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DIY hack enables you to wirelessly charge your Nokia Lumia 925 without optional shells

Lumia 925

It can be a pain if you find yourself being allergic to mobile phone cases when you pick up the Lumia 925 and realise you can't wireless charge it without one attached. Nokia opted to not include wireless charging as a complete packing inside the shell of the main device, much like what's available on the Lumia 920, instead going with a 50/50 setup and firing out accessories that enable you to get charging.

What if you don't want to keep attaching a case to wireless charge the Windows Phone? A French tutorial has been published that walks you through on how to work around this issue and actually install the full wireless charging package on the Lumia 925, without the need for a case (except for the initial guide walkthrough).

Before you consider this as a solution to all your problems, note that this involves removing the rear cover of the device itself. You're going to have to dive in and start fiddling with internal stuff to achieve the end result. If you're not entirely comfortable with potentially causing damage to the rather expensive belonging then we'd strongly urge you not to follow the guide. If you're a hardware DIY type of person then be our guest.

Lumia 925 Wireless Charging

The guide requires you to have the following:

  • Nokia Lumia 925
  • Wireless charging case
  • Suction cup
  • Tools to help with the removal of the back cover

We'll not reproduce the guide in its entirety, but you'll be looking to remove the back cover, as well as the main cover on the charging case, extracting the wireless charging contacts and main circuitry to then install them inside the Lumia 925. Sounds simple enough but it requires a steady hand, mind and a collection of energy drinks.

Check out the tutorial over on SmartphoneFrance. Please note the guide is indeed in French and we cannot take any responsibility for any damage caused to your Lumia 925. It's good to know there are other options out there.

via: SmartphoneFrance; thanks, Gaël Barzin, for the tip!

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Reader comments

DIY hack enables you to wirelessly charge your Nokia Lumia 925 without optional shells

104 Comments

I walked in, one of the guys noticed my screen was cracked and offered to replace it and give me insurance after I already broke my phone. On a whim, I figured if I'm going to invest on insurance (one time fee of $100) I'll get a new phone too. I asked if they had an upgrade plan, so I could get the 1020, and he told me there was and gave me $565 credit. The upgrade is also separate from my AT&T contract, so it didn't mess with that. :D However, they couldn't give me the camera grip or box :/ But otherwise, great!!!

Oh and I got the same amount I would get if the screen wasn't cracked and I didn't have to pay for insurance on my old 920, so yay!

$565 towards the 1020. Still, I didn't even need to pay that $100 I just wanted insurance on my 1020 after I had already cracked my 920. Didn't even need insurance. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

I believe on 925 and 1020, the wireless charging contacts are towards the bottom of the phone as opposed to top (near the camera) on 920/928. So, the possibility of damaging the camera is very less and the camera is in a well protected independent module anyway. How do I know this? 'coz I shattered my 920 screen on the first week I got it in (Nov'12) and tried to replace the screen myself by following a video... in the process I opened and put it back together like only 12 times until I finally screwed up the touch response contacts and had to get a refurbished 920 LOL.... AT&T's been real nice about it though.
so, compared to replacing the Gorilla glass, this fix sounds like a child's play.

You gotta have some balls to do that! I was terrified just replacing the screen on my Nokia E72, lol.

Agreed on replacing screens, they can be very complex and had to do but, this project does not look hard... It's just pulling off the back cover of the phone, not pulling the whole phone apart (like most need to do to replace the screen).

While not the prettiest solution. Couldn't you just tape the part with the 3 dot connectors to the back of the Lumia instead of opeing it up?

That's because Georgia's been influenced by Florida. (yes, I'm referring this pun to a band that became famous this year)

I wonder if someone could translate that, I may be tempted to try it on my 1020. I HATE a case on my phone.

The 925 is not unibody, so getting the back off is a lot easier than the 1020. I'd wait until they do a specific tutorial for it.

I did it on my Lumia 925 after upgrading from the 920 because I can't live without wireless charging anymore.  And the charging shells made the thing as bulky as my 920.
The hack on the 925 is relatively easy because you just pop the back off with a suction cup.  Also, the back polycarbonate piece is fairly thin and flexible, so it can handle the slight addition to thickness.  The 1020 has screws, and probably has a lot of tape and glue inside.  I would not recommend trying it. 
 
For anyone who wants to try it, read the directions a lot, and GO SLOW.  You WILL need to remove the black plastic piece with a dremel, I tried to de-solder it and broke my first one like the author.  Also be very careful when removing the coil assembly.  Between it and the plastic shell is a clear, thin, somewhat fragile layer of double-sided adhesive. You should try and pry this up and use it to carefully and slowly peel off the assembly. If you are not careful, it is easy to bunch this layer up, which can lead to moving the coil wires and extra thickness in your phone.  It can also tear easily, so use a credit card or something to fortify it during removal. Do not bend the circuit area too much. Be patient and you can remove it without breaking it.
If you are worried about breaking your warranty, I did not see any sticker or device which would indicate it had been opened.  But if you are still worried, you probably shouldn't try it.
I have had this hack for about three weeks now and it works great.  I love my 925 with wireless charging!

