Recently, my Samsung Galaxy S4s charging port went on the fritz and would not charge the phone. I used an external battery charger for a few days and did some research on Qi wireless charging. This seemed a simpler approach than trying to fix the charging port myself and would give me the opportunity to see how well wireless charging worked especially as an add-on instead of a built in feature.
Qi Wireless Receiver
I purchased a Receiver module from Amazon that installs by removing the back cover, aligning two metal contact points with the phone and lays partially over the battery. It does make removing the SD card a bit more difficult; however, the receiver only has a small strip of adhesive to keep it in place. I was able to use the stock back cover with the phone and it snapped securely into place despite the additional thickness added from the receiver. This also helped to hold the receiver in place. It also did not interfere with the Caseology Flex case I use with my S4.
Zens Qi Charging Pad
I found a reasonable deal on the Zens brand charging pad from a website that offered a discounted deal on two which has since expired. This pad only plugs directly into the wall instead of via USB but it provided a reasonably fast charge on my phone. Some points of advice, with this pad I had to learn to place the device slightly off center to get it to charge effectively and to not build up too much heat, although heat may not be an issue with a different case or no case at all. Charging is about 1.5-2x slower than the USB charger I was using; however, I found myself changing my phone more often by simply sitting my phone down instead of finding a cable and plugging it in.
Ankar Qi Charging Pad
For an additional charger, I picked up the Ankar Ultra-Slim charging pad. This charger utilizes a USB port for power and is much slimmer and has an overall smaller footprint than the Zens charger. The problem arose when trying to place my phone on the charger, the placement to initiate the charge was much smaller and took some training on my part to learn the correct position. This charger seems to provide faster charging speed although I need to continue to do further tests.
Overall, I would recommend adding Qi wireless charging to any of your mobile devices if adapters are available. Despite the slower charging rates, I found myself less concerned with battery life since I was always charging my phone while it sat beside me at work or next to my bed at night. The heat build up does concern me although I have read reports that it most likely will only shorten the batteries’ life and not the phone. Hopefully if this is the case I will be looking to upgrade (hopefully to a device with Qi built in). I also need to choose a Qi charger for my car, I am hoping to find something that will slide into my dash holder behind the phone and charge while I am using it for navigation.
If you have an experience or advice, please drop a comment or email me.