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The wireless charging pad is a nice additional feature to the Nokia wireless charging capable range. I personally owned the Nokia Lumia 920.
At £59.99 I was a little reluctant to purchase such an expensive charger, especially seen as I wasn't overwhelmed with the phone I was buying it for. But that said, it is a nice gimmic.
The pad allows for the phone to charge wirelessly and allows the phone to sit flat when doing so.
Set up for the charger is the same as any other plug in charger, so there is very little complicated set up that needs to be done.
Charge time is roughly the same as what you would expect from a plug in charger; although I never did time it properly. Generally, having the wireless charger encouraged me to charge my phone more, which is not a bad thing with the Nokia range as they have notoriously bad battery life.
The charging unit itself is big as far as chargers go, but not so big that it won't fit into a handbag or large pocket. Meaning that transporting it around won't be too difficult. The chargers come in a range of colours to match the colours of the 920 and newer models, so if you're that way inclined, you can have matching charger and phone.
For the models below the 920, you will need to purchase the additional charge case for your phone to allow it to charge wirelessly; having the charger alone will not work.
If you are thinking of purchasing this as a means to charge a non-Nokia phone I would look carefully into the compatibility; Nokia are not clear as to whether the charger is cross compatible, and rightly so.
===You got wires going in===
Last year I had been lucky enough to take part in a trial of the Nokia 820 and 920 phones via Ciao. The 820 was the first one I tried out and I was a little disappointed to learn that the wireless charging is an extra you have to purchase separately. After reading my first review where I whined lyrical about having to pay extra for one of their fancy new wireless chargers, Nokia and Ciao decided I should be sent one to try out with the 920. Usually I would have just included a bit about the charger in with the phone review, however, the charger in question is actually an extra. It's not standard and therefore is a completely separate and interesting product.
===What is this magical thing?===
You may be wondering what a wireless charger is. Normal phone chargers simply plug into the bottom of the phone and are standard throughout the smart phone universe. Nokia, while including the standard charging method have also come up with a brand new way of charging. Rather than going to the hassle of picking up the wire and plugging it into your phone, you can simply pop in down (face up) on the charging pad and walla! The screen will turn on and if have your sound on it will make a little noise to signify it's charging. You've saved yourself a couple of seconds faffing assuming your charger was already set up and turned on. Obviously has to be plugged in to work: you won't be charging your phone out of thin air or magic after all.
===How the magic works===
You may be wondering how this magic charging works. Basically, inside the shell of the phone Nokia have added a little pad that absorbs the electricity through the shell. The pad has little pins that connect directly into the battery channelling the electricity right where it needs to be. As the pads aren't removable I can't say exactly how much weight Nokia has added to the phone to roll out this interesting idea but I'd certainly be interested to know. It's possibly part of the reason why the phones are as heavy as they are. If the chargers came as standard, then it would be justifiable. With the 820, as the back shell comes off, there should be an option to have the phone without the wireless charging stuff inside the phone. I don't see it being too difficult to simply include a wireless charging capable shell with the charger. That would obviously be a bit more of an issue with the 920 as you don't have any access to play with the innards of the phone. There are, however, deals out there at the moment that allow you to get a free wireless charger with the phone so hopefully that should negate any whining about not being able to actually use the function.
===The eye-popping price===
This is the only sticking point I really have with the product. If you end up having to buy this separately, it's currently coming in at an extra £45 - £50. Considering how much you'll be paying for the phones that use it, that's a little excessive. I'd have expected it to be something that came with the phone. As I mentioned though, you can get deals through your phone provider to get a "free" wireless charger as part of your package. I wouldn't say it's worth it to buy it separately, but then I'm a total skin-flint
The box for this charger looks quite similar to the box for the phone: dark blue with images of the charging pads in lots of different colours. Within the box you will find a plug, a double ended wire and along with the instruction manual to tell you how to set it up, all stored under the main attraction, the charging pad in the colour that you have chosen. I was sent a black one just because it was what was available but they do come in almost all of the same colours that the phones do (Red, black, White, Yellow and Blue, for some reason missing out grey and the 820 only colour, purple) My box was a little messy inside but only because it had already been opened by either Nokia or Ciao to have a look. Judging from the phones I received, I'd imagine it was packed very neatly to start with. As with most factory packed stuff though, it's almost impossible to get it looking that neat again. Not too much of an issue though as you'll probably end up chucking it all away anyway! If you do, make sure you recycle: the box is all cardboard and paper.
The plug, to be honest, is huge. It's one of those big adapter style plugs that are about the size of two or three plugs put together. This doesn't cause an issue if your wall plugs are easy to access. You'd have an issue if all your plugs were quite close to the floor though, as the excess hangs down. I couldn't plug this into a few sockets in my house due to the size. I don't find it to be THAT much of an issue though as the socket that I'd use this with most is about halfway up the wall with space all round it.
This plug is white which I don't quite understand. There is a black wire which attaches to the coloured charging pad. Again, you can purchase the pads in the same colours that you can get the mobiles in. As with the charger that was in with the phone I don't quite get why Nokia haven't taken the opportunity to match the colour of the plug to the charging pad. I had wondered if the wire was simply black by default of if it was black to match the charge pad. The box ever so nicely informs me that the wire is colour matched. Which makes me wonder even more why they didn't think to colour match the plug. It makes... no sense. Oh well!
The wire is detachable from the plug having headphone like connecters at each end so that should save the wire being damaged. Both ends of the wire are the exact same so there's no need to worry about what end goes where either. Simply shove whatever end you come across first into an indiscriminate hole. Yes. Yes I said that. The wire is also really long (my trusty tape measure tells me it's 1 meter 76cm long) which makes it quite easy to find somewhere to put the charging pad, even if your plug is a little further away from where you want it to be.
