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How to retrofit your smartphone or tablet with Qi wireless charging (video)

By Joe Levi December 31, 2014, 1:31 pm
How to retrofit your smartphone or tablet with Qi wireless charging

We’ve long been fans of Qi Wireless Charging, but not all devices support the standard. Devices that include Qi can be recharged through electromagnetic induction rather than by directly connecting to a power source via  a charging cable. This requires some additional components inside Qi-compatible devices as well as a “base station” or charging pad, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll very likely be hooked. However, if your phone or tablet didn’t come with Qi support built-in, you may have thought you were out of luck. Not so! If your smartphone or tablet has a micro-USB port, it’s very easy to retrofit it with Qi wireless charging! Let’s take a look!

What you’ll need

To add Qi wireless charging to your smartphone or tablet you’re only going to need two things: a charger, and a coil. Qi chargers are pretty easy to find, a quick Amazon search will show you dozens. ZENS even makes a portable battery with Qi built in.

Next you’ll need a Qi charging coil, which cost anywhere from US$5 to $25. This is where things get a little tricky. Look at your phone or tablet and check out the micro-USB port: you’ll see a narrow part and a wide part. Note which faces the screen (this is “up”). Some devices (like the one in this video) have the narrow side “up”, and others have the narrow side “down”. You’ll need to know this when you order your Qi coil.

Then, take a look at where your USB port is located. Is it centered, or is it off to one side or the other. You can buy coils that have the USB connector offset to one side or the other to help the ribbon cable sit flat against your device. Pick whichever works best for your device.

How to do it

Last, all you’ll need to do is plug in your Qi charging coil and either tuck it inside your back cover or case. If you don’t have either (and don’t want to get one), simply use some double-stick tape to hold the coil in place.

You’re all set! Just lay your newly Qi-enabled phone or tablet on your charger, and within seconds you’ll be charging wirelessly!

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