Hands on with Microsoft's next-gen Qi wireless charger the DT-903

When it comes to wireless charging, Nokia can certainly be credited with pushing the useful technology to the masses like no other. Now, in 2014 their next creation, now under Microsoft, is getting ready to grace our desks and countertops. The DT-903 smart wireless charging pad, which still maintains a terrible name, at least makes up for it in features. The DT-903 is unique enough to be called 'smart' and there's a good reason for the designation.

We went hands on with the new DT-903 to show you what it is all about in our latest video. Featuring Qi wireless charging, NFC for 'tap-to-pair' and Bluetooth 4.0, the new Microsoft charger not only gives your Lumia power, but it tells you when you need to charge, or even if you have a missed call or text message.

How it works

The process works like this: Users pair their Lumia to the DT-903 via NFC, which then maintains a Bluetooth 4.0 connection. Whenever a user is in the area of the charger, the DT-903 pings the Lumia for battery information. If it is below 30%, the charging pad "breathes" with a slowly pulsing LED light that emanates from the bottom of the device. Placing the phone the pad results in a constant glow, the color of which matches the pad itself – so green, orange, or white. Visually, it is stunning.

Once your phone is fully charged, the radiance shuts off. Additionally, if you miss a call or text message, the pad can do a quick double pulse to serve as a visual indicator.

Do you want to control it? Users can set the brightness from low to medium to high, or even keep it off at night. Notifications are also optional. In other words, all of the potential annoying things can be disabled at your will, making the DT-903 truly personal.

As far as Qi wireless charging pads, the DT-903 is larger than its predecessors, which is better for devices like the Lumia Icon, Lumia 930 and especially the Lumia 1520, which cover greater areas.

When and how much?

The DT-903 goes on sale in October for 59 Euro / 59 USD. As a fan of wireless charging, I have to admit that the DT-903 caught my eye. It is not just another Qi wireless device, but a well thought out extension of that technology, or to put it another way, it is just damn cool looking and I want one (or three).

The recently announced Lumia 830 and Lumia 735 with replaceable Qi wireless charging covers can take advantage of the DT-903 in addition to other Lumia phones with Qi capability. The Lumia Denim firmware and Windows Phone 8.1.1 are also needed to interact with the advanced features. In the video, we use a Lumia 735 for demonstration purposes.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.