Despite sluggish adoption, confusing marketing and a long-simmering standards war, wireless chargers litter today’s tech landscape. From the TYLT Vu to the Aukey Luna to Google’s Nexus “orb” to Nokia’s old DT-900, owners of Qi-enabled smartphones have no shortage of options to juice up their devices in the most futuristic manner possible.
But Microsoft wasn’t satisfied with the status quo, as they made clear in a press event at IFA 2014. There, alongside the newly-announced Lumia 730 and 830, we got our first look at the DT-903: a flattened, enlarged sequel to the DT-900 charging plate featuring NFC, Bluetooth, and LEDs bright enough to be seen even through the brilliant glare of a sunny Berlin afternoon. The LEDs did more than look cool; they worked with the communications hardware to dynamically display the phone’s status. A slow breathing glow indicated the Lumia was low on battery and should be brought to the pad to recharge. A bright flashing informed the user of an incoming message. And the light stayed on constantly while charging, Microsoft informed us, to give your office the 24th-century vibe that some of us go crazy for.
That was five months ago. Now, on the eve of retail availability, how does Microsoft’s new Qi charger work in the real world? We’ve had the better part of a week to test out our own DT-903 review device, so hop on down to our DT-903 review video to find out. And if you’re sufficiently taken with the device to want one of your own, Microsoft has them on sale right here for $59.