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FYI: AT&T’s LG G3 Doesn’t Support Qi Charging, They Went With the Charging Standard No One Uses

att g3 charging

If you plan on picking up the LG G3 from any of the carriers in the US, you likely already know that the US carriers are forcing you to buy optional accessories in order to enable wireless charging. The G3 in the UK and other countries includes wireless charging backs out of the box, much like the Verizon G2 did last year, but things have changed this time around in our home country. Carriers are greedy, we get it. They want you to spend more on the phone you just locked into for two years or spent hundreds on to get the most out of it. 

The good news is that Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all support the Qi wireless charging standard, so should you decide you want to get into the wireless charging game, you have all sorts of options. Sellers on eBay will get you replacement backs that activate wireless charging for around $40, but also don’t have carrier branding. The wireless charger you likely already own, will more than likely work because it’s probably Qi-ready. Do a search on Amazon for Qi chargers and you will have more choices than you know what to do with at incredibly low prices. Qi is awesome. Even Google uses it in all of its Nexus products.

If you own the AT&T G3, things are unfortunately, different. The LG G3 on AT&T supports PMA wireless charging, not Qi. AT&T is deeply in bed with PMA (Power Matters Alliance), the other wireless charging standard that few have bought into. Well, Starbucks did, if that matters. Oh, and Duracell is in charge of making the handful of Powermat charging stations. Do the same Amazon search for PMA chargers and you will see what I’m talking about.

So what does this mean? Your wireless charging options are limited on the AT&T variant of the G3. You are, for the most part, forced to buy a Duracell Powermat charging station, since all of the Qi stations won’t work with PMA. You also have to hope that someone releases a PMA-ready back cover or other types of cases should you not want to go with the only option available at the moment, the $60 Quick Circle case with PMA charging that was made specifically for the G3 model on AT&T.

Folks at XDA have already tried to use Qi back plates and chargers with the AT&T variant, but have found zero success. Some have even tried taking pieces from a PMA Quick Circle case and putting them on a regular back plate, but also have had no luck. The wireless charging road is not a pretty one for the AT&T G3.

So should you buy a G3 from AT&T, understand that your wireless charging options are limited. You are forced into PMA, the wireless charging standard that isn’t much of a standard.

  • candide08

    AT&T sucks. But LG also is not helpful at all – they don’t sell the wireless charging backs at all. I like the G3 a lot, but LG is making even Samsung’s Kies look good.

  • yungqb7

    I guess something HAD to be different with the phone since they did not change the packaging of the phone to the ugly orange and white packaging

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  • Ethnic Food

    Magnificent post.

  • xpyroxcorex

    Just as I was thinking of upgrading… I hate you.

  • Ubi2447

    I was planning on replacing the back to my very loud “VERIZON 4G LTE!!!” branded G3 back if I indeed get one, anyhow. So this doesn’t effect me too much. Kill two birds with one stone in the way of wireless charging and removing that awful VZW branding. I feel bad for ATT customers but my VZW misery loves to have company.

  • a) youth.in.asia

    Good thing that wireless charging is slow, or I would ACTUALLY feel like I was missing out on something

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  • Roya1

    I still just plug my Nexus 5 in but I do plan on purchasing a few wireless ones soon

  • Toasted_Cracker

    Does PMA have any actual advantages over Qi?

  • droidiac13

    This is disappointing, but I feel the biggest issue is that there is nothing but one case that allows wireless charging for the AT&T G3. If there were slim back plates that provided the same thinness that the original back plate offered, I feel a lot of people would go ahead and spend another $40 for the powermat. I know I would, but I won’t add bulk to my G3 just to have wireless charging.

  • Adam Auksztulewicz

    NOT A BIG DEAL AT ALL! Wow, I got my g3 quick circle case for $30, half off cause of the sale att is giving now on accessories and got a Duracell Powermat 24-Hour Power System pad off amazon for $25! Also came with an extra “Power on the Go Battery Backup”. PMA is coming on strong, in fact PMA is the standard for smart and environmental wireless power backed by AT&T, Starbucks, P&G, Powermat and dozens of global leaders, and deployed at leading venues including in select Delta Air Terminals and Delta Sky Clubs, Westfield Malls, at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and in Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club just to name a few. Sure QI might be have a slight edge right now but I don’t see this being the same outcome as HD DVD vs Blu Ray with Blu killing of HD DVD, more than likely both standards will co exist, and hopefully some ONE will simply release a case that is compatible with both wireless charging technologies. So Droid-Life, show a little faith and less favoritism on your future blogs.

