One Less Cable

Saturday, 5 January 2013

When I bought my Lumia 920, I had a difficult time deciding whether to spend an additional £70 on a wireless charger. The phone itself shipped with an AC-16 adapter + charging cable. And, in my 27 years, that has been the standard. Moreover, if I added another £30 to my budget, I could get one of these. So, I walked out the shop £70 richer.

The first few days with my Lumia 920 were positive. This was a major upgrade on my Omnia 7. But, as much as I was in awe of its technical might, I didn't love it. Apart from its weight, which I was getting used to and found strangely reassuring, there was not much not to love about the device. And, so, I told the Lumia "it's not you, it's me".

Being economical shackled my Lumia. It wants to be free and does what other phones can't, but through my actions, I insisted it be tied down and behave like most other phones. Dumb move. So, I returned to the shop.

Seven days and a wireless charging stand later, I love my Lumia.

Apple describes its new Lightning connector as smaller, smarter, reversible and durable. Great. But, what if it's invisible? The naysayers may highlight how the wireless charging stand needs to be plugged in, thus instantly eliminating its appeal. I say only if it's a portable solution you're specifically looking for. But, then, wouldn't these be more appropriate? In my case, the stand is stationed at home and so this isn't a concern. Would it be nice if I could carry it between rooms without needing to un-plug/re-plug? I guess. Do I need it to? No. Additionally, based on light research, it appears an always connected naked stand consumes a trivial amount of energy. Phew.

The docked nature of the stand on my desk means I can browse the phone freely without compromising its charging. That is, it's no longer an idle device during a charge, but another screen supplementing my other screens. And, when I receive call, I don't need to pick the phone up to see who's calling - the name of the caller is beamed. Windows Phone's incoming call screen's use of large text to identify the caller ensures I can see who's calling from a reasonable distance even. If I decide to answer, it's as convenient as receiving a call on a cordless house phone. This is particularly important to me, as I'm (unfortunately) someone who has a habit of walking around in circles during a call. Now, I just pick up the phone and go. Frictionless. These are the reasons why I'd recommend the charging stand over the pillow or plate

Most important of all, since purchasing the stand, not once have I left my house with my Lumia on less than a 100% charge. Previously, I'd charge my phone intermittently, either because I'd forget to plug it in after coming home/answering a call/etc., or because I would intentionally leave it unplugged so it's more mobile. As a result, more often than not, I'd go out on an incomplete charge. Not anymore. The stand's visibility shouldn't be underestimated. Unlike a charging cable, which is usually buried away so not to offend your eyes and/or in the company of many others, the stand is well designed and in positive isolation. When I see it, it's served as a trigger to return the phone home.

It's simple. If you want to get the most value out of your Lumia, then you must get its wireless charging stand. It's as critical to the Lumia as the keyboard covers are to the Surface. There are far too many practical everyday benefits associated with having one, that I'd question why you'd want a Lumia 920 if you intend to purchase it on its own. I made that mistake. I recommend you don't.