25th February 2019

 Say goodbye to that  nightly bedside clutter of  cables linking  phones to power sockets. Wireless charging docks   are finally affordable .
From Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, February 25 2019: Ever tried  connecting a charger cable to your phone? If you handset  has the Type A USB  socket, you struggle to get the polarity right. Don't ask me why --  it's always wrong the first time!  Premium handset makers  like Apple and Samsung offer wireless charging pads  -- but they  are pricey extras. What about the rest of us?
Charging phones without connecting a wire,  calls for a technology called Qi,  pronounced "Chee" as in the  original Chinese word.  It creates a  wireless coupling between  a coil of wire in the phone and a similar coil in the charger.  Just place the phone on the Qi pad  or dock and  the  device  gets charged in a few minutes.  A large pad can charge multiple phones at the  same time. 
The only hitch:  Your phone should be QI-ready, ie the makers should have put in a Qi coil.  Almost all  premium phones these days are.  I have been trying out  a wireless charging pad called Magik, from Hong Kong-based Toreto that has just come to India.  It's  a very light disk about 10 cms in diameter, with a  floppy silicon rubber cover. You need to charge the charger first using the micro USB cable -- but once charged it works for a month  or two on its own.  pressing a soft switch also changes the colour of the charger  to suit your mood or  double as a night light. When you place a Qi-ready  phone on the pad, you can immediately see the charging symbol come up. It will stop charging once the phone is ready -- no overcharging.
What if you have a cheaper or older phone which is not QI-compatible.? No issues. You can buy a Qi wireless patch to make your phone Qi-ready for anything from Rs 300 to Rs 500  on Internet sites. This is a flat and flexible device that you plug into the  charging port of your phone, then bend and paste on the back of the phone. It is now Qi-ready.  Select carefully when buying the patch:  choose the right type of micro USB connector  Type C,  or Type A.
The Toreto  Magik wireless charger is reasonably priced at Rs  1999 --  so  even basic phone users  without Qi phones, can enjoy wireless charging at home for under Rs 2500, after buying a Qi patch.  Money well spent  for saying goodbye to tangled charging cables!