Wireless charging tech off to rocky start in the wild?

You’re missing out if you have a Windows Phone with the ability to charge wireless and you’re not using it. But it’s probably in the comfort of your home or office where you’re enjoying it day-to-day. And that’s probably because you’ve invested in a wireless enabled charging pad. Go out in public and you’ll have a hard time finding businesses that offer them.

What about those partnerships Nokia made companies like Virgin Atlantic or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf? Jessica Dolcourt shares her experience after finally seeing wireless charging in the wild.

Many of us were excited back in October when we first learned about the partnership between Nokia and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL). However, the rollout hasn’t been as fast as we’d all hope. One coffee shop here in the US to get wireless charging first was the CBTL location at the Venetian in Las Vegas, conveniently in time for CES.

I’ve been to dozens of their shops across southern California the past few months and haven’t seen any wireless charging stations. Apparently I need to drive up the coast to Jessica’s city of San Francisco to see it. Earlier this week she went to her favorite CBLT and finally saw the partnership with Nokia in action. It didn’t leave a good first impression. The sign was obscure and hard to view, with the Lumia 920 below the table it was next to. Under the table you could see the charging pad, but that’s not really a big deal. On top the locations to place your phone were marked by a sticker. Sadly, that sticker was frayed, discolored, and dirty.

Obviously infrastructure takes time to roll out, but I’m curious if any of you guys and gals have seen tables with wireless charging at a CBLT near you. Any in southern California I’m missing? Share your experience and pictures below.

Source: CNET

  • I have one and its great but the cost of these charging pads is steep to the point its prohibitive...
  • Indeed. The costs are ridiculous. The devices are also not available in shops anywhere in the UK that I have seen, which doesn't help a new technology to gain acceptance. We have two Lumia 920s in the house and don't have a single wireless charger. I have honestly never even seen one anywhere in public, there is no traction at all. Perhaps if some of the big phone manufacturers like Samsung or Apple adopted them as standard in their flagship devices the idea might catch on.
  • I've heard the S4 will support QI wireless, so that may help market penetration of the chargers....
  • I don't see how $50 is ridiculous. You'd probably have to spend $30 to get a first party charger. I have three in the house and feel they were well worth it.
  • Looks like its cheaper in the US , around here it costs a little bit over 90 Dollars :/
  • I agree.  They are like $50 in the US.   I have several around my house and office.  I bought the stand-up kind so I can view it on my desk at work or night stand without picking it up.  They are great!
    Also, what's with the publlic charging stand?  How is that supposed to work?  Charge your phone for 30 seconds while you get a cup of coffee?  What does that do for you?  Certainly not going to put it down on a public charging stand and walk away from it to place my order, etc.  I don't see how it is usuable or adds value to a customer
  • I believe they are supposed to be in the table.  So if your going to stop in and have a cup and work on your laptop, or meet someone etc you can charge your phone.  
  • OK that makes sense.   I also undertand about the cost issue now that I realize that was the idea.  Not like adding wifi and broadcasting it in your establishment.  Here you need to have each table wired up.  Cost of installation, maintenance, replacement, etc.  Plus few people have them yet.  As another poster said, once it's prolific it might be an incentive for a business to add them
  • Agreed. Furthermore, its nice that friends and family can come over and use a charging pad with out messing up or spaghettifying USB cables.
  • 30$ for a USB charger? You got to be kidding. Even for an iPhone charger it's ridiculous. I bought my 820 for about 120$. Now I would have to buy another shell (my green one can't charge), which is 30$, and then a charger for about 65$. Kinda absurd, don't you think?
  • For the price they cost me, how often I use them, and the wear they save on the USB port... no, I don't think it's absurd at all.
    Your $120 for the phone is a SUBSIDIZED price.  It's a $400+ phone.  An extra $50-100 for charging convenience is well worth it to many.  As with everything, it all depends on how much your money is worth to you vs your convenience.
    In addition, I hope to utilize the chargers for many years to come, with my next few phones which I hope will have wireless charging.
