Charge On and Qi-Lax November 9, 2017

qi_nightstand 2

Wireless charging is one of the hottest mobile technology trends in 2017, so it probably bears some discussion as to what that means to you.

If it isn’t clear already, wireless charging (or inductive charging) is a high-tech feature that allows you to charge your phone without plugging in a cable. Or, for the inner nerd, it’s when an alternating current in the charger is sent through a coil to create a magnetic field, and a second coil in the receiver (phone) converts the magnetic field into electricity, which charges the battery.

Although a few different wireless charging technologies have been jockeying for top position, it appears the Qi (pronounced “chee”– from the Chinese word qi, meaning “energy flow”) format is gaining the most favor, especially since Apple opted to make their iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, all Qi-friendly (after all, when Apple speaks…). This is great news, actually, because it means customers can purchase a third-party charger for their iPhone instead of a costly proprietary one, should they so choose.

If you have a Qi-ready phone, and then get a wireless charger, all it takes is placing the phone on top of the charger and—ala kazaam!—it’s charging– no strings attached. The other cool thing about wireless is, most Qi-enabled phones (phones that don’t come with Qi, but are built so it can be added) can be equipped with a cost-friendly third-party receiver.

When shopping for your next smartphone, it would be wise to look into whether it’s Qi-ready or at least Qi-enabled. Currently, there are only three tablets that have built-in QI charging ability: the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Note 8 (although you can add an external receiver to your tablet if it is not one of these).

According to LXORY, 53 smartphones to-date are now Qi-ready, including the iPhone X. This number will probably change faster than your socks. There are approximately 90 Qi-enabled phones out there as well.

So, bottom line. What do you get out of a wireless charger? Here are some benefits to consider:

  • It’s convenient. No need to plug/unplug, or disconnect to answer a call.
  • Tidier. No dangling wires.
  • No risk of electric shock due to exposed charging cable ends.
  • No mechanical moving parts = less chance of breaking like charging cables are apt to do.
  • Inexpensive. Most charging pads are less than $35.

 

If you do finally get  locked and loaded with a Qi setup, then you should immediately download the Aircharge locator app, a wireless charging guide with over 4,500 Qi hotspots worldwide (Mickey D’s, yo; Starbucks), including cafes, restaurants, shops, airports, train stations, hotels and gyms. This app is available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

Using a wireless charger is a great option, especially for those who are looking to shed the number of entangled wires in their lives. So, before getting your charger, do these two things first:

  • Check if your phone or tablet is Qi charger-ready.
  • If not, get the receiver that makes it work.

 

HyperGear currently offers two excellent new chargers for Qi-ready devices, both very reasonably priced:

ufo

  • UFO – Reminiscent of ELO’s “Out of the Blue, the UFO’s cool, compact flying saucer design houses a cutting-edge wireless charging pad compatible with any Qi-enabled devices. The saucer’s LED charging indicator glows a calming, “nightstand-friendly” blue so it can sit by your bedside without casting an annoying light. MSRP $29.99.

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  • Qi Wireless Charging Stand – Unlike wireless pads that only house one coil, HyperGear’s offers three built-in coils which provide a much wider charging area, so you don’t have to sweat placing your phone in precisely one spot every time. Designed for the device to be used while it’s docked, the also-bedside-friendly stand can sit in either portrait or landscape mode, at exactly a 45-degree angle for ideal, hands-free mailbox purging and Breaking Bad binge-watching. MSRP $34.99

 

It’s a wireless world out there. Isn’t it time to get in touch with your Qi?


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