Samsung Galaxy S4's wireless charging companions

If you want wireless charging bad for your Galaxy S4, $90 worth of pad and charging cover are now yours for the buying.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization
Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Franchises, How-To and Performance Optimization teams. Her career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Samsung Wireless Charging Case and Pad

Samsung is no stranger to peddling smartphone accessories that fit into its ever-expanding hardware portfolio. Meet the latest member of this family, the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad ($49.99).

Intended to play nicely with the company's Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone, the charging pad is actually compatible with all smartphones that use the prevalent Qi standard.

Unfortunately, your U.S. Galaxy S4 is about to prove codependent. That's because it doesn't have wireless charging built in, so to even use the charging pad, you're going to have to fork out for the charging cover, a $39.99 plastic sheet in black or white that replaces the phone's standard-issue battery cover. Altogether, that's a $90 premium you'll have to pay just for the privilege of charging your phone without cords.

While I really love the idea of wireless charging and where it's going next, leeching almost $100 from your wallet for a system that's still less efficient than using a traditional, if more tangly, cable isn't my idea of money well spent. It'd be another story if the GS4 came with the look-ma-no-hands capability already built in and you were only buying one accessory rather than two.

Not all is lost for wallet-watchers who seek the advantages that wireless charging brings. If you like the idea of pulling the charging cord, you can try your hand at hacking your own wireless charger, as CNET did with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that came before.

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