  • antwonw

    Isn’t Apple going to start using the PMA standard? I personally think Qi is better, but Maybe AT&T is just trying to get further in bed with Apple.

    • seemslogical

      I’ll bet a dollar this is the case. Apple is going with PMA to give Samsung plus just about everyone else the middle finger and AT&T knows it.

      • Tom

        Except that Samsung is part of PMA… So if they wanted to go against Samsung they’d have to go Qi. Politics is crazy. They might however just make their own, but that would be silly.

  • xzombiex66

    Has anyone found a Wireless charging battery cover for sale yet in the Metallic black color? I dont want the circle case.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Thanks to XDA, I made wireless charging well over a year ago for my SGS3… someone will find the coils and connections and such to snake out of some other back plate and post a how to. Just give it time.

    For me, I now won’t buy a phone that cannot wireless charge out of the box or with a DIY mod.

  • Anthony Tyson

    With starbucks buying into it I can’t help buy feel that deep in the dirty works of these huge corporations they know that that’s the standard apple is going to choose when they finally allow wireless charging, and let’s face it we all know that means it’ll win no matter what. Maybe this is AT&Ts way of throwing android a bone here.

    • glimmerman76

      dont forget samsung is a member of the PMA

    • Lucky Armpit

      A sad, but excellent and true, point. And you’re probably right. Starbucks probably already knows what Apple will pick with they finally decide to include wireless charging in their iSheep devices, which is why they are already outfitting their stores. Yet another feature, of course, that Android has enjoyed for years already but Apple will be applauded by the media for being “game-changers” and “setting the standard”. **big, dramatic eye-roll**

      • bmcf1lm

        Apple is truely an almost criminal company. If you look at the specs, their flagship phone is a sailboat compaired to “it’s equals” that are android (i.e. Galaxy S5, G3, or M8). The only thing they have is the fingerprint scanner. Apple is the Range Rover of the smart phone world, you pay for the biggest and the best, but you get a below average product in the end.

    • James_75

      My thoughts exactly!!

  • Jeff Broders

    Is the old Palm Touchstone PMA? if so, you can pick them up cheap and they’re, imo, better than qi.

  • Mike

    if you get the T-mobile version, it should work on AT&T. It is missing band 5, but that is not the main band for AT&T anyway. Plus it comes with an unlocked bootloader for those that care.

    • p0k3y

      Does it work with AT&T LTE on Straight Talk? I got an AT&T variant from Amazon that I can still return, now that there is this PMA fiasco

  • Larry Dungan Jr.

    I would have already bought if it had came with WC built in like the G2 Verizon. Never have cared for the charginh cover on my S4

  • M3D1T8R

    Dumb. Screw ATT.

  • TSY87

    I totally expected this from VZW. I am pleasantly surprised.

    • EraserXIV

      I guess in the end we’re all human, everyone pulls a Verizon from time to time.

      • hfoster52

        New Meme “Pulling a Verizon”

        • SamBoy

          Or how about AT&T = Verzion & Verzion = AT&T ???

    • Tom

      Verizon actually supports Qi. So they’ll probably push for all phones to have Qi. Which is good for Verizon phones, but bad for all others. Hopefully the rest of the world adopts Qi and leaves AT&T to be one of the few that use PMA, which would entice manufacturers to more use Qi.

  • mcdonsco

    Well Verizon users have been getting screwed over with hardware for years while at&t users have been fairly well off in regards to hardware…bout time something hardware wise is better on Verizon. Though, still sucks it wasn’t included like the g2 out of the box.

  • LosttsoL

    I’ve got a case on mine, so I’m not going through the trouble of taking it out to charge. By the time I did that I could just as easily plugged it in.

    • mcdonsco

      You dont have to take it out of the case, at least not with qi…been usng it for a while with a case on and a g2, no issues.

      • LosttsoL

        Well thanks. Now I’ll have to spend money on something else I don’t really need.

  • fritzo2162

    Don’t be so harsh on them. Sony used standards that nobody else used and look how it worked out for…..oooooohhhhhhhh.

