Nexus Wireless charging Orb coming… when?

December 5, 2012
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Buyers of the Google Nexus 4 have already contended with limited availability and endless ‘sold out’ screens, and it looks like it will remain that way for at least a little while. For anyone that is having trouble ordering one of the hottest phones on the market right now, the reactions are almost procedural – frustration, some anger, repetition as the user keeps coming back to the webpage to check availability, denial as the same status remains, and in some cases, finally defeat when it seemingly never changes.

Unfortunately, it looks like users of the new Nexus might have to go through all of this again if they hope to buy one of the more anticipated accessories – the Nexus Wireless Charging Orb. Included in the Nexus 4 is its support of the Qi wireless charging standard, which Google hoped to take advantage of by supplying users with a small Orb that can magnetically keep the phone in place and charge the battery. It is a very nice looking device, and given the new Jelly Bean 4.2 feature called Daydream, it adds functionality by making your phone double as a photo frame, a clock, or a psychedelic color palette.

Originally revealed on October 29, users have been excited to use the sleek charging Orb to charge their new Nexus 4 device, only their phones never arrived. Now that shipping of the Google official phone is finally starting to pick up (see our review of the Nexus 4 here), users are looking to the future. But after the 29th, there hasn’t been much word on when the Orb will actually be released – not to mention, we don’t even know how much we have to put down in order to go wireless. And if the past is any indication, we might have to wait for a long time.

Google, unfortunately, is rather known for its lack of consistency with accessory availability. I am a current Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus user, and there’s just one thing about this phone I can’t help but be ambivalent about – the pogo pins on the side. These are three dimpled marks on the side that essentially serve absolutely no purpose. Why? Because Google didn’t make accessories – like the charging dock – that accommodate for the differences in the Verizon version of the phone. What are these differences? About 1 millimeter. That tiny amount of distance keeps the pins from touching the charging circuits on the dock. So, without any other choices, Verizon Galaxy Nexus users were left without a way of using the POGO pins for charging.

Not to mention the fact that the Nexus 7 charging dock has been unavailable for some time, as well – only recently has there been word of the official Asus dock being available, but currently only in Japan. Those us in the United States who have had no luck in receiving the Asus dock are stuck using our charging ports, hopefully sturdy enough to withstand the seemingly lifetime of usage they will be getting.

Okay, rant over – but this is just a sample of the frustration that users can experience when trying to make sense of the untapped capabilities of their phone. Perhaps luckily, however, there are ways of taking advantage of the Qi wireless charging capability in the Nexus 4, as alternatives to the Orb are available from other manufacturers. Energizer is one of the more well-known charging mats, while LG and Nokia have made their own versions, as well.

 

 All of these alternatives are mat-like in design, unlike the Orb that has the appealing dock-like form factor – yet another reason why people are clamoring for it. Given that we’ve gone over a month since the unveiling of the Orb, users probably shouldn’t be surprised if they won’t have a nice charging Nexus clock/photo frame/psychedelic color palette on their desks for the holidays.

Are you anxiously waiting for the wireless charging Orb? Rant about your wait, especially if you are also one of the people still waiting for your Nexus 4!

 

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