Nokia Wireless Charging Stand does its job, but for a price [Review]

There shouldn’t be terribly much to write for a device with one job: to charge your Qi-standard devices wirelessly. However, since you’re looking at a potential $75 purchase, it better be good. In fact, nearly every new Qi charger has wound up in the just-under-$100 price range, like the standard wireless charging pad and the Fatboy pillow, which is apparently just a charging pad with a padded cloth surround. This stand even looks like the same plastic chassis, but melded at an angle onto a base.

That’s not to say that it (and its similar companions) doesn’t look nice. The stand is also available in white, though I have only been able to find this black version for sale, online or in a store. The back and outside ring of the base are a gloss finish, and the inner loop and front face of the stand are a pleasing-to-touch matte finish. The front has a white LED light indicating when your device is being charged. There is also a Nokia-specific NFC tag on the front of the stand.

The charger works quickly. In my experience, it has usually taken less than three hours for my Lumia 920 to recharge from 10-20% battery life to full again. It is able to power through even bulky, padded cases.

The NFC tag seems to apply to Nokia devices only, so if you’re charging an Android device or an HTC with Qi charging enabled, you might be out of luck. This is because the tag unlocks a special menu under Accessories in the phone’s settings; with it, you can select any app from your phone to be opened whenever you use the NFC tag. I have mine set to open Amazing Weather HD, for example.

The angle at which the device rests is sometimes useful and sometimes not. While it is pleasant to see the device and whatever is being displayed at the near-vertical position, it can be bothersome trying to operate the phone. You have to move your hand to the side and rotate it 90 degrees before you can navigate the Start screen fluidly, for example. The phone also won’t charge when rested horizontally on the stand, so you can’t get away with watching a full-screen movie while you charge.

Conclusion: Buy, Try, or Cry?

Cry. “What? Why?” Because this is expensive. One should not have to pay $70-plus-tax for a charger. Duracell currently offers PowerMat wireless chargers for less than $40, though you have to buy an adapter case for your device. I hope this is simply a burden of the early-adopter, and that prices will go down in the next few months. Plus, other manufacturers should step in soon; Tylt is already taking preorders for its similarly-priced Vu wireless charger, and it looks very competitive, offering extra color choices and the ability to charge a horizontally-oriented phone, among other extras.

If you can’t wait another two months for that, though, and just want a Qi charger by tomorrow, I would choose this one over the others, as it seems more functional and versatile than the flat-face-up charging the standard Nokia and Fatboy pillow chargers offer.

[via Nokia]

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