    • trixnkix637

      I see what you did there.

    • EraserXIV

      They won on Blu-ray.. though to this day I don’t own a single Blu-ray player, so I see your point.

      • Justin W

        Doesn’t matter, they won. If PMA wins, well, we’ll all be buying junk from Duracell.

      • balls

        I have a ps3/4 and a hometheater from sony (which i won in a contest) with blu-ray players… but never bought one for the sake of oh mah gosh need blu ray!

      • fritzo2162

        Sony’s list of failed formats:
        -Betamax
        -DAT
        -Minidisc
        -ATRAC Audio Compression
        -UMD
        -Memory Stick

      • CapnShiner

        I bought a Blu-ray player but it was dirt cheap as part of a deal on Amazon when I bought my TV. I switched from buying DVD to buying Blu-ray because I want HD and I want a copy of what I buy that cannot be taken away from me if the company I bought it from goes out of business or decides not to offer it anymore.

  • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

    Don’t use wireless charging so I don’t care. It most likely charges slower than a regular plug in charger plus I wouldn’t be able to pick up my phone and use it and it still be charging. So in my eyes they’re pointless.

    • Finire

      My Qi charging on my Droid Maxx charges more quickly using my TYLT Vu charger than any USB charging options available.

    • Guest

      You don’t need to charge and use the phone in your hands at the same time. If your battery is really that low, it’s okay, you can wait a little bit. Imagine you didn’t have any charger around you at that time what would you do then?

      • mgamerz

        Get my old phone out and use that instead until the other one charges?

    • FACKWORS

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/google-nexus-5/accessories/diy-magnetic-wireless-wood-charging-t2545350

      great example of wireless charging, also there was one with a window mount for the car, i like the idea to just drop and go

  • ROR1997

    Haven’t used wireless charging so I don’t see why I would have to. It might be nice to just place your phone on top of a mat or whatever, but I don’t mind taking the extra 2 seconds to plug it in.

    • Bryan Mills

      Plus wireless takes so long. It’s good for just throwing it on and charging but overall, I hate it.

      • ROR1997

        If it worked quicker I would consider it. But I charge my phone at night so it’s not like I reall care how My phone looks while I’m asleep lol

        • Open1Your1Eyes0

          If you charge it overnight doesn’t it reach 100% by the time you wake up anyways? I have been using wireless charging for at least 2 years now ever since my Galaxy S3 and have never had any issue in regarding the the slightly slower charging.

          FYI slower charging is deeper charging make is better for the life and keeping the capacity of the battery.

      • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

        I agree

      • Open1Your1Eyes0

        FYI, the slower the charge, the deeper it charges and as a result lasts longer and doesn’t put as much wear on your battery. Slower charging is fine if you leave it overnight even on wireless charging you would be full by the time you wake up.

        • trixnkix637

          When is the last you had a mobile long enough to worry about the battery shelf life?

          • Guest

            Well that’s all well and good for you but what if you’re trying to resell the device later? Wouldn’t it be nice for the seller to know that you took good care of the battery that the life is the same (or close to) as it was when you got it?

          • trixnkix637

            In that scenario I believe you mean the buyer would care how well you took care of the battery, which in theory is a yes, but in practice is a no. As long as the phone turns on, it functions properly as expected, and isn’t a blacklisted ESN, I doubt the care of the battery would be on a buyers mind. Most people I know usually replace the battery when they buy a used phone off of a reseller. This could be the exception to the rule however.

          • SethMcDonald

            Galaxy Nexus…. :/

          • trixnkix637

            I feel your pain, but on that device we had to worry about battery charge levels, not it’s long term health.

          • Chris Stuart

            My GS3 battery is degraded. I bought a replacement battery, but when it is in the phone the already terrible gps signal becomes nonexistent.

          • Tim

            Get a small screw driver and tighten the screw’s under the backplate…. Trust me

          • Chris Stuart

            Already did this, didn’t help. My contract is up for renewal on monday, but I think I will hold out until september to see if these “prime” devices materialize. That $99 G3 is making that awful hard though

          • trixnkix637

            Any idea on how that happened? That sucks by the way. Hopefully there’s any upgrade or a sales glitch in your favor soon.

    • Open1Your1Eyes0

      It’s more about convenience and not wearing out your microUSB port rather than a need.

