Nokia Fatboy Wireless Charging Pillow Review
Wireless charging seems like it’ll be the cool new thing for 2013, that’ll probably end up being part of more and more phones and maybe more devices as well. When Nokia announced that their new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 (with the appropriate shell) supported wireless charging, I wasnt sure if it’d be something I’d actually use/need or if it was just a gimmick. Still, the company is pushing to make the technology mainstream, and companies like HTC and LG now it in their latest flagship devices as well.
So when I got the Nokia FatBoy wireless charging pillow I was interested in seeing what, if any, difference it would make to my daily life. Nokia also has a wireless charging plate available, which is basically the same as the wireless charging pillow, except y’know, without the padding, and there’s a wireless charging stand with NFC built-in too. It’s kinda hard to ‘review’ a charger but hey incase you’re thinking of picking one up, here’s what we think of the Charging Pillow.
As I mentioned earlier, the charging pillow is similar to the charging plate, where-in the pillow is actually just a cloth-stuffing-bag that you pull over a wireless charging plate. In the retail box, you get the charging plate, the adapter and the pillow, which all together become the Wireless Charging Pillow you see in the images here.
The Pillow is made by Fatboy, and pretty high quality, with the seams sewn in very well and the material feeling rugged enough to survive for a while. Essentially you’re just going to place the charging pillow on your desk, next to your couch, or by your bedside, so it’s not like it needs to survive much else anyway. Unless you’re the sort to take your charging pillow on a trip somewhere, but I’d assume the normal wired charger you got with your phone will be more adept to those scenarios.
The Charging plate (that slides into the pillow-bag) is light and made of a smooth, glossy plastic, and matches the color of the pillow you bought. There’s a tiny little LED on the front that lights up when it is charging a device, but it’s thankfully not bright enough to be annoying, especially if you did place the pillow next to your bedside.
Incase you dont want to use the pillow for some odd reason, you can still use the charging plate by itself. There’s even a nice rubbery stand at the bottom so that it doesnt move on a surface.
The Charging Pillow is available in Red, Yellow, Cyan, Black and White to match the fancy new Lumia colors. I have the white version (because the other colors were so hard to find) which goes pretty well with my Yellow Lumia 920.
The pillow is filled with a nice little soft bean-bag-like material that literally makes it an actual pillow.
As a result your phone is all comfortable when you lay it on top, and there’s no chances of scratching the polycarbonate on your Lumia phone. The charging pillow supports the Qi wireless charging standard, so I’d assume it’d work well with the Nexus 4 and HTC Droid DNA / HTC Butterfly as well as other devices in the future that support the standard.
The charger also apparently wont use up any power unless it is actually wirelessly charging a phone. So if you have it switched on next to your bedside, according to Nokia it wont be using any power, until you place your Lumia 920/820 on it to charge. The plate doesnt switch off automatically when the phone is finished charging though, but I’m not sure if this is the phone’s fault or by design incase the phone charges up and then runs out of juice. So that’s the whole power efficiency thing done as well.
Coming to charging efficiency, Nokia states that their wireless chargers are very power efficient, but just shy of a wired charger. It took about 2 hours 50 minutes to charge my Lumia 920 from a completely dead, zero percent battery state to full battery at a 100 percent. On a wired charger, it took about 2 hours to charge it from zero to a hundred percent, so there’s not really that much of a difference in terms of charging speed vs a normal wires charger. Atleast not as much as I assumed. It’s not as efficient as charging it via a wire, the same way Bluetooth audio doesnt sound as good as audio over a wire, but it’s basically the con of the whole wireless dealio. Which is why I’d recommend this as a bed-side charger for overnight charges, or on your office desk if you want to keep your phone charged up for a crazy evening.
It’s difficult to say whether it’s worth the price tag, since.. well let’s be honest.. a wireless charger is a luxury, not a necessity. And the charging pillow is like a luxury version of something that’s a luxury, so it’s really meant to be a fashionable accessory, which it kinda is. If you think it’s worth the price tag to have a neat little wireless charging pillow next to your bedside to charge your Lumia phone, then by all means, go for it. I’d even say that if you own a Lumia 920 (or a Lumia 820 with a wireless charging shell) this would be a great companion for your phone. If you save up a little more and get the JBL PowerUp Speaker instead though, you’ll have a nice little bedside speaker that can wirelessly charge your Lumia, and wirelessly stream music from it as well. It’d be the better choice, in my opinion, but if you’re on a slight budget and dont want to get the regular average joe wireless charger, this is pretty much the best alternative. And if you’re on a serious budget and really want a taste of what having a wireless charger is like, there’s always the regular wireless charger, which does the job just fine, as well.
The convenience of wirelessly charging your device is the major selling point here. I’ll admit that now that I have the option of just (lightly) dropping my phone on the wireless charger, the ol’ plug-in-a-wire method seems like a bit too much work, heh. But while I now agree that wireless charging isnt a gimmick, at the end of the day, a wireless charger is still a luxury and not a necessity, so it’s honestly, really your call on whether you really want/need one or not.