The Samsung Galaxy S4 Wireless Charging Kit: Charge your phone without ever having to plug it in.
Wireless charging is slowly becoming one of the more popular features in today’s smartphones. The Nexus 4 came with it out of the box, and it has also even started showing up in some tablets, like the 2013 rendition of the Nexus 7. While Samsung didn’t include it as a stock feature for the Galaxy S4, the official S4 Wireless Charging kit brings Qi-standard inductive charging to the phone, by way of a replacement back cover and charging plate.
The kit consists of two parts. First up, there’s a replacement back cover that houses all the components that make the magic that is wireless charging possible. The cover adds a minimal amount of bulk to the device, but does not hinder NFC functionality.
Unfortunately, it’s just enough to alter the shape of the phone enough to screw up the fitting for pretty much every case I’ve tested it with, which is a shame because I’ve got some really nice cases lying around and I’ve had to choose between the two luxuries as of late. It also adds just a bit of weight to the device, but not enough to bother me. If you’re the type to go commando and roll without a case, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
The other piece of the kit is the S Charger Pad. The pad has a matte surface on the bottom to keep the pad from slipping, and the pad’s edges are raised slightly — almost like a lip — to make the perfect nest for resting your phone while it’s charging. It’s slightly larger than the phone, and has a micro USB charging port on the bottom, as well as a LED light that turns on to let know you that a charge is in progress.
The S Charger Pad is very convenient. I keep it plugged in and lying on the dresser next to my bed. When it’s time for me to catch up on my beauty rest, all I have to do is lay the phone down on the charger and leave it there long enough to charge.
The Galaxy S4 charges wirelessly at 650mA, which isn’t all that bad. To put that in perspective for you, charging over USB 2.0 from a computer charges at 500mA, while most AC chargers will charge at 1A. The Galaxy S4’s wall charger charges at a whopping two amps, confirming my suspicions that the device seemed to charge super fast when plugged in. Inductive charging will obviously be a bit slower — but that’s not the point. It’s all about convenience here. If you need a quick charge, you’re better off plugging your phone in, but this is great for when you’re not in a rush.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours as to whether or not the Galaxy S4 Wireless Charging kit is something you actually need, or just something that sounds cool. I haven’t made much use of the replacement cover for the phone just yet, strictly because I have so many cases on the review desk now, waiting for their time in the spotlight, and the replacement cover just doesn’t work with them. I have enjoyed the charging pad, however, as it works just great with my 2013 Nexus 7 — remember, it works with any Qi-compliant device.
You can pick up the Galaxy S4 Wireless Charging Kit (both the replacement cover and the S Charger Pad) over on Amazon in white for 89.99. For some reason, the black cover will run you slightly more, at $98.95. Links to both are below.