Qi wireless charging has been around for several years now. However, most phones, flagships included, have chosen to skip adding the feature to their devices each year until Apple invented the technology when they announced the newest iPhone. With such a limited supply of Qi enable phones accessory makers have begun to fill in the void left by the manufacturers by creating USB-connected Qi wireless dongles.
What Is It?
The Nillkin Qi Wireless Receiver is a small, approximately 2.5 x 1.5-inch, dongle that connects to the USB C port of your USB C enabled smartphone, in my case, the Google Pixel XL. There are also micro USB versions of this dongle available as well (links below).
What I Liked
Well, the product itself worked as expected, so it is safe to say I liked that. Nillkin states that this dongle charges at ≥70% efficiency.
Other than basic functionality being reliable, which is always a gamble with third-party devices like this, the USB C connection was very snug. Several USB C cables I have tried with my Pixel have been very sloppy and easily disconnected. This connection did not suffer from the same problems as others.
What I Didn't Like
I am not sure if there is a way around this, but the bulk added to the Pixel when placed back in its Spigen case made the phone look chunky and added a bit too much wobble when lying on a flat surface.
I also particularly disliked the USB C connector. Wait, what? Didn't I just praise the USB C connector? Yes, but I dislike it sure to one major issue. Nillkin touts how thin and low profile this dongle is. However, the USB connector is so unnecessarily large it makes it really impossible to put a case on the phone without stretching it out. I can get past this with my particular case, but any dual layer hybrid-shell design will struggle to install this dongle in any usable fashion.
Should You Buy It?
In a word. No. If you're looking for wireless charging, make that a top priority for your next phone. This solution is proven to be a workable solution but it is far from elegant and the pros simply do not outweigh the cons.