  • Only a fool would buy a first party charger. For my other phones I've gotten 3rd party chargers from amazon and monprice. They might not last as long, but I could buy 6 of them for the price of the 1st party version and they charge the phones just as well. If the wireless charger wasn't included when I got the phone, I wouldn't be using it now.
  • Awfully judgemental about how other people spend their money, aren't you?  As long as we're throwing around insults I would like to declare that anyone who goes around calling people "fools" over a $30 expendature without knowing anything about them, their finances, or the situation is a much bigger fool..
  • The production quality from some of those sources isn't as good as advertised. I got a charger from dealextreme, for example, which cooked a Kindle. 
    It's like a PC power supply - you get what you pay for - and when using my new shiny yellow 920, the last thing I want to do is hook it up to a $.40 cable and plug.
    I bought two wireless Nokia chargers off ebay for 45 each (shipping in, to Canada). One at work, one on the bedside table. Love it, love it, love it.
    Looking forward to the Nokia car charger, and I might get another Qi charger for at home in the living room (no rush though).
  • In Sweden its 80$ for a charging pad and 100$ for a charging stand.
  • Just curious will it work if you have a otterbox case? I think I know the answer but I'm hoping.
  • It becomes more squirrelly the more you add in but hopefully it will work... With my 920 it works through Nokia's CC-1043 case as well as a third-party flip-case even with the front cover flipped back, but if I do that it sometimes seems to lose the connection and I have to be more careful about reseating it. But with the CC-1043 at least I can just set it on the charger and everything is tickety-boo.
  • If only that Q had been answered hundreds of times before...haha.  As long as the case is not metal, it will work.
    EDIT: WPCentral is calling their OWN site spam, but search for the article called: "testing-limits-nokias-wireless-charging-pad"
  • the answer is yes, and i have the massive Otterbox Defender case.  BUT due to the thickness you will need to be more careful to align it on the charging pad.
  • Nothing in Cardiff, UK that I've seen. My son just got an 820, as i have a 920 we got a charging pad. Nice to just pop it on the pad for a few minutes to top up.
  • Will be soon making a part of my table into a wireless charging pad
  • Sounds really cool I'd love to do that!
  • There's a video on youtube with detailed instructions on how to put the wireless charger into a night stand!
  • I've got to devise something for my car..
  • There is some cool hardware that is already out there!
  • Yeah, but for how much?? Lol!
  • Not on the east coast.
  • Unfortunately no pics as I am not in that area any longer, but Coffee Bean in Westwood area off Gayley Ave in So Cal has them. Everytime I've been there, all of them were available for usage being that we are in the land of iPhone zombies.. :-)
  • The price of the obscenely cool Fatboy here in Lisbon is high, it's 100 EUR, the more modest one, the plate is 75, so... yeah, kinda waiting to see if it's a future proof investment.
  • Nothing in Los Angeles
  • Not true. Get The Coffee Bean's app to locate.
  • must say at home with it and will never go back to wires. I would guess with samsung joing with their S4 that we will start to see more and more come alive.
    Its because we are the first for a big change.
  • It's an option on the S4, just like its an option on the S3. I don't see how the new model changes anything. 
  • We have two in our household. I hardly ever use mine. I'm sure it is psychological, but I just don't feel like it charges as quickly. I even get paranoid that it isn't charging at all, so I check on it periodically, which I wouldn't have to do if I were using a wire. I feel like I would use this a lot more if I sat at a desk all day or something, but since I'm always on the move, I just can't get used to it.
  • There is some truth to it. The pad charges a little bit slower than the stand. I usually use the stand and I have no issues at all with the time it takes to charge.
  • If you look at the plate and the wired charger, I believe that the wired one charges at twice the rate of the wireless (750mah vs 1500mah) so you're right. The Nokia wireless plate does charge slower. Just make sure that you use the included Nokia charger, as many micro USB chargers charge at 750mah or less.
  • Thanks, that guy with the face. Never thought about differences between wires.
