Nokia's flagship Lumia 1020 is a trend-setting device with the best camera available in any smart phone. And since it's my daily-use phone, I've been examining some of the accessories that Nokia provides for the 1020 too. Today's entry: The Lumia 1020 wireless charging cover.
I previously wrote about my experiences with the Camera Grip accessory in Lumia 1020: Get a Grip. Over three weeks in Europe, the grip proved its worth, mostly because of the additional battery life, providing me with a device that was both camera and smart phone. After the trip, I determined I'd hold onto the grip, but only use it for big events—day trips, vacations, whatever—where I'd be taking lots of pictures. But for normal usage—most days—I'd leave the grip at home.
The reasoning for this is simple: Without the grip, the Lumia 1020 is surprisingly light and svelte, especially if you had been used to a bulkier Lumia like the 920 or 928, as I had. Where some objects are heavy or denser than they appear—the Lumia 920, for example—the Lumia 1020 is the exact opposite: It looks almost identical to the 920 but is considerably and noticeably lighter and less dense. I love this phone.
But it's not perfect. Out of the box, the Lumia 1020 lacks Qi-based wireless charging, a feature found in the Lumia 920 and 928, and one that I really appreciate. This feature partially explains their bulk, as it turns out, but having used a wireless charging cover with a Lumia 720 and 925—on which these accessories don't overly bulk-up the devices—I was curious to see whether the similar wireless charging cover for the Lumia 1020 worked similarly.
Bad news, 1020 fans. The Lumia 1020 wireless charging cover does exactly what you think it does: It lets you use any wireless charger, just like any other similarly-equipped Lumia. But on this one phone, it adds unnecessarily to the weight and density of the device. And somewhat surprisingly, the combination of the 1020 with this cover results in a device that is even worse than—i.e. heavy and denser-feeling—than the stock Lumia 920.
This is disappointing.
Fortunately for many Lumia 1020 fans, the wireless charging cover is also very hard to find in the United States. I tried to grab one before my trip to Europe in late July but AT&T Wireless didn't have any in stock so I ordered one from Europe to be shipped home to Dedham. It arrived a few weeks ago and it didn't take long to determine that its usefulness—wireless charging really is amazing—was outweighed, literally, by its added bulk.
That said, there is one caveat I should add to this discussion.
There is another Lumia accessory that is also not yet available in the U.S. that could put this combination over the top for some users, should it ever ship here. Nokia makes a Wireless Charging Car Holder that uses Qi wireless charging to keep your phone charged while you use it in a vehicle for GPS and entertainment. This device looks amazing, and if you are on the road a lot, it could be a no-brainer, when used in tandem with the Lumia 1020 plus its wireless charging cover. However, as noted, it's not currently available in the U.S. for some reason. (Amazon UK sells it for £57.00, however. I'm sure there are other ways to get it as well.)
I'll hold on to mine just in case. But for now, this isn't an accessory I can recommend: It just subverts the best qualities of the Lumia 1020 form factor a bit too egregiously.