Inductive Charging Redux: You Get What You Pay For

GMYLE Chargers

I’m still very much a fan of inductive charging, and only want you to learn from my mistakes.

My official wireless Nexus charger from Google’s Play Store works great; it’s charging my Nexus 5 as I write this, in fact. I’m such a fan of the technology that decided to get two additional chargers — one for my girlfriend’s Nexus 4 and another for my Nexus 7 tablet — and instead of paying the big bucks for something from a reputable manufacturer I chose to go slumming on Amazon instead.

Bad idea.

I decided on two chargers — one white and one green — from a company called GMYLE. They weren’t the cheapest models available; I foolishly thought that paying a little more would yield more quality. I was more than a bit surprised when the package arrived and I saw that it shipped from Hong Kong.

Since when did Amazon become eBay?

Anyway, my girlfriend was thrilled to have an inductive charger to call her own. A successful connection between charger and phone was indicated with a shrill and cheap-sounding beep, but at least it worked — for the first few days. On the fourth or fifth night it wouldn’t stop beeping; a connection to her phone was confirmed only to be lost seconds later. After a lot of fiddling we thought we had a connection, only to find out the next morning that the phone hadn’t charged one bit.

If a charger can’t charge a phone, it’s pretty much game over, right? I didn’t even bother taking the other unit out of the box, and immediately went to Amazon to seek a refund.

In the months leading up to Christmas I had made a lot of Amazon purchases, and returned a good portion of what I bought. Amazon itself had paid for the return of a mechanical computer keyboard (too loud), had reimbursed me for the return shipping on a pair of speaker stands (not compatible) and issued a full refund on a children’s book (dumb idea) without even wanting the book back!

It was an entirely different story with my charger purchase. For some reason I had to email the seller directly and request a refund. In our back-and-forth the seller has been prompt enough with replies, but they won’t guarantee a refund or even guarantee a reimbursement of shipping costs to Hong Kong.

It makes sense, I guess;  shipping a package to Hong Kong from Canada is, as you can imagine, fairly expensive. Amazon’s return policy in cases like these stipulates that items should be shipped back to the seller with a tracking number — and according to Canada Post such a procedure would cost me almost as much as what I paid for the items in the first place. Which leads me to wonder… if shipping to and from Hong Kong is so expensive, how much did it actually cost to make these things in the first place?

All I know is this: I’m more than $60 CAD out of pocket with two chargers that look great in their boxes, but can’t actually charge phones.

Please don’t make the same mistake I did. Android Central has a great rundown of trustworthy chargers — any of the products mentioned there will serve you better than what I’m stuck with.

And because every story deserves a happy ending, I went back to Amazon and found the official Nexus 4 charger from LG. My girlfriend loves it.