by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Staff Writer
The wait is over. Smartphone makers are finally adding wireless charging capabilities to their handsets. Forget about hunting for that microUSB port or dealing with a rat’s nest of cables. All you need to do is drop your phone right on a charging mat to give it juice. Each of these smartphones uses the Qi wireless charging standard. The technology works by taking advantage of the principle of magnetic induction, allowing power to be transferred from a charging mat or even a speaker dock to a smartphone’s battery. Ready to cut the cord? Check out these devices.
HTC Droid DNA (Verizon)
The first U.S. smartphone to sport a 1080p display, the 5-inch Droid DNA is a beautiful beast of a handset. This phone delivers quad-core power, a sharp and fast 8-MP camera and Beats Audio in a relatively slim design. The DNA’s 2,020 mAh battery will get you roughly 6.5 hours of battery life on 4G. And when it’s time to replenish you can use any compatible Qi-enabled device.
Google Nexus 4 (T-Mobile)
Any device that wears Google’s Nexus badge should signal that it has cutting edge tech under the hood. The Google Nexus 4 delivers, with a gorgeous 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS Plus display, a 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM. The Google Now improvements on this Android 4.2 Jelly Bean phone are especially delicious. Qi wireless charging is just the icing on the cakel. Google will offer a Wireless Charging Orb, but you’ll also be able to use other Qi accessories.
HTC Windows Phone 8X (Verizon)
Yes, you can get the Windows Phone 8X on AT&T and T-Mobile, but only the Verizon Wireless version offers wireless charging functionality. With its colorful design, Beats Audio and Microsoft’s slick Windows Phone 8 operating system, the Windows Phone 8X is a tempting choice for users looking to jump ship from Apple or Android to Microsoft’s new OS.
Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T)
The Lumia 920 is a Windows Phone 8 powerhouse, packing a ton of features for just $99. There’s a PureView camera that shoot great photos in low light, a gorgeous 4.5-inch HD display, and, of course, Qi wireless charging capability. Nokia is especially dedicated to the future of wireless charging, saying that it will install charging stations at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shops and Virgin Atlantic lounges. And don’t forget the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker that lets you wirelessly juice the 920 while streaming music at the same time.
LG Spectrum 2 (Verizon)
With a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 IPS display and a dual-core 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, the LG Spectrum 2 is a solid $99 Android smartphone for Verizon customers. DLNA compatibility and a built-in NFC chip give the Spectrum 2 the kind of features normally found on high-end devices. Add to that a Qi-compatible wireless charging chip built into the Spectrum 2’s back panel and an optional charging pad and you have a compelling value.
Nokia Lumia 810 (T-Mobile)
The T-Mobile-exclusive Lumia 810 brings a host of Nokia-specific features, including Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and City Lens. Its 4.3-inch 800 x 480 AMOLED display isn’t the sharpest, but colors certainly are vibrant. And with its speedy 1.5-GHz Snarpdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, the 810 can Windows Phone 8 like a champ. Wireless charging for the Lumia 810 comes by way of changeable shells equipped with Qi chips, which cost $39. The Lumia charging stand costs $69.