  • It's more the power adapter you plug into the wall that you then plug the usb cable into that you need to look at but yes, always worth checking! :)
  • I was in need of a charge once and while I was at the Microsoft store I placed my NL920 on top of a Nokia Power up. It was nice!
  • Would love to had a charging pad, but can't afford it.
  • Two at home. Zero in the business of Central CA. I would love to be proven wrong.
  • If it wasnt so dang expensive
  • Still waiting for TYLT to be ready.
  • If Att throw in a charging back for the SG4 it will take off
  • Sadly, don't see that happening, but I guess only time will tell.
  • If  the SG4 is $199 on all 4major carriers, one or maybe two will have to set themselves from the pack. On Verizon people with Droid DNA's were buying Nokia chargers
  • I have a stand on my nightstand and a pad that travels with me for my multiple hotel stays each week. I drive almost 11 hours a day so I'm still looking for a way to use it in my truck. Strangely enough, I'm not too fond of the idea of leaving my phone on public tables.
  • There is a wireless charging holder out in the wild. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoQBEuGUSrg
  • I got a free Nokia charge pad with my 920. Its great as it sits on my bed side table and now that's where my phone sleeps. I wouldn't go around shouting from the rooftops, but it is a good feature.
  • Same here, free with my 920.
  • $40 au for standard Nokia pad and $50 for fatboy and me my mates and gf with 920s would be in
  • I'm after the Nokia stand to put on my desk but at £70 its way to much. Though the little one plugged into my laptop looks like a good purchase but not sure they are out in UK.
  • Just bought a black stand from amazon for a tad over £55. The plate was around £45 on amazon as well
  • I got a free one with my 820 and find it great. It does take a little while to charge and you cant really type while using it if it's really low but i can pop my phone on it while I'm at my desk and before i go to bed (student room so my desk is my bedside cabinet)
    It's a good feature to show off too :) I do like the look of the nightstand with nfc though... Maybe i should buy a sticker for it
  • The type of wireless charging dock that the Palm Pre had and the Nexus 4 has are better than what is currently offered for the Windows Phones. I'm talking specifically about there being magnets to hold the phone to the charger at the correct alignment, this also allows the phone to be at an angle instead of laying flat. As a bonus, it just looks cooler!
  • The magnet-thing isn't all that serious.  I've haphazardly placed my Lumia on the charging pad and still get a connection.  I've spun my phone on top of the charger for fun and it still charges.  I can lift the phone a millimeter or 2 above the charger (not touching) and its still charging.  The whole idea about the 'sweet spot' isn't that important when we're talking SPECIFICALLY about the Lumia 920 and the Nokia charger.  
    Most of the 'sweet spot' complaints I've read usually involves a person trying to use a charger from one brand (like Nokia) with a phone of another brand (like the Nexus 4).  Which, don't get me wrong, I understand... what is the point of a 'standard' if the shape/internal layout of the phone screws up the connection?   But just like people are reporting that the Nokia charger doesn't work with the Nexus 4... I'm also seeing reports of the Lumia 920 not working well with the Nexus Qi charger.
  • I must disagree that the sweet spot isn't important on the Lumia... Many times I've set my phone on the charger only to hear the charging connection sound repeat over and over. When I go to reset the phone on the charger it turns out it was only lined up a bit wrong, a bit too far to one side or the other. Never had such a prob on my Pre with magnets. Don't get me wrong it's not a huge deal, but still...
  • I want to get a wireless charging shell for my 810 but its getting awfully hard to find now. Then maybe I can also get the wireless charging pad.
  • I used to think a wireless pad would be nice, I never bought one for my Palm Pre, and back then Pre charger went on sale for 5 bucks. But since I've gotten my Brando Power Jacket, I literally only charge my phone with that, while in my pocket and during use. When my battery gets around 50-60% the Brando goes on, when charged, the Brando goes on the charger. With the exception of prolonged Asphalt or Wordament binges, I literally am never tethered to a charger, it's brilliant and I don't understand why reviews of the Brando never take this usage into account, it's not just for flights and long travel. I went a whole week recently where my phone never went under 60%, and below 70% just twice. It's so perfect, I don't know why more people aren't raving about it.
