Wireless charging is becoming something I look for in a new device, mainly down to ease of use. I’m lazy basically, just plonking down a phone onto a charging pad is easy, plugging a cable in is comparatively complicated and time consuming (if you add up all of those seconds plugging in and unplugging).
Samsung each year when they mention their latest flagship mention wireless charging at some point. They did with the S3, the Note II, the S4 and the Note 3. They all sort of support Qi wireless charging, but Samsung never really managed to get the relevant accessories onto the market. The Galaxy Note 3 has marked a turning point, Samsung have actually made some of the wireless charging accessories available for purchase, starting with the Qi compatible backplate, the flip cases still aren’t available. This will suffice for now.
So onto the review, it’s basically just a replacement backplate for the Note 3, but as with most accessories people have questions, questions that need answering, especially if it saves them a few quid. So first things first, my good and bad points.
- Enables wireless charging
- Qi compatible
- Colour matched to device
- Larger profile means no cases will fit
- Slower than USB 3.0 charging
- A little costly at £38.99
I wanted to try a few things out with this backplate, I mainly wanted to see how quickly I could charge the Note 3, especially as the Note 3 normally charges by USB 3.0 meaning that’s it’s normally fully charged in about two hours. I also wanted to compare the official backplate charging solution to a third party internal wireless charging receiver card as well, again to see if there was a difference in charge times.
Before I dive into the nitty gritty about charge times let’s have a look at the replacement backplate. When I took it out of the box I thought it was exactly the same, side by side with the original backplate it’s slightly thicker, possibly about 2mm thicker. One thing initially hit me.
Oh no, my lovely collection of cases aren’t going to fit.
My fears were confirmed when I fitted the panel as it is indeed a bit thicker, so none of my cases fitted, there aren’t any third party cases that’ll fit either.
Looks wise though the backplate looks the same as the original, with the same fake stitching, the same odd fake leather look and instead of a embedded Samsung logo you just get a printed one instead.
In use the case is pretty easy to set up, a lot of the third party internal cards have sticky patches on them and you have to locate the charging pins. This just basically fits onto the back of the Note 3 easily, no sticky patches anywhere to be seen. Once fitted it’s just simply a matter of dumping the phone down on the Qi charging pad and the rest is pretty simple.
Compared to the USB 3.0 charger
One of the good things about the rather large USB 3.0 cable is that it takes just over two hours to fully charge the standard battery, but you are connected at all times. Using the S Charger cover it takes approximately 5 hours.
Compared to an internal receiver card
The internal receiver card that came from China is rated at 600mA so you’d expect it to be slower than USB 3.0 but will it be slower than the official Samsung backplate which is rated at 650mA. Well it also took about 5 hours to fully charge. So it’s pretty much on a par with the Samsung replacement backplate.
Overall the wireless charging case is pretty useful, it enables wireless charging which in itself is a good thing. Although the slower speed of charging wirelessly could be seen as a negative, it’s just par for the course with wireless charging. However the inability to fit the Note 3 into any protective case with the replacement backplate fitted really does limit the covers usability, unless you keep the cover for use indoors in the safe and replace it with the normal thinner one when you leave the house.
But it could all just be me over reacting to my naked Note 3, sat there without its Otterbox case. Some people don’t even use a case, so no doubt some people won’t mind the extra bulk. It’s your choice really, do you want to charge your Note 3 wirelessly? You have a choice then, do you want to use a case or not? Answer yes you’ll need an internal card and answer no you’ll need the S Charger cover.