**Dec 13, 2017 - We're out of stock. The next shipment is expected mid-late January, if you would like to be the first to know when they come in, please follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our mailing list.**
We've searched high and low for a Qi charger we'd be happy to use in our Model S. We're very excited about this one, as we think it's the perfect solution and is backwards compatible with your existing Abstract Ocean Magnetic Phone mount!
Our dash-mounted Qi charger features:
- Micro-suction technology - no magnets needed, and no metal plates on the back of your phone. No residue, no adhesive, just micro-suction magic!
- 100% compatible with your existing 'ball' mount. If you don't have one, that's OK too, as this ships with its own mount
- Integrated look - with the specially-angled USB cable, it's easily tucked under the dash trim, providing a sleek installation that complements your Model S or X
- And, of course, Qi charging!*
The one requirement is that the back of your phone needs to be 'sucker friendly'; this means smooth, and shiny/glossy, which makes it ideal for naked iPhone's (8 & X). In the video you'll see we're using an aluminium bumper (available from amazon) on our iPhone X, providing protection without adding much bulk, and is the ideal solution for use with our Qi Charger, but there's lots of other great cases out there, just ensure it has a smooth and glossy back (or no back at all). There's also a clear disk in the box which will help almost any case work, as long as it's smooth (so no Otterbox type cases). Nothing sticks well to the silicone cases, so they're out as well.
The micro-suction was probably developed by NASA, just like those Space Pens that write while you're on the moon, but we've not fact-checked this statement. Either way, it's a great solution to really hold on to your phone during the most ludicrous situations. When you first use it, it's a very strong bond, almost too strong in fact. But after a few uses, it'll ease up to the point where you develop the knack to instantly mount and remove your phone. The suckers are microscopic, and eventually will fill with dust and other car grub, but a couple of pieces of Scotch tape, or once with the included dust-removing pad, will instantly restore it to be as good as new.
We show all of this in the video. If you don't already have a trim-removal tool, then it's well worth getting a Spudger, as it's very helpful in gently lifting the trim to hide the USB cable.
When ordering, choose from either mounting on the left or right side of the center screen so that we can include the correct angled USB cable. Our preference (on a LHD car) is to mount it on the right of the screen, and of course for a RHD car, the left of the screen is recommended, but if you don't mind having your phone slightly obscured by the steering wheel, you might prefer another position.
Q: Does this support Qi fast charging?
A: No; the iPhone don't support the fast-charging Qi standard, and while some of the Android phones do, it increases the power need and size of the mount. In reality, most Qi Chargers provide a slower charge than a cable connection, and this is true of our charger. If your phone is being used for something like Waze, or Maps while on the charger, think of this as more of a charge-maintainer. We're testing other USB power supplies (the bit that plugs into the cigarette lighter) to see if that helps speed things up.
Q: Are silicone-backed cases compatible?
A: It's impossible to test every case, but almost certainly not for silicone cases, since very little sticks to them. The key is either free-access to the back of the phone, or a shiny case, such as a TPU plastic case. If you have a case with more of a satin or matte finish (i.e. a leather case), then there's a clear sticky disk included in the package that'll help ensure it'll work.
Q: Can I damage the trim when hiding the USB cable?
A: Not as long as you're just a little careful, and do not use any metal tools. The trim on S & X - ahem - isn't 'tight', so it's very trivial to hide the USB cable, which we've selected due to it's very thin profile.
Q: How do you pronounce Qi?
A: Like "Chee". People will look at you thinking you're slightly pretentious, but it is the right way. Haters gonna hate.
Q: Should I choose the left or right mounted version?
A: It's totally up to you. We prefer the right-mounted option on our left-hand drive S, as it's not obscured by the steering wheel, and the opposite would be for a right-hand drive car (you'd mount the Qi Charger on the left side of the center screen). All you're really choosing is the orientation of the USB cable, so if you change your mind when you get it, it's not the end of the world, the charger takes any standard micro-USB cable.
Q: Will this work as a regular phone mount for non-Qi phones?
A: Absolutely! As long as the phone/case has a shiny back that the suckers will like, then there's no issue, and you'll be future-proofed for your next phone too!
Q: I can't get my phone off the mount!
A: Give it a little twist. Out of the box this mount is very grippy, but after a few days, it'll reduce slightly, and you'll instantly get a feel for the right amount of pressure to apply. It's obviously a different experience to using a magnetic mount, but the Qi Charging prevents the use of a metal plate, and we actually prefer this option overall; if anything the hold is quite a bit stronger.
Q: I can't make my phone stick!
A: Ensure the surface being attached to the mount is smooth and glossy. If it is, then your micro-suckers are all dusty. Just use one of the included dust-removal stickers, or some scotch tape, and it'll be as good as new!
Q: What is this micro-suction magic you speak of?
A: you can read more about it here. It's been around for years in various forms, but this is a great application for it.