Nexus 4 Wireless Charger review: Big on charging, low on features

The Wireless Charger does support the Qi wireless power standard that's available on multiple phones including the HTC Droid Incredible and Nokia Lumia 920. Google told me that you can use it to power up similarly equipped handsets, but I didn't have any other Qi-compatible phones handy to confirm this. Additionally, it will charge phones when connected to laptop or desktop computers, given power is flowing through their USB ports.

Performance Setting up the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger is a piece of cake; it's just a matter of connecting its AC adapter and finding a convenient location to deploy the unit. After that I was off to the races, either with the power system placed by my bedside or sitting atop my office desk.

I was also able to position my Nexus 4 test unit on the charger in both portrait and landscape orientation. I did need to find a sweet spot for charging to commence, though -- slightly below the phone’s halfway mark, which I presume is where the Nexus 4’s battery sits.

Use app and Charger to turn your Nexus 4 phone into a handy alarm clock. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Nexus 4 Wireless Charger doesn’t offer an easy way to know it’s charging the phone, such as a light or audible tone. You'll have to view the phone's screen or listen out for the Nexus 4's charging alert sound. The Energizer Dual Inductive Charger sports two LEDs for this purpose, whereas Powermat products offer both chime and light indicators.

LG says that the Wireless Charger will fully top off a dead Nexus 4 battery in about 4 hours, and my experience was in line with this claim. In fact, with my Nexus handset’s battery completely depleted, the Wireless Charger brought the phone back to 100 percent charge in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Just like with the Energizer Dual Inductive Charger, however, I noticed that long periods of use caused the back Surface of the Nexus 4 to get very warm, almost hot to the touch. I can't help but wonder how safe this charging method is for internal smartphone components in the long run.

Conclusion I know it may sound foolish to purchase an additional charger when the one that came with your phone does the job perfectly well. Still, springing for an extra charger to keep at home or the office is always a good idea. Plus, wireless charging is practically effortless and doesn't require the extra step of hunting down a USB cable. That's why the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger is clearly a smart buy for Nexus 4 owners.

If you can spare the extra $60, it provides a very convenient way to charge up handsets hassle free. I appreciate how also it functions as a handy phone stand, even when it isn't juicing up your Nexus 4. Sure I would love for a way to know if and when the Charger is shooting electrons at phone batteries, such as with a light or even a chime. If you want those bells as whistles, I suggest buying the $89 Energizer dual Inductive Charger or the $100 Powermat 24 Hour Power System. The trade-off, however, is that these solutions are not as portable and aren't built especially for LG's popular Nexus handset.

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Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

Part Number: NEXUS4WIRELESSCHRG
MSRP: $59.99 Low Price: $36.98 See all prices