To set the charging pad up, simply plug one end of the wire into the bottom of the mammoth adaptor and the other end into the hole on the side of the pad. Pop the pad down somewhere stable (a table top or something else flat) and you are ready to roll. The bottom doesn't really have a lot of grip on it when it's just the charger but when the phone is sitting on it, it doesn't seem to want to slide about as much.
The charging pad itself is almost the same size as the phone. It's a rectangle-with-the-corners-rounded shape and has a little raised circle (only a millimetre or two) in the middle of the pad that helps stabilise the phone when it's sitting on it. The "Nokia" branding is neatly in the centre of the circle. It doesn't matter what way round you pop your phone down as long as the middle of the phone is sitting on the middle of the pad. It's also got an indicator light on the end of the pad which I never noticed till it was pointed out to me in the phone's advertising bumf. It's tiny and white and barely noticeable unless the lights are out.
===Wireless Stress Bunny===
As excited as I was about the wireless charging, there were also a few worries I had about it and there are a few warnings with the pad. You should never put something between the pad and the phone when charging. I'm assuming that means thin things like paper and clothes probably due to the fact it may end up burning whatever is between it if the charge starts flowing between the Pad and your phone with something in the middle. This did make me worry slightly about electrocuting myself as I could easily see me picking the phone up leaning my hand on the pad if I wanted to text someone while charging. My fingers would be between the phone and the pad when laying it down too. Would I be getting a nasty shock at any point?
After playing around with it, sweaty hands and all (made sure my partner was to hand with a broomstick just in case of emergencies) I can report that I didn't get even the slightest buzz. I popped my fingers between the phone and the charger and (thankfully) nothing went boom. I used to get more of a buzz from a microwave in my old workplace that liked to use you to channel a few volts through if you had the cheek to touch it while leaning on the metal counter. It became a bit of a game in that place. I can feel you health and safety people cringing. I quite like it. Point being the pad is perfectly safe. I've picked it up, wrapped it in my hands and any other scenario you can think of for handling it (without being filthy) and I've had not one burn, buzz or shock. Yay!
Performance wise it takes roughly 2 and a half hours to fully charge the phone. I started charging it at 18:19 with 18% battery left. At roughly 20:45 the charge reached 99%. After about half an hour I checked again and it was still sitting at 99% charge so I'm a little baffled as to why. It made me wonder if the phone ever reached 100%. After checking with the standard charger that came it would seem that it always sits at 99% rather than 100%. A little annoying but maybe just a problem with the app. Who knows.
It would seem I'm a total worry wart when it comes to new stuff being plugged in. Since the phone had begun overheating when plugged in via the USB to my work computer, I got a little worried in case the same thing happened with the wireless charging pad. I gave it a good touch up when it came off of the pad and it wasn't warmer than I would have expected it to be. It certainly hadn't overheated like it did when it was plugged in with the USB.
One other worry I had was that if I was charging on the pad and I got a phone call, the phone would shake itself off the pad. To test it to see if that happened, I got Allan to give me a call while I stared lovingly at the phone sitting charging away. The phone stayed firmly in place even though it was vibrating away. Epic times Nokia! Essentially all my worries are needless. Awesome.
It does't take up a lot of space but I can imagine it may look a bit odd sitting out in a regular space by your bed. For me it takes up a bit more space than a normal charger since I usually leave my phone charger plugged in to the same socket ready for me to plug my phone in. When the normal charger isn't in use, the wire simply slides down the side of my bedside cabinet. I'd not really want the Pad to be clattering off the floor though, so that would need to stay sitting on my bed side cabinet. Still, it's not exactly an eyesore and the space it takes up is minimal. You could always not be lazy and just tidy it away when you are finished with it... but tidying just isn't convenient.
At night, I turn into some weird vampire. Light getting into the room is my biggest enemy. I don't cover the windows in cardboard (anymore) but I don't appreciate things with lights on. As such I'd be a little dubious about overnight charging on the pad as you have to have your phone face up. While the Nokia's don't have any notification lights, the screen turns on when you get a call and would therefore light my room up. As well as that there is an indicator light on the plate that lights up when you reach 100% battery (if you actually do, mine didn't on the plate). Obviously for safety you probably shouldn't cover the phone with anything or wrap it in a pair of pyjamas while it's sitting on the pad meaning you might prefer the normal charger for night time use. I need to have it at my bedside as the phone also acts as my alarm clock.
Obviously the charging pad limits your options for playing with your phone during charging. If it's sitting somewhere handy like on a desk next to you, you can easily browse the phone without issue. If, like me, you sometimes lie in bed and check your emails before you get up, you'll probably need to lift it off the pad, stopping it charging to do what you want to do. At least if it's plugged in you can still lift it and play around.
Lastly, if you have kids running about your phone may be easily knocked off the charging pad. Though in fairness, it would probably easily knocked off where ever you put it even if it's plugged in.
Personally I think it's a bit frivolous, but also quite a neat little idea. I'm not sure it will be an idea that all phones will eventually take up, but it could be if marketed right. It's something that you'll need to think about to see if you can work it into your daily life. I couldn't use this at night through fear of light-shows in my dark cave but you may not be as bothered by this as I was. The only real downside I can find at the moment is the price and even that can be gotten round by searching for deals with your phone providers. If I was buying this, the price would knock a star off as it's not good value for money when you consider that the phone can already be charged by any other smart-phone charger already out there. As you CAN get this for free, I'll be giving it five stars out of five. If you do get it with your phone package, it's definitely a good product that does the job and is a little different than what's out there.