      • ROR1997

        Well that’s true

      • archercc

        That is my thing. I have the orbs that tilt on my nightstands at home. Its nice having it at an angle and when the alarm goes off I can just grab the phone without risk of yanking that cord or knocking stuff off of the nightstand. Also, night clock faces. :)

        At work I have one of those big, $20 chinese pads on my desk. Those are great because there is no aiming, just toss the phone down and it starts charging. Yeah its not quick but it gets set down for 20 minutes at a time 5-10 times a day so its usually still at 80% when I leave work. And when its time to get up and run somewhere I just grab it, no plugging/unplugging.

        • joe23521

          Do such frequent and incomplete charges not hurt the battery? I’ve always been unclear on this.

          • mgamerz

            Nope, this is Lithium Ion, not NiMh.

          • Brian Turkel

            Anyone have a link for a white back for Qi charging?

          • JruASAP

            here you go, ordered this yesterday. Someone on XDA confirmed it worked for verizon.

            US Seller too.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/151340368484?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

          • M3D1T8R

            No.

          • archercc

            Its not really frequency or completeness that cause a problem. The older batter technology did have a “memory” that would be trashed by this but not anymore. If anything having it on the charge constantly is doing more damage. But its a Nexus 4 and it still holds plenty of a charge so its not enough damage for me to notice and I will probably be replacing it this fall with (hopefully) a N6.

    • mgamerz

      Your USB port will thank you when you don’t drop it and break it. Like my Nexus 5, Nexus 7.

  • ASV505

    All I’ve found are wireless enabled covers+cases

  • Ray

    It’s not just the US my unlocked Europe D855 version doesn’t include the wireless back cover have to fork out the extra dough for that.

  • Nate Loos

    For those on AT&T who still want wireless charging for relatively cheap, I found a PMA (powermat) charger on Ebay for 13.49, probably the best we’re gonna get.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Powermat-1X-Wireless-Charging-Mat-PM-M1P-CA1-/291053118285?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Chargers&hash=item43c41e234d

  • hkklife

    This is just ridiculous. JUST when Qi looks like it’s starting to gain some traction last year, especially on VZW (N7 2013, Droid DNA in 2012, the Droid Maxx, VZW’s G2 exclusive), AT&T goes and pulls a stunt like this.
    Let’s all settle on Qi for the time being since Apple has already shown that their Lightning connector is a superior physical connector (despite not being an official ‘standard’ ) and I see no hope of Type C USB 3.0 support become widespread anytime soon. The wear and tear placed on microUSB ports over a year or two of use by the average device is pretty high, just for charging alone for devices with fixed batteries.

  • Michael Huynh

    I wouldn’t necessarily say not providing a wireless back is being greedy. Aren’t all carrier versions 3gb ram/32 gb? I’ll pay that 40 bucks to have that wireless back.

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Need to think about this over the weekend. Sad to say that I may be taking it back and going back to my nexus 4. I knew it didn’t have it out of the box but this is a little ridiculous. Considering they don’t even have the cases available for purchase.

    • nexusguy

      I have the nexsus 5 and still think the 4 was better lol

      • Patrick Crumpler

        I just wish the Nexii had more storage. Lol. My white N4 is awesome, but this G3 blows it away. I just didn’t want to go out and buy new charging mats. Plus you can’t even buy the circle case anywhere for the att version

        • nexusguy

          I def agree with you, I had a note 3 before the nexus 5 and it was amazing, storage and most important battery life. Something just draws me to nexus phones though

        • glimmerman76

          if you get the phone at att corp store the power mat case is 50% off. I paid 29.5 for mine

  • DERP

    I got a white LG G3 for VZW today and haven’t been able to find any place that sells the Qi back plates for less than the $60 on eBay. And those aren’t even the same color. :(

  • Jeffrey Huber

    This is exactly why I have not bought into any wireless charging yet. Haven’t electronics makers learned anything from the wired charger fiasco of the past?

    • Suicide_Note

      Nope. Next question, please.

    • http://www.scaryuncledevin.com/ Devin Rodriguez

      Qi has become pretty standard, I’ve got 2 Tylt Vu chargers for my wife and I since our Nexus devices use them. This is just one case where the carrier is being greedy and changing the device to better pimp their accessories.

