Blog Post

No, the new Moto X doesn’t have wireless charging. It has something better

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Amid all of the updates Motorola brought to its second generation Moto X, there’s one that’s lacking when compared to some other flagship Google Android phones: The ability to charge the handset without wires.

For some, that may be disappointing. Don’t overlook, however, the charging method found in the Moto X because it can recharge the phone far faster than a wireless charging pad and even quicker than a standard USB plug with an optional Turbo Charger.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0

The new Moto X can gain up to 8 hours of run-time in just 15 minutes with its included charger. How is that possible? The phone supports Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 2.0 functionality; [company]Qualcomm[/company] makes the processor chip inside the Moto X, just as it did for last year’s model.

Here’s how Qualcomm compares charging with the feature as compared to the prior iteration of it as well as standard mobile device charging:

Qualcomm Quick Charge is designed to speed up those stays at the wall outlet (or other charging sources) by reducing the amount of time it takes to recharge when a Quick Charge 2.0 enabled device is paired with a Quick Charge 2.0 certified power adapter. In laboratory tests using a 3300mAh battery, a Quick Charge 2.0 enabled device went from 0% to 60% charge in 30 minutes, while a device without Quick Charge 2.0 using a conventional (5 volt, 1 amp) charger achieved just a 12% gain in the same 30 minutes.

[company]Motorola[/company] says the Turbo Charger is coming soon and will cost $34.99 when it goes on sale.

turbo charger moto x

When using it with devices that don’t support Qualcomm’s technology, it will provide a full 15 Watt charge. The obvious downside here is that you’ll need to tote the Turbo Charger to get the battery benefit, but I think that — and $35 — is a small price to pay for an extra 8 hours of run-time in just a 15-minute span of time.

21 Responses to “No, the new Moto X doesn’t have wireless charging. It has something better”

  1. Blightly

    Sorry about the mistaken post, I can’t delete/edit it.

    I wouldn’t consider quick charge “better”. Microusb is fragile, I’ve lost numerous cables, charges, and one phone because of it. So a large screen (5.2) and small battery means you will be charging often. Each cycle wears the battery, you’ll likely have a fraction of the usable life at 2 years and you can’t replace the battery.

    So the micro-usb and non-replacable battery are just planned obsolesce to provide an incentive for you to buy a new phone regularly. Disappointing.

  2. I think speedier charging is a great innovation, and will certainly start appearing on more devices in the future. It’s important to note, however, that the “8 hours in 15 minutes” can only be achieved on a battery that is nearly empty, as charging time slows with a fuller battery

    Also, you can’t really compare wireless charging with rapid charging, as they address 2 different issues. Wireless charging eliminates the need to plug the phone in, reducing the appearance of wires in your home/office, and keeping the USB port on the phone from wearing out (my Galaxy Nexus has to be at a particular angle for the USB to make the necessary connections, so wireless would be a godsend for me).

    Rapid charging, on the other hand, allows to you recharge in a much shorter amount of time, which is great when you’re running on empty but need to keep going for a while. This, of course, requires you to find a power source.

    Both of these are great features, and I’m waiting for the device that combines rapid charging with wireless technology, so I can place the phone on my desk and pick it up after 15 minutes of replying to emails to find it fully charged again.

    Neither of these technologies deal with the issue of a phone with a built-in battery running out of juice, and needing to recharge without access to an outlet. Give me a quick-charging car adapter or external battery, and the quick charging feature will be even more useful.

  3. nerdshowandtell

    100% disagree with this. I would rather have easy no-hassle, no messing with USB cords in the dark charging that I use daily, than some supercharger feature I should only need in those rare moments I’m at a conference, on a plane, etc. When I need extra juice, a single extra charge still isn’t going to cut it, I’ll still have / need my super-battery packs anyway.

  4. I’m torn because I think the idea of wireless charging is very cool and the idea of it being so convenient that I just put my phone down and it gains a little charge while I’m not using it. The problem I have with wireless charging is that I still have to have a pad that is plugged in to an outlet and where I usually put my phone down often doesn’t have a convenient place to plug it in so it already begins diminishing the appeal. If it gets to where wireless charging is just built into the things around me, like my end table, I will be more interested in working out good ways to get power to them. Any in the end, most days I don’t need to charge my phone until it’s bed time and so far in my smart phone life of about 6 years I haven’t had any trouble with my USB port wearing out so plugging in each night is just part of my routine.

    On the flip side, have the ability to get a significant charge in such a short time would be really handy at times when I only have 10-20 minutes before going somewhere and I forget or just didn’t have an opportunity to plug in before.

    All in all, it’d be nice to have both but for me at this point wireless charging is more of a nerd desire whereas faster charging would be really useful for me at times.

  5. Not sure who this guy is but wireless charging is far from great
    1 – Don’t place your phone on the pd perfectly it will keep making noises letting you know it isn’t hitting the connection right until you do
    2 – Wires didn’t disappear – you still have a power wire going to you charging pad – same you had going to your phone
    3 – covers on the phone get hot – meaning that your device is getting hot – pain to have to remove the cover nightly vs leaving it on and taking a chance

    Now the poster may have been having a bit of fun…so if so…so am I…however if not…then let’s be real…wireless charging is far from great and I would take quick charge for my moto razr maxx any day over the pad

    • You are judging wireless charging based on early limitations and not newer capabilities.

      1) Inductive charging needs restrictive placement. Resonant charging does not. In fact, with the latter the pad could be installed under the desk and out of sight.

      2) While a cord to the pad is required, the benefits are not having to plug and unplug every time you charge and only having one cord for multiple devices.

      3) I’m not sure the cover issue is since people use covers (wireless or otherwise) all the time without taking them off.

      Individual wireless charging technologies have come a long way. The biggest problem is going to be devices using incompatible methods.

  6. Kevin Kevin Kevin. Come on now. The benefit of wireless charging has nothing to do with how quickly you can charge something. It has everything to do with convenience and ease-of-use.

    With wireless charging, I simply drop my phone onto a pad/stand. That’s it. No fumbling around with microUSB plugs. It’s simple, easy, and saves seconds. Those seconds may not be few, but they add up quickly. Additionally, wireless charging means I’m not fumbling with which way is up when trying to plug my phone in at night. Or risking my toe snagging the power cable and flinging my phone across the room off the nightstand.

    Additionally, it’s less wear-and-tear on said microUSB port – constant plugging and unplugging does affect the phone, regardless of how gradually.

    This turbocharger is cool, I’m not denying that. But it’s hardly a replacement for wireless charging.

    • “It has everything to do with convenience and ease-of-use”

      Think about this, you’re about to go somewhere (a date, a bar, out with friends, etc), you think, “I forgot to charge my phone!” Now wireless charging could do the trick or, you wait 15min and BOOM. you’re phone has enough charge to last you the rest of the night!

      That seems pretty convenient to me! And come on… ease-of-use? It’s a phone charger, it’s already pretty simple.

      I would say performance is greater than a marginally greater ease-of-use.

      But that’s just my opinion.

        • ^^^ This. It’s the ultimate convenience, and you don’t realize it until you use it all the time. At work, plop the phone on the cradle. At home? Plop it on the pad on your nightstand. It’s like you never have to worry about charging at all. That’s the ultimate convenience.