Just by walking around the halls of MWC this year, I spotted that many of the devices on display were benefiting from the latest craze: wireless charging. But what devices are out there, and what phones are they compatible with?
Here we investigate just three devices, from Nokia, LG and Duracell, which could revolutionise the way we power our devices. But will wireless charging catch on? Let’s find out…
Although Nokia might not have been the first, the Finnish manufacturer was certainly the most notable company to bring us wireless charging to date.
The wireless charging technology has been brought to us in Nokia’s latest round of Lumia devices, notably the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. There are two wireless charing devices available for these models: the charging plate and the charging pillow, by Fatboy.
The charging plate is perhaps Nokia’s more familiar wireless charging device, and works simply by placing your phone onto the pad.
This works better for the Lumia 920 than the 820, however, as the 920 has in-built wireless charging capabilities that the 820 does not. In order to get around this, the Lumia 820 requires you to place a wireless charging shell on the phone in order to make it compatible with the charging plate. While this isn’t a massive set-back, it is a disappointment for Lumia 820 users, who might feel that after clipping the plastic shell onto their device and placing it on the charging pad, they might as well have just plugged the phone into its traditional charger!
The Wireless charging pillow works in a similar way to the charging pad, and allows you to simply place your device onto the colourful cushion.
Both Nokia devices are available in the same bright colours as the Lumia devices themselves; pick up yours to match your phone in either white, black, red, blue or yellow.
It wasn’t until I found myself browsing the LG stall at this year’s MWC that I discovered that the Korean manufacturer had released a wireless charging device.
The device is remarkably similar to that of Nokia’s charging pad, albeit in a slightly less colourful fashion. It is also currently the world’s smallest wireless charging device, and was previewed in Barcelona much to our fascination.
The device has a diameter of just 2.75 inches, and looks quite like a coaster that you’d have sitting on your coffee table. The pad will be available in just Pearl White and Piano Black, designed to subtly charge your LG devices.
The device is set to be released in Korea initially, and will hopefully reach the UK later this year. Because the wireless charger works with all of the latest LG smartphones, it means that you don’t have to clip on any additional cases or accessories in order to make your device compatible.
We all know that Duracell is the reigning champion when it comes to long-lasting batteries, and at MWC I had the opportunity of testing the company’s Powermat out.
The wireless charging mat, again, is similar to a charging pad, and in fact is large enough to fit two devices on, which can come in handy.
However, unlike the LG charging pad, Duracell’s Powermat requires you to place a wireless charging shell onto your device before you can top up its juice, which is a little annoying. And while the Powermat is large enough to charge up more than one device, this means that you have to purchase a new shell for each device that you want to charge wirelessly.
What is good about Duracell’s Powermat, though, is the fact that it is not tailored to any specific phone manufacturer, so whether you have an iPhone or a Samsung, you can use the same charging mat to power any of your devices. You can even purchase a spare battery unit which you can charge wirelessly and then plug into your phone if it runs out of battery and you are nowhere near mains electricity; quite a useful piece of equipment.
Although, as usual, Apple is playing its cards close to its chest with regards to its upcoming iPhone release, rumour has is that the American super-giant has filed a patent to build its very own wireless charging device to be compatible with its iPhones and iPads.
However, there are many rumours floating around Apple’s next iPhone, including a larger screen, and an NFC chip which turns the device into a cashpoint, so whether wireless charging will in fact be on Apple’s list of priorities is difficult to determine…
As you can see, Nokia isn’t the only company to have developed wireless charging devices over the last year or so, and the mere fact that other manufacturers have followed suit suggests that it is a trend that will catch on.
There are many pros and cons of each one of these devices above, but for me, the need to place a case or shell onto my phone seems like harder work than simply plugging my phone into a traditional mains charger. And after all, we mustn’t forget that the wireless charging devices themselves have to be connected to mains power in order to function anyway, so to me the concept of wireless charging is a little pointless.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel