How many times have you grabbed your phone or tablet while it was still plugged in and pulled everything else around up with it? There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you possibly broke your device just by simply picking it up. Well one answer to that is the Qi inductive power standard which is slowly gaining traction in the mainstream.
For a lot of us it was the Google and LG Nexus 4 that gave us our first taste of Qi charging. This was because it came natively to the device and required no extra accessories other than the charger itself. Even though Google has been notoriously slow in releasing the accessories to their Nexus devices, in this case the Qi charging Orb, there are enough compatible chargers out there that will work with it. Personally I purchased the LG WCP-700 Portable Power Mat from a Verizon store and it works great.
Samsung too has dipped their toes in wireless charging waters, most recently with the Galaxy S III. However in order to get Qi working with the S III a whole kit needed to be purchased along with the charger, including replacing the back battery cover. And even that needed to be purchased from a third party manufacturer.
There were some rumblings in the past few months that Samsung was looking to go even further with wireless charging by creating a technology along with Qualcomm that would allow for some “spatial freedom” while charging your device. This would mean that you would be able to get a charge at between one and two meters compared to the Qi standard’s four centimeters.
That idea seems a little too premature for the upcoming Galaxy S IV though, as reports started surfacing that the flagship will have only basic Qi Charging. Still, just like it’s predecessor, in order to enable Qi charging you still must buy a new back plate, hopefully this time from Samsung themselves. According to a recent FCC filing the idea that the S IV will support wireless charging is all but confirmed as there will be an official Samsung Qi charger.
There isn’t much info on the charger as of yet but a quick glance at the picture shows that it’s a basic plate suitable for a single phone. It actually looks a lot like the LG plate, but at this point aside from the Nexus orb they all look similar. All that is really known of this unit is that it has the same basic features as the rest of the Qi chargers available, including a copper coil, a control board, and a LED indicator.
Pricing and availability are currently unknown so stay tuned as more details emerge. Most likely at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.