Nexus 4 Wireless Charging: Qi Isn’t a Standard (Video)

The Nexus 4 feature built-in wireless charging that should work with all Qi compatible wireless chargers, but the Qi standard doesn’t mean things just work.

The Nexus 4 wireless charging Orb from Google looks beautiful, and is designed to work with the Nexus 4, but there;s no sign of a release date or price, so we’ve been looking for a wireless charger we can use today.

Our first choice was an LG wireless charger, but Verizon sold out of this model so we settled on the Lumia 920 wireless charger from Nokia. This charger uses the Qi standard, which should work on the Nexus 4 even though the LG makes the phone, not Nokia.

The idea behind Qi is simple: all devices with the Qi logo will work with all Qi chargers. – Wireless Power Consortium

This is a simple idea, and one we can get behind, but it’s far from the reality when it comes to the current generation of Qi chargers. As the video below shows, the Qi charger from Nokia won’t charge the Nexus 4.

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We tried the Nexus 4 on the Nokia Qi wireless charger in multiple positions, centering, off-centering, lightly setting in place, holding to the charger firmly, but no combination could force the two to work. The Nexus 4 alternates quickly between charging and not charging as long as it is on the Qi charger from Nokia. If left for more than 5 minutes the back of the phone gets very hot. The video shows the Nexus 4 bumper in place, but the charger does not work with it removed either.

Read: Nexus 4 Wireless Chargers

For a company that wants to, “do to wireless charging what Wi-Fi did to wireless networks,” it definitely has a lot of work left to do. The vision for a future where wireless charging is everywhere, relies on the ability to put any phone with the standard down on any Qi charger and charge, but until manufacturers are all on the same page wireless charging is anything but universal.