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!