Qi wireless charging lets a smartphone owner place their phone onto a specially designed charging pad to start charging the phone wirelessly. There’s no need to plug it in thanks to “inductive charging.” Qi-enabled chargers create an electromagnetic field around the phone to send electricity to the phone’s Qi wireless receiver, and that converts that into the kind of power the phone needs to charge the battery. The standard keeps this field pretty small, so the charger must come in contact with the phone.
It’s so convenient to get home at night, take the HTC One M8 out of my pocket, and place it on top of the RavPower Qi-enabled Wireless charging pad ($35 on sale direct). Then, the next morning, I pick up my phone and it’s charged to 100%. I can jump in the car and place the phone on a special Qi-enabled dock which charges the phone back up if I’m not using it, or it keeps it at the current level if I keep the screen turned on for navigation. At work, I place the phone on a stand with Qi wireless charging built-in and this keeps my phone going all day, despite the fact that I watch a ton of video with my phone and use it all the time for checking email, surfing the web and playing some games in my downtime.
Some phones come with Qi wireless charging built-in. You can find a comprehensive list of these phones at Qi Inside. The phones listed either come with the technology built-in or users can add it with a special battery, battery cover or adapter. The list includes:
- Most of Nokia’s Windows Phone devices
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and S4/S5 (with add-on)
- Google’s Nexus 4 and 5 phones
- Nexus 7 tablet
Qi-enabled Wireless Charging Film Adapter for HTC One
The HTC One M8 doesn’t show up on this list because HTC left this out, even though they put it in some of their older phones. Since the phone doesn’t include a battery that users can replace, it doesn’t offer a removable cover, which most phones use if they don’t include the Qi wireless charging technology built into the phone.
There’s a way to add Qi-enabled wireless charging to the HTC One M8 using an inexpensive adapter along with any HTC One M8 case. Amazon sells an $11 Qi-enabled Wireless Charging film adapter. Plug the paper-thin film into the micro-USB port on the bottom of the phone and the flat cable that connects the Qi-enabled charging pad to the USB port folds back over the phone’s back. Snap a case onto the back of the HTC One M8 and the case holds the charger in place.
The Universal QI Wireless Charging Receiver film works well, with some caveats. First, it only slow charges the phone. The charging device (see below for recommended pads and docks) and charging film don’t produce enough power together to charge up the phone like a cable can. The phone shows a warning that says the charge only slow charges the phone and recommends the user connect the phone to an HTC approved charger. That just means it will take longer to charge.
I can charge my HTC One M8 overnight and it gets to 100% after a few hours of charging. When I need to a quick charge, I take the case off, remove the Qi-enabled charging film from the micro-USB port and plug in a regular USB charging cord.
Here’s the other problem. Once owners plug the wireless charging film into the HTC One M8, a case holds it in place and the user can’t use a regular charger without removing the case and the film. This only becomes a problem if people use their phone for something that drains the battery quickly and they need to boost the battery’s charge in a short time instead of the hours it takes to charge up using the charging film. To solve this problem, get the accessories below so that there’s always a Qi-enabled charger around.
RAVPower Wireless Charger Charging Pad with Built-in 4800mAh External Battery
We already mentioned the Qi-enabled charging pad from RAVPower above. It only costs $35 right now on sale at RAVPower’s store. It comes in white or black.
Plug the pad into an AC outlet using the included USB to micro-USB cable and a USB to AC adapter. The pad also charges if the user plugs it into a computer’s USB port or an AC/DC cigarette lighter adapter for the car.
For an even better option, opt for the slightly more expensive RAVPower Wireless Charger Charging Pad with Built-in 4800mAh External Battery. It also comes in white or black, but adds a 4800mAh battery. That means the user can charge up the pad’s battery and take it along and charge the Qi-enabled phone without plugging the pad into an outlet or a USB port on their computer.
The battery in the RAVPower pad lasts long enough to charge the phone twice. It also comes with a USB port to charge two devices at once, one with Qi-wireless charging and another using a USB cable. We tested this out and it worked great. Due to the above charging film’s slow charge, we still couldn’t charge the HTC One M8 quickly like we can with a regular cable. However, the RAVPower battery charged the Nexus 7 using the tablet’s built-in Qi-wireless charging capability just as fast as it charges when plugged into a USB cable connected to an AC adapter.
CHOE UPGRADED Qi Wireless Car Charger Dock
To charge the HTC One M8 while on the road, use the CHOE UPGRADED Qi Wireless Car Charger Dock ($50 from Amazon). The dock fastens to the car’s vent, or to a window, using either the vent clasp or the suction cup, both of which come with the dock. Attach the dock to a car’s DC port (cigarette lighter) with the included cable and AC/DC adapter.
I fastened the dock to one of my car’s air vents easily. It comes with arms that hold the dock against the dash of the car. A ball-joint adjusted the dock to make it easy to see the screen while navigating with GPS and Maps.
The dock adjusts the tilt of the phone using a ball joint that the user can tighten when they find the right angle. The sides of the dock expand and contract against the side of the phone whether it’s in a case or not. Push the button on the back of the dock to release the phone. Squeeze the sides to clamp onto the phone. Two tiny feet hold the phone at the bottom to keep it from sliding out.
Like the RAVPower pad, the CHOE dock slow charges the phone due to the Qi-wireless charging film’s low power output. I use my phone for navigation and listening to music or podcats over my car’s Bluetooth-enabled stereo. When the HTC One M8 screen stays on, the dock and charging film won’t increase the charge in the phone’s battery, but keep the battery level from draining.
TYLT Wireless Charger
While I love the simplicity of the RAVPower Qi-wireless charging pad, I can’t watch videos while it rests on the pad. That’s why the TYLT Vu Wireless Charger works great sitting on a desk. The Vu holds the phone at a 45-degree angle and sits on a desk or table charging the phone. The dock comes with a cable and wall outlet adapter. I wish it used a regular micro-USB cable so I could plug it into my computer’s extra USB port. The proprietary charger has to plug into an AC outlet.
The Vu works well, but like the other solutions only slow charges the phone when used with the Qi-wireless charging film on the HTC One.
The Vu comes in green, red, blue and black. It weighs enough to keep the phone from falling over. I even used it with my Nexus 7 in landscape mode. I can also use the HTC One M8 in landscape mode so that I can watch videos while keeping the battery at the same power level.