Handset accessories are often a sticking point. They nearly always take an eternity to launch if they put in an appearance at all.
The Nexus 4 is no different. Not only did LG / Google take forever to get supplies of the handset itself up to an acceptable level but the accessories were the same. The bumper was always out of stock in the Google Play store, the earphones and charger have only just made an appearance and as for the promised wireless charging orb, well that is rarer than hens teeth.
This means that if you want to make full use of the functionality of your handset then you often need to rely on third party manufacturers and devices.
Bring on the U-way Wireless Charging Pad.
Kindly supplied to us by Mobile Fun, the charging pad one of few devices currently available that makes wireless charging a reality.
According to the blurb, the charging pad is “stylish design, ultra thin and portable when using at home, office, public area etc.”
Weighing in at 85g and 180mm x 110mm x 20mm in size, the charging pad actually doesn’t look out of place on any surface that you choose to home it on, and with its rounded edges and large bulbous led at the top end, it isn’t visually unappealing.
Supplied with a 150cm long power adaptor (yes it still has to have a wire somewhere!) the unit is rather simple to use. Just plug it in, put your handset in the right place and hey presto by some apparent black magic and scary stuff charging happens.
When your phone is being charged the LED at the top of the charging pad flashes blue. When charging is finished is glows a constant blue. Errors cause a red flashing although thankfully I haven’t encountered one yet. I feel when (if) I do I may be a little terrified that flashes of lightning will erupt and follow me around the room!
So, it looks good, is easy to use and fits in anywhere you put it. What’s the downside?
Well there are a couple unfortunately.
Firstly, i’m not a policeman, fireman or a paramedic. I don’t drive an emergency services vehicle and I don’t really have a penchant for blue.
This becomes an issue at night when charging your handset for when power is being magically conducted from the charger to your handset the blue LED flashed so brightly it feels like there is a police car in the room. Indeed, when I first started using it the neighbours gathered around to watch the police raid that they thought was happening. There is no way of turning the LED off or even dimming it.
Fortunately I work nights and sleep during that day so it’s not normally an issue for me however for those that live in the real world and sleep at night this could become somewhat annoying.
Secondly, the handset has to be placed pretty precisely in order to power the black magic and make charging happen. A few millimetres to the left or right and its a big fat no and you will come back to a handset with less battery power than when you left it. Fortunately the absence of a great blue flashing light will alert you to the fact that your handset isn’t being charged.
The charger has one other feature and a couple of other points worth mentioning. Firstly is an auto switch off function. This prevents over charging and over heating. This is obviously a good thing in stopping the aforementioned lightning bolts from appearing. Secondly, the plate comes in both black and white and lastly, you can buy an accessory that plugs into the USB port of certain handsets that converts them to have the wireless charging ability…..I am yet to find where to purchase said accessories though!A couple of other points,
The Wireless charging pad is currently available from Mobile Fun for the price of £39.99. This leaves only one question which I cannot answer for you.
Is wireless charging worth 40 of you hard earned pounds in order to not have to plug your handset into a USB cable?
For me, the simplicity is good, but forty quid good, I’m not too sure!