Adding Qi wireless charging to the Fairphone 3

No, don't worry, this isn't a 'screwdrivers-out' scary hack. As you might expect with the Fairphone 3, it's as simple as taking the back off (3 seconds) and putting it back on again (3 more seconds).

The key is the existence of after-market Qi charging coils, using their slim ribbon cable nature, together with the relatively generous tolerances in the Fairphone 3's back cover/clips.

You'll need this coil (my link is to Amazon UK, I'm sure you can find similar items in your own country etc.) A typical price is £10 (or local equivalent).

You can guess what's coming, but here goes anyway. First, take the back off the Fairphone 3 by prising it off with your fingernail:

Next, insert the coil's Type C connector into the phone and lay the coil against the phone's battery surface:

Replace the Fairphone 3's back cover, it will clip down all around, even over the Qi coil's ribbon, which is pretty cool:

And laying the Fairphone 3 on a Qi charger, it charges up just fine, at a steady 1A, until reaching 100% and then the phone sensibly advises you to stop charging (etc.) to save the planet. Good ol' Fairphone!

Now, there is a caveat, and it's an obvious one. If you want to charge using a traditional cable then you have to remove the back and coil. Usually with these coils, there's enough slack underneath a 'TPU' case that you can swivel the Type C jack out of the way in-situ, but with the Fairphone 3, the fit is so tight that this can't be done.

So, day to day, you pretty much have to decide on 'Qi charging or bust'. In practice this works very well as long as you have pads in the car/office/bedroom, as needed. Wherever you are, just lay the Fairphone 3 down on the Qi pad and you're always kept topped up. No need for cable!

The 'bulge' underneath the Fairphone 3's back cover is negligible and you'll not notice any difference in the hand.

Which I think is pretty cool!


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