Gadgets

Google’s new Nexus 4 wireless charging orb is pretty but flawed

Google’s Nexus 4 wireless charger is the coolest accessory that you probably shouldn’t buy.

The device, which is available on the Google Play store starting today, charges the Nexus 4 without having to plug it in. It’s an impressive, somewhat magical hint at the future of gadget charging, and I’m almost completely in love with it.

Almost.

The problem with the device is that there are deal-breaking flaws holding it back. The biggest of these is that the device relies on so-called “induction charging,” which is right now slower than plain ol’ microUSB charging. Google says it should take four hours for the device to fully charge the Nexus 4, which is a bit longer than the roughly 3-hour charge time most Nexus 4 owners are seeing so far.

Compatibility is another problem. While the wireless charger will work with any Qi standard-compatible device, its slanted surface makes that compatibility almost entirely moot. Unless other devices come with the same array of magnets as the Nexus 4, the wireless charger won’t get much action beyond a single device. And considering that the device is $60, that’s a pretty bad investment.

But boy, do I still want one.

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