Samsung Galaxy S5 and Wireless Charging – the cold hard facts

For me it’s an experience not worth the effort. And this is all due to Samsung cutting corners. So read on.

First up you need the official Samsung wireless back cover that replaces the one that comes with the phone. This includes the Qi technology and waterproofing seals. As a warning do not use the wireless cards that slide inside the non wireless Samsung back cover as you will not have an ip67 phone. And this has been tested. Just head over to YouTube and watch a S5 get ruined for life.

So I thought it would make sense to get a Samsung Wireless charging pad. The first one was faulty. The second one was fine but stopped charging at 100% which is the correct behaviour. Due to some wake locks that meant at 6am my battery level was at 85%. In any event, the S5 standby time is not as good as the competition.

So I thought I would try the Zens QI wireless charging pad. This stops charging at 100% and starts automatically at 95%. By accident I ordered the eu plug version, so that got returned for the UK plug version. This has arrived except it doesn’t work as advertised.

Basically it doesn’t turn off at 100% so the battery is being overworked and it seems to warm for my liking.

So, I think I’m going to resort back to opening that flap on the bottom and using a normal micro USB lead to charge the S5.

However, I thought I would ask Zens if they knew about any issues with the S5. They replied –

“Dear Gavin,

Thank you for your email and interest in ZENS. Sorry for the late reply. The new S5 was a good choice.

We designed our wireless charger with sustainability in mind. Most of our own products, but also for example the Nokia 820/920/1020 will shut down after the phones are fully charged.
The ZENS Single charger was there before the S5. We had no influence on the design of the S5, so you are correct that the LED will stay on after your S5 has been charged.
However like with a normal adapter it won’t harm your device. The designers of the S5 did not integrate software to stop charging after your S5 is 100% charged.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can be of further help.

Your sincerely

Team ZENS”

So there we have it. Samsung omitted the necessary extra circuitry and software and this explains why there new pad just stops charging instead of turning off and then coming back on again.

What should have been a great charging method is ruined.


7 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S5 and Wireless Charging – the cold hard facts

  1. So if I wake up and S5 is at 75% does it mean that it charged all the way to 100% during night time and then lost 25% or it’s possible it shut off charging at 75% and never charged above that?


    1. No it charged to 100% then shut off , lost 25% afterwards. Apparently that’s the way samsung implemented qi. They didn’t include the extra circuitry that tells the qi charger to come back on when battery drops down to 95%.


  2. Interesting.
    I have an S5 with an OEM (supposedly, purchased on ebay) charger back and a ebay cheap-o pad. Charges to about 100% and then starts charging for a few minutes every half hour or so, and is at 98-100% in the morning when I pick it up. The QI insert worked better when charging through a case but it does break the waterproof seal and the Spigen case did not fit quite right. The cheap charger pad works with the OEM back and Diztronic case, just have to align the phone properly on the charger pad.

    Charger is this one:

    There is a case that works for the S5 OEM QI back, not a lot of protection but better than none. Does make the phone much easier for me to hold, feels more secure in my hand: I have had no problem with the case not fitting well as some have mentioned. Not as tight as the Spigen Tough Armor case I have for the standard back, but never felt bad to me. Power and volume buttons work much better than the Spigen case. Have not drop tested the phone in either case!


  3. I also purchased oem case and charger pad plus a diztronic case, the special one that fits the thicker qi backing.
    I thought it only charged to 92%, and after reading this post now understand the issue at play.
    Interestingly It did not begin charging when I picked it up and put it back down on the qi pad, but the cable did work


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