Skip to main content

DIY - Add Qi Wireless charging to your AT&T Lumia 1520 Part 2

We were hopeful that the replacement shells we found earlier would add Qi wireless charging to our AT&T variant of the Nokia Lumia 1520, but that didn’t work. Fortunately, there is another method found by WPCentral forum member, SonarTech. It is a bit complicated and requires some soldering skills.

Head past the break if you feel brave enough to tackle this challenge.

Before you start, you should know that this is a hardware hack. It will void your warranty and risks damaging your Lumia 1520. Continue at your own risk.

We’re interested in this hack because AT&T removed the built-in Qi wireless charging in favor of PMA with optional accessories. This means the Nokia wireless chargers you already have will not support Qi-enabled wireless charging covers for the Lumia 1520 on AT&T.

Still interested? Here are the materials you need:

  • AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520
  • Self-contained Qi Charging element (SonarTech used a Lumia 920 TDK charging coil)
  • Solid core bus wire, 24-26 AWG
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Kapton Tape
  • Digital Multi-meter

Got that? Now head over to the WPCentral forums and follow the instructions by SonarTech. You can also see the discovery process that has led to the final solution. Good luck and let us know if you succeed!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

  • I made up the term Microkia❕ I swear❕... I've been saying it from day one❕❕❕... Lol❕
  • Apparently the disease has spread...I'm calling the W.H.O. to see if they can act to quarantine the virus. =P
  • Microkia❕❕❕❕❕
  • Sounds like a really small Kia...
  • Lol lol
  • Haha yeah, first thing I thought of.. a Kia for little people
  • Lol
  • I'd rather have no Kia then a really small Kia... Haha get it no Kia because the phones are good and the cars are crap
  • LOL
  • Ohhhh god... Lol❕❕
  • LOL Rodney, you did it❕❕❕
  • Yaaaaaaaaaay❕❕❕❕... Hard work and determination pays off❕❕
  • Sucks att customers need a work around for qi
  • I'm not buying a phone that doesn't support Qi. So if they want my new contract at the end of the year they need to get their shit together. Enough 's enough.
  • It's not that serious. A device like the 1520 has barely anything that's a deal breaker. Maybe no pen support. I actually doubt that qi is coming back, from the release history. Nokia is focused on making thinner devices and so no more Qi because it apparently made the 920 so "fat" and "heavy". That's just the way the market works.
  • I agree.  I loved it on my 920 because it was nice an easy to set it on the charger on my desk at work but the1520 has such steller battery life I have never felt the need to charge it during the day and plugging it in on my night stand is a non issue.
  • Dont forget that the non-AT&T version does have qi.  The reason it was removed from AT&T version was conflict with their involvement in a competing technology for wireless charging; not to make it thinner. My wife wants a 1520, I'll be buying an unlocked international version on contract for you AT&T.
  • although there is a tradeoff with international version missing a couple of the LTE bands.  Not entirely sure what that means in real world use.  It's late and I'll have to look more tomorrow.  
  • Do we have actual proof that the international 1520 is thicker and heavier?
  • It is not any thicker as in inductive coil is so thin it easily fits into the case. I add it from my Nokia charging case to my Nokia 925 with no issues whatsoever
  • As already noted, the thickness is the same. The weight of the International one is 3 grams heavier (0.1 oz). The 920 was thick and heavy. We don't know the reason for that, except that it wasn't because of the Qi built-in support.
  • Except that it has zero impact on size and weight...
  • When you say "from the release history," you certainly don't mean the 928, which came out in May 2013, or the global 1520 from October 2013 or the ICON, which is supposedly almost here. You also wrote that the market wants "thinner devices and so no more Qi." The first part of that is true, but the second part is incorrect speculation. There's no difference in thickness between the AT&T 1520 and the international one. Indeed, AT&T isn't opposed to wireless charging in concept, they're just opposed to all flavors of it that aren't the one that they support. So, the thickness of future AT&T models will likely be the same as the non-AT&T models because they'll both have wireless coils of some kind inside.
  • Even with the charging cover on my wifes 1020 is notably lighter than my built in charging 920. So I don't think that's why there is no qi. It's ATT supporting another wireless charging setup.
  • size is not a problem the international 1520 comes with wirless charging an is pretty much the same size.  at&t is just trying to push tech that they invested in, which now is hurting their customers (that already invested in Qi)
  • Now instead of having a choice of any case you want with your 920, you get a choice of one thick ugly case that doesn't even cover all the sides if you want QI charging. Pretty pissed at how poorly Nokia are looking after their customers with this.
  • ?? The 920 already comes with qi wireless charging built in.. don't need a case lol. Unless you ment the 925 :P.
  • Nokia needs to start selling their own again in the states. Removing the Qi wireless charging is just hurting their own support for it in the states.
  • The person that did that "Microkia" thing should have the devices exploding in his/her hands for such stupidity. That said, what I would like was to add Qi charging to the NOKIA L1020. Really annoyed that they didn't included it. I hate having to use the cover. I would rather have a fatter device but with Wi built in that having to keep changing covers...=\
  • +1020 The extra shell is annoying and a bit homely. We need to pound AT&T and Nokia for doing this. Either that or Nokia should make an adapter for the $300 Speaker/chargers they sold us all last year if their going to put in the other charging system gong forward.
  • Not an issue for me, enjoying my AT&T 1520... best phone i ever have.