      • r0l

        It’s too early to call it. Plus PMA actually has some technical benefits I believe like not needing to place it in a certain orientation on the circle and just anywhere on the pad.

        • UniBroW

          Qi doesn’t need to be placed in a specific orientation, so long as it’s on where the coil is

    • Lucky Armpit

      Or from Betamax vs. VHS, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, etc.

      • EraserXIV

        The common denominator is money. There’s too much to gain/lose from having an essential monopoly with these standards so these greedy companies just can’t help themselves from fighting with each other to find the next thing that will help line their already deep pockets.

    • r0l

      You mean haven’t early adopters learned? You go with first gen of anything when there’s competing standards this is what happens.

      As sad as it is to day of Apple goes PMA then all the stores will go PMA and then Qi despite the head start will eventually due out.

      So this may not necessarily be a mistake, just a short term nuisance.

      • Anthony Tyson

        Exactly. Its the sad truth.

      • Robert Boluyt

        With 60% and growing market share of Android, and 35% and decreasing market share on iOS; I doubt Apple going PMA would kill Qi. Unless all the market Android OEMs do an about face and start implementing PMA.

        • F apple

          wireless charging is a great addition, but apple will def go a diff route than QI, call it revolutionary and fragment what could have been a great revolution in mobile devices SMH

        • r0l

          If the next iPhone shipped with PMA within a year there would be more iPhones with PMA than Android phones with Qi. Not capable of Qi, actually with Qi built-in.

          • James_75

            I believe Starbucks has already tipped Apple’s hand in this. I predict that Apple will go PMA with the next Iphone launch.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/nemesis099 Nemesis099

      Hahahaha you think electronics manufacturers learn. They still can’t figure out what the market wants such as a phone without a skin on top or at least an option to remove it.

  • Open1Your1Eyes0

    FWIW the good thing about being on AT&T you don’t have to buy their variant to use on their network. Unlocked FTW! :)

    • Rashawn31

      Where have you found a unlocked g3 that works on at&t?

      • Open1Your1Eyes0

        If you buy the regular international model it will work on AT&T’s bands. If you can get the UK model it will even come with wireless charging out of box.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          I don’t believe those support LTE on At&t

          • Bryan Mills

            Yes it does. Played with the Korean model on LTE

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Doesn’t the Korean model have different bands than the UK model?

          • Bryan Mills

            Oh you were talking about UK models. Oops. No clue on that

          • gg_money

            the nexus5 does, so its seems logical

          • acejavelin

            It certainly does… “another major android news group” did a review of the international version, it supports LTE on almost any carrier, covering all major bands in the 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2600MHz spectrums… Unless you are in an area that has AT&T’s 1700Mhz LTE, but it does support the 700 & 1900 Mhz LTE used by AT&T in most markets.

          • glimmerman76

            um att is using band 2,4,5,17 LTE. So in most markets in IL those will not get LTE since there Band 5 850MHz

  • Suicide_Note

    Nice job, AT&T. *golf clap*

    • NexusPhan

      Easy to fix. Not ideal but I’ve been using it on my G2 and it’s perfect. http://goo.gl/0hVkFf
      It’ll hide inside the phone back.

      • p0k3y

        Thanks for the tip. I picked up one for 8.08 prime shipped. Nothing to lose – if it doesn’t work, just return it. I plan to tuck the film inside the battery cover. Hopefully that will work. Then I can use the Qi charger I got for my N5 for this. Fingers crossed.

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    • r0l

      If X+1 has built in Qi like the 360 and since I already have a Qi pad for my N7 this might help sway me away from the G3. On the fence.

      • balls

        i own a nexus 5 and a qi charging mat (a very cheap one that im fitting with magnets soon http://forum.xda-developers.com/google-nexus-5/accessories/diy-magnetic-wireless-wood-charging-t2545350 )

        if a phone has another form of wireless charging it is def. a factor for me now

      • Corporations R Evil

        At CES back in January there was a Big Reporting on How everyone was going to adapt to The Qi charging as the Normal, I guess ATT wasn’t there, skipped the memo, or just doesn’t care.

        Odd how blatantly companies go against industry standards, ignorance is bliss, and greed is good. Another reason that carriers need to be regulated more and not have all this made up power they give themselves.

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  • PoisonApple31

    I just want my damn spare battery charger LG – for my G3! Where is it!?