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Nexus 4 Wireless Charger, A Quick Look at the Orb

Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Orb

Well, hello there Nexus 4 wireless charger, aka the Orb. It feels good to finally have you in our hands after all these months of dealing with garbage wireless charger after garbage wireless charger. Even at your steep $59.99 price tag, we welcome you onto our desks, to be here through the rest of our life with the Nexus 4 in our pockets. Actually, assuming the next Nexus and all other phones going forward have wireless charging built in, you may be here for the long haul. Let’s talk about our initial impressions, for the readers here at Droid Life.

How It Works

Wireless charging is as simple as you would think it to be. Plug the wireless charger into a wall, set it on a flat surface, and then lay your wirelessly capable device on top of it. That’s it. With the Nexus 4 charger, you get a somewhat better experience over others, as it allows the device to lay at an angle, so you can still use the device while it charges. With others that lay flat, it’s pretty difficult to use your device.

Build

As we somewhat expected, the Orb for the Nexus 4 is built incredibly well. It really is like a mini-Nexus Q that has been cut in half. There is some weight to it, along with a non-slippery matte finish black coating. It has a rubberized face so that your device is highly unlikely to fall off of it, as it sits at an angle. Actually, it’s sticky to the touch. Depending on  your case (which it does charge through), it takes a bit of force to remove it. The bottom has a rubberized rim as well, to help keep the charger stable on your desk.

Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Orb

Cases

In the video below, I tested the Ringke Slim, Ringke Fusion, and official Bumper to see if the phone would charge while attached – sure enough, it does. If you have some behemoth of a case, I can’t tell you how that will work, but all of the slim cases I tested, certainly work just fine.

Other Phones

The Nexus 4 wireless charger is built to the Qi wireless charging standard, so yep, it works with other devices. I’ve got the DROID DNA attached to it as I type this and it seems to be charging just fine. The sticky rubberized face is also holding onto the device quite well. Here is a picture of the DROID DNA on it.

Price

At $59.99, the price is somewhat steep, especially since the only function of this wireless charger is to wirelessly charge your device. You can justify it somewhat if you look at competing wireless chargers like the Nokia Fatboy which also retails for around $60. I would point out that this feels like a much higher quality product than the Fatboy, though, which is essentially a pillow with a charging plate stuffed inside. Wireless charging is somewhat new, so for now you are going to pay premium prices.

Nexus Q Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Orb

Overall

If you need an wireless charger, this appears to be a great option, if not the best option. I’ve dealt with the frustrations that come with the LG flat wireless charger for so long that using the Orb is like a whole new world. The angled face, super-grippy (technical term) face, and stylish design make it a great accessory to your desk. The $59.99 price may turn some off, but that’s the price we pay right now to have the latest in technology.

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  • saint_stephen

    Excellent to see that it charges through the slim cases. Has anyone done a comparison to see if charging the phone with a slim case is slower than charging the phone without one?

  • Michael Florin

    Seems like this would work great charging my Nexus 4 while its screen-sharing with my TV and the micro-usb port is being used. I’ve only been able to watch for 1.5-2 hours before my phone dies and I have to unplug from TV to charge.

    Anyone use this while using the Slimport HDMI adaptor?

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.austin.944 Adam Awesten

    Hmpf. Was kinda hoping it was like a portable battery charger, not just like a dock. Still pretty cool. I may pass on this, I’m sure somebody will make it into what i want eventually. :)

  • anezarati

    i just used it this weekend to charge from 6% to full overnight. i noticed that after about 4.5-5 hours it still said “Charging – 99%.” I was concerned so i took it off and right when i did the status changed to “Charged” and it was at 100% when it was off the charger.

    Has anyone else experienced this? not a huge deal, but a bug.

  • stu

    You losers think you have the coolest new technology…too bad Palm came up with this first 3 years ago

    • zurginator

      No, they didn’t. They were simply the first to put it in a mobile phone (that I know of).

      Toothbrushes (for example) have been doing this for a very, very long time.

  • Marco Mendoza

    Is anybody’s charger running a little to warm when charging the nexus 4 with the daydream clock running at the same time? I think i might have to disable daydream

  • skinja99

    Again,

    I don’t understand what the point of wireless chargers really is so long as:

    1. You can only charge one device at a time

    2. The charging power supplies all use proprietary plugs. The point is supposed to be to streamline cables and all, but ironically they all use different plugs.

    3. The charging units cannot be plugged into USB power supplies.

    I know in the future we will have wireless charging within X feet of a unit. And our whole desks will be able to charge our devices just by setting them on it. But at this point, they don’t do anything really helpful. You are still tethered to a power outlet.

    And Yes, I have used wireless chargers.