  • My 1520 is so amazingly awesome in every way, I could never go back to 'just' a 920. The only thing I miss is QI. I ordered an external QI coil that plugs into the USB and should fit between the phone and my wallet case. Wish me luck.
  • I just got a Lumia 1520 today. It's very impressive and high performance, but it's very big phone. Totally, I like this phone. And it's my second phone today!
  • Would be the best, except coming from my ATT 920 to my ATT 1520, the lack of Qi bothers me EVERY DAY, and, I'm sorry, but the 16GB is crippling, despite the fact that I have a 64GB microSD in it.  Doesn't take more than a handful of apps and games to fill the 16GB storage.  I constantly get the "Low Storage" warning. A non-ATT crippled version of this device would have been the best phone I ever had, but thanks to AT&T, it's not.  I wouldn't even call it a flagship in AT&T form....
  • "Microkia"?(!) 0.o
  • Should've been Micronok, it sounds much better.
  • Yeah, Microkia sounds like a small "Kia"
  • ha, that'd be teh hamster car!
  • Or noksoft
  • Lol. MicroNokia. That's cute. At&t customers are spoiled by great devices and are so upset that there's no wireless charging and have to resort to this. Windows phone users on other carriers, however, will take whatever we can get. If T-mobile or Verizon got the 1520 we wouldn't be in such a tizzy about wireless charging. I'm not insulting at&t customers, I'm just saying: be happy with what you have. At least you have great devices that are on par with the competition. Just saying.
  • Agreed! It is not the end of the world by far. I have the 920 and only use the Qi charger if I don't plan on doing anything with, such as, when I'm sleep. With that said, it's a cool features, but not this spectacular must have. I find myself using the corded charger more, anyway. I actually appreciate how light the 1520 is. Then again, if I had to pay $50 for my wireless charger, I would want my next phone to be able to use it.
  • It doesn't matter if some on here believe the loss is not that great. From a brand perspective when Nokia included wireless charging it differentiated it from others by leading the way ahead and any press of that sort in this highly competitive market means a lot
    Just look at Samsung who put every sensor they could in the Galaxy handset even though they had no real use for them. Build it and they will come.
  • I can't argue that point. Wireless charging does come in handy for car chargers / holder that allow you to use the GPS feature.  
  • $50 would be annoying, but Nokia sold me 2 $300 Speaker/chargers, so I'm beyond pissed at AT&T.
  • Agreed. I would just be annoyed if my only investment in Qi was a charging plate. But since I went all in and bought the JBL speaker thing, I am seriously pissed. I am sticking with my 920 for the time being, not sure what my long-term strategy is going to be.
  • Cellus, before april I would have agreed with you....wireless charging bah who needs it....I bought one for my 920 to use at work.  I plugged it in at home to test it before taking it in to work, it hasnt moved since.  I went from no interest in wireless charging to it is a must in a phone.  it might be another thing if nokia didnt design the phone with the functionality built in, but to have a stripped down shell of a phone be offered its not cool.  Its a sad state of affairs when one has to consider ordering an international phone to get all the features it was designed to have.  I've been an att customer for the past decade, and am considering a switch if the 929/icon has qi.  yes, its that big of a deal.  
  • I'm not saying "bah who needs it" I'm saying it shouldn't be that big of deal where you run the risk of taking apart your phone and breaking it.
  • Adding it to my 925 was a 10-15 minute job and I am not the sort of person to do this. As long as you follow the simple instructions on YouTube you can't go wrong.
  • Can't understand why the phone can't have the same internals, and just the cover type can vary with either Qi or PMA charging...
  • Thank att for that.
  • I bought a yellow case and microusb qi adapter so I can use all my qi accessories again. Works like a charm
  • @lumianut. Where did you order these from? And how much ?
  • I just want an RM-938. Where oh where.
  • In addition to hacked methods that void warranties, can we please begin to pressure Nokia/AT&T on releasing any OEM wireless charging cover? I've reached out to Nokia with no luck "No comment at this time" blah blah blah
  • There are much thinner wireless charging covers, I saw one for the 1020 recently.
  • Microkia...
  • Stop.
  • Thinner than the Nokia one? Please provide details as I've only seen their cover. Thanks
  • As much as I didn't want to do it I purchased a PMA charger. Instead of fighting them, just join them there are bigger battles in life to fight than charging standards.
  • Unless u have 4 qi chargers already purchased
  • And you want the best...
  • But with att pma isn't built in so you buy a 70$ pma plate plus 60$ bulky case that's 130$ for wireless charging...on my 920 it was free from att
  • Or just go ahead and buy a factory unlocked, international version of the phone instead of complaining about wireless charging. I'm 100% sure it will work with an AT&T SIM.
  • I'm hoping it will work on Verizon. The elusive 929 screen is to small for the work I do from my phone.
  • Its the double edge knife scenario of get this phone now at a low price modified and hacked and locked to at&t or spend the full price of 599 or more and get it later, the benefits of either situation depends on the buyer, the 1520 was the first phone I've contracted with at&t in 10+ years $99 bought me. But I'm still using my international Ativ S because I use the Data Sense and the internet share a lot.
    so without the 32gb , data sense, internet share and wireless charging, you get what you pay for.... How about NoCrosoft.
  • Ha, or noqisoft!
  • Or just NokSoft...
  • Nokiasoft is way better
  • I'll just buy the international variant. Fuck ATT
  • I'd rather add Palm Touchstone charging honestly, those things were far better designed than the Qi chargers... Anyone tried it yet?