  • I have a wireless charger. I use it every night and I can't wait for it to expand even more. I know toyota's are to come out with them as well. I think Nokia made a mistake on their partnership. A car company would had made more sense. Even partnering with a furniture company would had made more sense. Hipsters only do what the iPhone can do. If the iPhone doesn't do it, hipsters act like the tech is far in the future. Apple is popular in the bar scene but its hold with car culture/tech isn't to strong. This and other areas.... Nokia can exploit. If Nokia made a partnership with BMW or Audi, it would do far better.
  • I ordered a Duracell unit from tiger direct(.ca)... Its my phone's bed time resting place :)
  • As soon as Nokia releases the wireless car charger I will have wireless charging.
  • yes. or brodit.. wired car chargers seem to be just a pain :)
  • This is wireless charging at about three feet.. If they could get this to make more power then it would be better than the wireless charging we have in our lumias because there would be no need for charging pads, or pillows..
  • Don't have one yet, don't really need one. I'm not incapable of finding the little cord hole. I'm good like that. It's just a novelty anyway. Eventually I would like to get one just to play around I guess. So there. How you like them apples?
  • Well, its not that big of a deal, but you are missing out. Its nice to just come home an plop it down on the nightstand. After you do that a few times you'll be like "F#¢k this cord"" lol!
  • I have the JBL Powerup and its an amazing piece of kit....it charges quick and sounds awesome.....a hefty price tag but its replaced my micro HiFi....so well worth it.
  • NICE! Go Venetian! I hope I can somehow get my wireless charging back cover before I have to go... =P
  • Get The Coffee Bean app, you can filter the locations with "Wireless Charging" as one of the criteria. I live in West Hollywood, CA and there are 4 locations in the Los Angeles area and they're all within 5 miles of me. The next closest is Vegas!!
  • You're the man!
  • I would use one if it was given to me like the person at the AT&T store said it would.
  • I live near the LA/OC border and haven't seen any charging stations around here, but I did install the CB&TL app and there is a filter to find local stores with wireless charging. 
  • Although I have never used one before, is it really that great?
    Surely its not that much more convenient than plugging in a cable...
    I can maybe see a use away from home instead of lugging a cable around but not really at home.
  • I think your logic is 100% backwards. Away from home cable, because why would you bring something to set it on + its cable to plug in. It's perfect for home and office because you can do away with having to mess with a cable. You set it down, continue with your work, or just fall asleep. Must be nice to come home half asleep and maybe a little "under the weather" and just set ur phone on the charger rather then in the dark having to make sure the cable is facing the right way to go in the port.
  • Each to their own I guess.
  • I'm totally in agreement with this. I got a free Nokia Fatboy charger with my 8X and love it. My girlfriend has an iPhone 5 and says she thinks my phone is awesome partially because of the wireless charging. 
    I like it because it's effortless and saves the microUSB port from loosening (you'd be surprised how often those things can fail...then again I do phone tech support so I'm exposed to it more than most). If the phone rings I grab it, walk and talk, then walk over and put it back on charge. No fussing with a cable. It was also nice at work but I've stopped packing it. I usually have enough juice to get through work, the gym and back home for the evening. It was done as a precaution until I realized how great the battery life is.
  • I wouldn't have bought one but it came with my 920 from AT&T. Now that I've used it for a while if I were to get another phone and it didn't include the charging pad I'd pay extra for it. Does that answer your question? I don't take it traveling, however. For that I take my wall charger and my Anker 10,000mAh backup battery.
  • Here is how I see it:
    What's needed for wireless:
    1. Cable
    2. Charging plate
    3. Some models a case What's need for wired:
    1. Cable.
    How to charge wireless:
    1. Put phone on plate.
    How to charge wired:
    1. Plug cable in.
    2. Maybe open flap (I have a 800)
    It just seems quite cumbersome.
    When I heard wireless, I had thought it were actually wireless, sort of like charging by wifi if you like.