    • me

      It’s progress and it’s still good for people like me. I don’t bother plugging my phone in and then it’s dead. If all I have to do is put it down, I’m more likely to charge it. Are you sure you can’t plug this one in to a USB power supply? It’s a micro USB port, so I’d assume that’s doable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Nyitrai/636804866 Michael Nyitrai

    it looks great i want it but i’ll just have to wait until a price drop, for now my $1 usb cable works great

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=781834591 Rob Houston

    Hey Kellex: How many phones do you guys have lying around? I’ve been kinda curious about that for some time…

  • socalrailroader

    It also works with the Nokia Lumia 920, I use it to charge my Nexus 4 and Lumia 920 :) I got mine yesterday, all in all I am impressed, though I think they need to cut the price to around 30 or 40.

  • Tony Byatt

    Will definitely grab one if the price goes down a bit…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1438819214 Douglas Lewis

    How about a follow up article where you go through the Droid Life Big Ol Drawer of Phones and see what else might work on there? Wondering specifically about the rezound.

  • http://twitter.com/xhaxol Vetal

    I love it! the angle is perfect. now i need one for both cars. 1 for the wife and 1 for the bedroom. so thats 4 more @ 70 shipped including tax. $280.00 guess not I dont love it that much! I guess ill stick with just one.

  • Elliot Kotis

    Could someone sell this on eBay please?

  • bubba

    Just got one of these and my Nexus 4 (no case) very slowly slips right off of it – takes about 3 to 5 minutes but it falls right off every time. Portrait vs landscape orientation of the Nexus 4 makes no difference. There is definitely a magnetic connection initially but it is either too weak or just fails after time. Very disappointed.

    • shaunole

      Mine does the same thing. I contacted google and they are sending a replacement. I’ve been told by others that the magnet is very noticeable and pretty strong. So I assume this is some form of a manufacturing defect.

      • wei

        Mine is also doing the same thing. I feel zero magnetic force when sticking my nexus 4 on there without a case. I am very disappointed.

  • http://twitter.com/ITGuy11 Shawn Villaire

    What is the output of this charger? I am hoping that it is 1 amp. Is is detected as a AC or USB charger?

    • Pedro

      As listed in the docs that Kellen didn’t bother to read :)
      Input 5V 1800mA
      Output 5V 1000mA

      So, yeah, 1A output.
      I chuckled just a bit when Kellen dismissed the included charger. I’ts 1.8A capable.

      Edit: 74% – Charging : Wireless
      when connected.

    • Oliver Prucha

      The output is 1.0mA, And it is detected as if it were a wall charger (Not docked unfortunately).

  • Wes Thomson

    Got a question maybe someone has a solution for. I was hoping with this thing having magnets in it, it might detect it as a dock and daydream would continue even when the charge is complete which does not happen on my current qi charger. Would like to use this as a clock on my nightstand, but until I can get daydream to stay on, it isn’t working like I had wished it would.

    • Ian Winchell

      there is a setting in daydream to have it come on while docked, while charging or both, it should come on while changing (i don’t know if this will work or not as i dont have one, but those setting are definitively there).

      • Pedro

        Unfortunately, no.

        Wireless charging isn’t a dock. I’m not sure what phone has a dock.
        I can confirm that the wireless charging orb charges faster than Daydream discharges. Though not much faster (~10%/hour on my single sample, 40 minute test), it’s still better than plugged into a computer where it discharges faster.

        • Nathan Bell

          The Galaxy Nexus has a dock.

          • Pedro

            I was on verizon. It had no dock.

      • Wes Thomson

        There is, but once qi chargers get to fully charged they shut off until the phone drains back down to a certain percentage. During that time the phone is not considered charging.

        • Ian Winchell

          ahh, gotchya, i always just assumed that while charging meant while plugged in, but ya, that makes sense, its not plugged in or docked, sounds like a nfc tag might do the trick here perhaps.

    • johnny cizzle

      This dock does use magnets to hold the phone. I don’t know why it wasn’t mentioned in the review, but that being said it still doesn’t register as a dock

  • Marco Mendoza

    Just got mine love it. Love the weight to it, it makes it feel premium. The only bad part was when I opened it, it had dust on the bottom of the charger but no big deal came right of

    • Charles Elliott

      Yeah, the bottom of mine was really dirty too, strange. My Nexus 4 also came with a piece of hair between the glass and plastic on the front panel I guess it isn’t so clean where these things are put together.

  • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

    You know how you have to plug it into the wall with a wire? Yeah, that means this isn’t “wireless.”

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      No wires needed to charge your actual phone. Set down, pick up. I’d call that wireless. :P

    • Justin Winker

      So with this in mind, there is no truly “wireless” internet then, correct? All of the internet has to connect to wires somewhere, right?

      As Kellex said below, wireless means you don’t need to connect the device to the charging source via a wire (the same is true for wireless internet – don’t need to connect the device to the modem/router/source of the internet connection).

      • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

        Wireless internet solves the problem of plugging in your device wherever you are in your house/outside/etc.

        If you had a wireless receiver that was still tethered to a wall and you put your device on top of it to get internet access, I’d say the same thing. This device still has to be unplugged and replugged everytime you need to charge in a different location. Not wireless.

        • Pedro

          Seriously, whine away. Act the fool.

          You drop the phone on the device, it charges. You pick it up, it stops.
          No wires.

          • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

            This isn’t whining. It’s just calling out a piece of tech for being overhyped.

            You’re not addressing the face that the device still requires a wire to operate.

            Now, if somebody were to install inductive charging into their counter tops or something, THAT would be something to do backflips over. :)

    • anezarati

      you’d be freaking rich if you had an orb that could just produce energy.

      • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

        Solar phone chargers already exist. Combine that with inductive charging, and you’ve got a real winner.

        • me

          I’m curious about how that would work. People usually put their phones on top of their inductive chargers, so the phone would usually be blocking the light.

          • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

            The ‘orb’, in this case, would contain a battery that is continuously charged by the sun to store up energy. Then, when you place your phone on top of it, it would used the stored energy to charge your phone’s battery.

            I think it would be cool to wire a sunroof in a car with PV, and run that into a charging mat built into the dash. Sort of combine what the Prius does with what people are doing with phones right now.

    • TheCheapGamer

      So…are you stupid?

      • Tony Byatt

        Solar Powered Wireless Charger…

        • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

          Exactly. Some people… geesh. :)

  • JordanMcRae

    Work with Ringke Slim?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Yep, check the video to see it in action.

      • LionStone

        Thanks for the post… I’m wondering how it handles streaming with 3.5 mm plugged in? Or while tethering/charging at the same time?

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          haven’t tested that, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. All this does is charge it, it doesn’t kill off any functionality or anything.

          • LionStone

            Oh yes, I didn’t clarify… I’m sure it’ll work but does it make the phone super hot to stream music. That’s what happens to the LG plate… makes the phone hot charging/streaming simultaneously.

          • Pedro

            It gets warm when charging. Maybe a bit more than on the Energizer Qi. But that’s an entirely unscientific, small sampled evaluation.

  • Charles Elliott

    So far so good. I like the angle it puts the phone at as it makes it much easier to see the notification light, but I currently have it unplugged from the wall because it makes the phone super hot. It would have been nice to have a switch on the side of the orb that allows the charge feature to be turned off. The charging pad is really sticky and leaves rings on the back of my case that looks like I have been using it for a coaster. It is so sticky in fact that when I try and pull my phone off the charger the whole orb comes up with it. I am still enjoying it though.

  • Ted

    Should seriously change this site’s name to “Nexus-Life”! All day long everyday…. Nexus, Nexus, blah blah!!

    • http://twitter.com/gotteric Eric Gottlieb

      You say that like it’s a bad thing :P

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        We like teh Nexus. :P

        • Christopher Grame

          love*

    • Alex Krijanovski

      Someone clearly doesn’t have a Nexus device…

    • JordanMcRae

      Yes, they don’t just cover “Droids” in the strictest sense. So what?

    • enigmaco

      Your either nexus or against us *bad wrestling pun* lol. I have to admit I have a nexus 4 and I have never admired a phone as much as I do this one lol. I just can’t justify $60 for a charger not including shipping.

    • Michael Nichols

      shut up fackwors!!!

    • Elliot Kotis

      It is one of the best android devices, just go buy one and stop being jealous.

    • possomcrast1

      Regardless it’s still Droid as in anDROID.

    • Austin Warren

      You just can’t handle the droid life

    • michael arazan

      First it was nefxus life, Razr life, GS3 life, DNA life now full circle back to Nexus life. Why do people complain about popular devices on a tech and news site for Android. Education is the path away from ignorance. Most people like to be informed about devices especially when those devices are going to be a 2-3 year commitment.

      You got Nexus-envy?

    • QQpayne

      He also shows some love for the DNA here, the only other wireless charging phone.

    • Nexus 6

      Your Comment License Should be Revoked. You probably have the Original Evo or something.

  • edelafue

    Everyone has to check UH confessions on Facebook best page ever…and yes I did go to University of Houston GO COOGS!

  • https://twitter.com/paladaxar Paladaxar

    I’ve got a few questions:

    1: I thought it used magnets to hold the N4 in place…is that not the case?

    2: You mentioned that the rubber “stickies” are actually sticky to the touch. I know you haven’t had it for long, but does it appear to attract a lot of dust? And if so, does it seem like it would be tough to clean the dust off? Or does it come off easily with a quick wipe and then go back to being sticky when it dries?

