from the surface of the phone. But most important, they wouldn't put the charging contacts on the same side as the power button; you'd have no access to it during charging. That said, I don't know what they are.
  • Holographic projector
  • "I really doubt those are charging contacts. For one thing, they look recessed from the surface of the phone." I don't think they look recessed and even if they were, the dock would just need small spring-loaded pins to accomodate. "But most important, they wouldn't put the charging contacts on the same side as the power button" How do you know where the power button is? Are you saying it's on the side and not the top? How do you come this conclusion? These are obviously charge/sync contacts similar to my MT4G. Edit: I looked at the full picture and see the power button on the same side as the contacts. It still doesn't matter as a dock could be created that didn't run the length of the phone and thus left the power button exposed, or the dock itself could have a power button.
  • It may look similar to the MT4G, but nothing that I'm aware of was ever released for it that used the contact points. Real bummer as it was one of the things I had hoped for with the phone.
  • The contact charging idea has one big limitation - AFAIK all solutions depend on a naked phone. I keep my Nexus One well wrapped in an Otter Box case. These cases, or even slimmer cosmetic cases, prevent most phones from fitting into charging docks.
  • That's mostly true for all charging docks, contact points or usb. Even ones that connect with microUSB still usually don't work with all but the slimmest form fitting cases (or the ones from motorola that have specific "cases" that the dock can work with) Pretty much if you're going to case your phone, don't expect any of the docks to work well if at all. Inductive charging might still work, but I'm certainly not expecting that from this phone.
  • Not sure I would call this contact-less, but I do love drop in docks that don't use the usb connector. I miss that from my BB days. The Moto docks are decent (at least Moto releases a line of accessories with their devices), but trying to line up the plug(s) is annoying. The OG Droid dock wasn't bad since it was one port but when you had 2 ports to align on the Droid X, it got difficult. And then you had to remove it at the correct angle or you had bent ports everywhere. On an unrelated note: Side power buttons suck (and if we are keeping score, bottom USB ports do too). I want this phone though.
  • Having used the palm touchstone on my previous phone that is probably the single thing I miss the most. If by chance this were compatable with those it would be awesome but even if not I'd go all in. I still have those darn touchstone things affixed to my work desk and my car dashboard.
  • one of the interesting things that i found with the curved screen with my nexus s was that when you set it face down the actual screen is protected more that it was with say... my evo. due to the fact that it lifted itself up... as for fitting in the pocket i didn't notice any difference. i believe that this phone will be the same
  • Can the charging points also do audio out? If not, I'll have to plug something into my phone when I dock it anyway.
  • Are you asking about the Next NEXUS that nobody has touched yet, or the Nexus One that Phil described in the video. The Nexus One connects to the doc via bluetooth to play music, etc.
    It disconnects automatically when you pick up the phone out of the doc.
  • The touchstone is great idea that came from Palm that worked through cases (at least the official case). I hope this touchstone works that way.
  • I found this pic out on the interwebs and posted it in the other Nexus Prime thread. I think there is something to this: It would go along with the ad's statement of "some things just go better together" and then Samsung unveiling two devices next Tuesday.
  • dead link
  • Nexus One is my first and so far only smartphone and it's kinda funny, it never occurred to me to consider that other phones might not have the same kind of dock functionality. I just figured that every dock has that, it seems almost pointless to have a dock in the first place if you can't just put your phone in it, but have to go fiddling with cables and such.
  • I like this feature a lot. I guess you take the good with the bad (the screen being too large).
  • Contact charging? Hasn't BlackBerrys had that for well forever? Sammy catching up to old technology and no one calls them out for this? Old tech that should be on every phone.
  • The Nexus One was an amazing phone. I wish they'd continued evolving that phone for all the carriers.
  • Not a selling point for me, actually the N1 was too unstable in the dock and for my taste (I still have my ock and N1 laying around somewhere). I'd rather just plug it in an let it sit on a flat surface.
  • Unstable? Maybe for a motor home or boat, but not unstable for a desk. Worse case is you bump it and it slithers down onto the desk, a whole half inch away.
  • Much bigger deal tome than I would care to admit but man oh man I am fed up with plugging in phones with the USB port and always having to worry if I lined it up correctly or if that is how much resistance it is supposed to give me. I'm ready for this thing now
  • Anyone with a cradle for their Blackberry in the past 5 years is accustomed to charging this way. My Nexus One cradle offers this as well as does my Bold 9900, Bold 9700, 8900, 9000...etc. I hope it is offered. I recall that the MyTouch 4g had these but no cradle seems to have been offered to take advantage.
  • I like the idea but I have charging cables at home, at work and in the car... Samsung suddenly becomes "Bizarro Oprah" -- "You buy a dock! And you buy a dock! And you buy a dock!"
  • or... google becomes bizzaro oprah:
    dock for you, dock for you, free docks for everybody!
  • This device is very ugly.