    This systems introduces something between the cable and the phone (the plate).
    Although I haven't used one, it sort of reminds me of an iPad situation.
    It's an inbetween device, but no one really needs it as there is already an adequate solution (phone or laptop).
    Marketing at its best  
  • You really didn't read what I said. The key difference between us is that I have used one and continue to do so whereas you have not used one so you are viewing it from a point of practical ignorance. By practical I mean direct experience of the practicality of the device.
  • Its very hard to explain.  I don't think its necessary per se, but there is something inexplicable about it where you actually will get to the point where you start looking at your wired devices like they are dinosaurs.
    What is incorrect though is that it's a 'novelty'.  If it was truly a novelty, that would mean the wireless pads would eventually not be used by those who own them and find their way into a junk drawer somewhere, but no, I use both my wireless pads every single day, all the time.
    At work, I use a wired, USB dock for my Lumia... there are times where I need to get up and go do something (like use the restroom) and I look at my phone docked on the USB stand and I think, "Screw it, I'll be back in 5 seconds and I don't feel like undocking the phone", so I just leave my Lumia there.  If I was using a wireless charger, it woudln't matter.  Just pick it up and go.
    Sounds trivial, believe me I know... that's why its hard to explain for those of us like it so much, because once you start getting into explanations, none of it sounds serious.  BUT... its sounds trivial when you're tallking about being at home where having a wire in the same spot would not be any more or less convenient.  Remember the whole promise of wireless charging, which this article is touching upon, is that we're supposed to be seeing these things out in the wild... in those places and times where most of us are NOT carrying a cord and adapter.  Someone says, "hey man, lets go to lunch", I don't stuff an AC adapter into my pocket.
  • Sounds like I should try one for myself before coming to a conclusion.
    Thanks for giving some practical examples :)
  • I also got a free charging plate when I bought my 920. Nokia Australia have a promotion on at the moment where if you buy the 820 or 920 outright they'll give you the wireless charger free. I must say that the wireless charging is a brilliant feature, and having used it now for a few weeks I couldn't see myself using a plug in charger again unless forced. The price to buy these charging plates is very high though which is hindering voluntary take up I think.
  • Obviously infrastructure takes time to roll out, but I’m curious if any of you guys and gals have seen tables with wireless charging at a CBTL near you. 
    What Infrastructure? They are just taking the regular Nokia wireless charging pads and putting them in an enclosure. They could easily have them in all of the stores in less than a day.
    CBTL hardly has any locations in NYC. I have never been to any.
  • I bought my 822 partly for the wirelss charging.  I never got around to buying a back plate for it and so no wireless charger. The wired charger works well for me right now.  If I see the wireless equipment on sale I'll pick it up.
  • Palm Touchstone all over again, meanwhile if the iphone gets a reversible plug the world goes wild...
    there ain't no justice :p
  • i want to get this but the back panel for 820 and the charger would cost almost 50 % of what i paid for the phone itself. at current prices this is one technology i am not paying for :(
  • Off purse not many places have wireless charging. Its because many consumers are still nor aware of this technology and the fact the industry is not showing enough for backwards compatibilities fir current devices on the market. I think it is an illusion that wireless charging will be applied without hickups. If so the industry should have first started working on the wireless charging infrastrucure before applying them to smartphones. Consumers want a phone that's free and works, so the reality is that they have "older models" that still rely on a good old wall charger. I think companies aren't doing enough to support these phones on the market. They won't be leaving soon. I think we have to wait another two years before we see a significantly practical change. And please do something about the price, I mean 50 euros fir some fancy plastic and wires, come on, we as consumers and small companies are not that hungry to buy practical technology for that price! The truth is we should stop fussing about thin and light phones and for us to have a great smartphone experience we just need higher capacity, linger lasting, and plainly heavier batteries. So lets get over the modelthin analogies and accept more humane proportions of a phone!
  • I am ready for the wireless car docks to come out.
  • They should have partnered with Starbucks and McDonald and Tim hortons.