    Thanks! You guys save us a ton of money by testing these things out for us before we decide to purchase them or not! :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I don’t think it’s magnets, just a really sticky rubber surface. I’ve put the plastic Galaxy S3 on it and it stuck just fine.

      It does attract dust, but nothing a sticky roller can’t fix heh.

    • Pedro

      Apparently no magnets.
      It won’t hold a staple against it if you turn it upside down. But the phone doesn’t move at all. Maybe it’s just magic?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Nyitrai/636804866 Michael Nyitrai

      i believe magnets are bad for phones, especially around the memory

    • johnny cizzle

      Yes it does use magnets to hold it.

      • johnny cizzle

        Or so I read. I have one here next to me

        • johnny cizzle

          When I hold the a quarter inch apart and move them around I can feel the attraction

  • http://profiles.google.com/karbonkopy9 Timothy Reider

    Does your DROID DNA have a case on it Kellex? Curious what it looks like on the charger as well :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      No case, but this is what it looks like:

      http://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/gallery/main/dsc05789.jpg

      • LionStone

        Oh dang… that looks goood! :-)

        • Daniel Richardson

          When charging the DNA what mode does it charge in AC or USB? I have both the LG and Nokia versions and they charge in usb mode which is slow.. albeit still convenient..

          • LionStone

            Not sure, I don’t have one…probably usb like the others. I’m good with the LG plate for now, gonna still wait for the Tylt charger…it’s supposed to have regular AC charging speed.

      • http://profiles.google.com/karbonkopy9 Timothy Reider

        Wonder if it will stick and charge with the Cruzerlite case on it. Ordered one guess I will find out!

        • Nathan Bell

          Phil at Android Central demonstrates that it works with that very case I believe.

      • zepfloyd

        And everyone told me for weeks around here how this wouldn’t work or hold the DNA, ha.

      • Daniel Richardson

        I meant to ask you this, kellex..
        When charging the DNA what mode does it charge in AC or USB? I have both the LG and Nokia versions and they charge in usb mode which is slow.. albeit still convenient..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=200400756 Alexander Ma

    I don’t actually know much about how the wireless charging works…but I assume it doesn’t work with a case (like the rinkge slim) on it…or does it?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      It does, video shows lots of cases that work with it.

    • Charles Elliott

      it works very well with my rinkge slim case.

  • chris31jct

    I think “wireless” is not the correct word to be used here. Wireless, for example, is not using my laptop to get Internet if I place it on top of my router. I don’t think it’s worth spending 60$ on a no-truly-wireless charger that I still have to attach to something. I was expecting it so have some range, maybe a couple meters, don’t know. Better spent those 60$ on a better cover or to buy apps.

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      It’s a Qi standard charger – it was never going to be wireless. It’s still cool though. I’ll buy one.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        Wireless just means you dont have to plug a wire into the phone, heh.

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          Yup. Planning to use one of these as an alarm clock with my phone. Hopefully it’ll work great.

    • https://twitter.com/paladaxar Paladaxar

      A couple meters!? Do you have any idea how much power that would take? Let alone the danger of sending those kinds of waves through the air that you’re occupying. I think you have a lot to learn about “truly wireless charging”.

      I don’t mean to come down on you for not knowing, but I think you’re going to be waiting quite a few years before safe, reliable, cost efficient wireless power becomes a reality!

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Joshua Nealey

      Really? A couple meters? Apparently you aren’t very aware of where the technology is at right now. And being able to just sit your phone down is nice instead of plugging and unplugging it all day long.

      • Lord_Vader1941

        Actually, Tesla had the ability and patients for a truly wireless power distribution. Tesla dreamed of providing the “miracle of power” to any one and everyone who wanted it. The problem is it was/is impossible to secure it. Plus, why give away some this you can sell?

        • jaylanPHNX

          Problem is Tesla never got it to work. People neglect to mention that part. Guess it doesn’t gel with the narrative that we’d all have free wireless power if it weren’t for “greedy” corporations.

        • zurginator

          Bigger problem: Who’s going to pay for the power bill to run his tower?

        • DrewNusser

          Yeah, but then he got sidetracked and began cloning humans, which led to them murdering each other just for the sake of creating a better magic trick. He should have stuck to the wireless charging idea.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

    Price is high, but I’m still satisfied with it. Welcome to the club everyone else who grabbed one as well.

    • Pedro

      I’m digging mine.
      Daughter gets the single slot Energizer Qi that’s suddenly so ugly :)

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      my friend’s aunt makes $83/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for 10
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  • NYAvsFan

    Got mine delivered today. Works great even with the case on my N4.

  • antwonw

    Can you post photos of it next to the Q for size comparison?

    • http://twitter.com/BiggiePhat JG

      the video from another android site *coughcough* has it.

    • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

      Nexus Q is very big! Check Android Central video.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Yeah I can do that.

      • antwonw

        Thanks! :)