I see its been 5 months since you did this. How are things holding up? I am interested in doing this myself, but am afraid of things like heat build up etc.

Heat buildup is not an issue. Mine still works pretty well, but sometimes I have to squeeze it a little to get the contacts to touch. If I opened it up again I could probably fix that, but meh.

Hmm...I'm tempted. I wonder if it's such a good idea, though. Why didn't Nokia make this small modification if there weren't any drawbacks?

I have a completly unfounded theory that Nokia is worried that the Qi standard may not last long, especially if iPhone 5s goes with the opposite camp. If that happens, all they will have to do is launch new cases and customers won't be left behind. Almost all new Nokia phones are opting for a NFC case rather than inbuilt design like 920.

Yeah, sadly I think everyone is waiting around to see which way iPhone goes. If it doesn't get wireless charging, it won't take off, and if they go with something other than Qi, well... Bye Bye Qi.

You'll never know. webOS was falling down and HP didn't bother to save it but they kept on selling the wireless charging accesoires until HP stopped development of webOS. Windows Phone has more market share than webOS had in the end so if they could still sell it, Nokia also can.

I don't understand what your response means. Of course Nokia will continue to sell wireless charging accessories.

I think Qi should be ok in the long run. The Nexus line is adding wireless charging to all models, and so far the nexus line is quite popular. Add that to other popular phones with optional wireless charging covers, there's quite a base.
But knowing apple, they probably WON'T use Qi, and opt for some proprietary option and call it icharge or something.

Silly!
When Apple finally gets on the wireless charging bandwagon years after everyone else does, they will "Invent" wireless charging! Possibly even with rounded corners!

I found 2 possible explanations.
1. Cost
They wanted to make the device as cheap as possible. This is a not very likely explanation, because the charging coil just costs a few bucks.
2. Heat
Qi-Charging produces quite enormous heat. Maybe the integration of the coil would be a hazard for other internal elements, especially the battery.

Heat.  I would bet bad things will eventually happen.  We need to get a look a the 920 broken down so we can see if there is thermal protection.

Yes, there is a reason Nokia didnt do this and it that you need an air gap to dissipate heat and keep from transferring it to the board components.

See above, it's not just the thickness of the charging plate but also the gap required to avoid overheating adjacent components.

Well, I guess this just comes to prove that the "we removed the wireless charging to make it thinner" was just BULLCRAP. Shame on you, Nokia! I love you, but shame on you!
The lack of built-in wireless charging was one of the deal breakers to me (ok, along with the awful design of the phone). Let us hope the 3rd generation of Lumias won't go down this stupid path and goes back to built-in wireless charging.

Qi charging produces a good bit if heat. So you need a gap between the receiving coil and the rest of the internals to prevent cooking them. With "the hump" issue on the 1020, I think they were determined to make the rest of the phone slimmer than the 920, which they did, but this was incompatible with Qi for the reasons described above :'(

Yea, wonder why Nokia did not include it if it is this easy to do (really this does not look too hard to do), size ? Who has done this ? Does it make the phone any larger ?  Or is this just Nokia trying to make more money off selling a back cover for a phone ?
 
I dont have a 925 but, I would do this if I had a 925, it does not look too hard to do, even if the directions are in french..
 
 

The only excuse left is price. The L925 is cheaper than the L920 was when launched. So that's the only reason left. Lowering the price of the device (that along with the lack of memory in it)

Not a difficult thing. I actually did this to my Lumia 820. I didn't like the original matte charging covers and they also made the phone heavier and bulkier, so I just took the charging "internals" and switched them to the normal glossy cover. No problemo and works.

Instead of cannibalizing the L925... We could probably extract the QI charging unit from the charger cover and adhere it to the back with the Full Body Wraps (such as invisi-shield) or preferably one with color so to not "see" the device on the back? It would just have a small square bump in the back and your device will remain protected... Hmmm. This has given me an idea. Thanks for reporting this... jejeje

The whole "we did not include it to keep the phone as slim as possible" reteric is a LIE!! Nokia's sole purpose in not including it is to make more money off of accessories... these parts take up an extremely minimal space and could very easily have been included.

I see alot of people complaining about the lack of Qi not being built-in the 925. I believe Nokia did not include for a combination of reasons. Weight, interference with the build and thickness. Sure you can install it yourself but that does not mean Nokia approves of the quality. Also you can always trade for a 920/928 if it is such an issue. Haven't missed my 920 and when I do start missing the Qi I can buy a black Qi case which makes the 1020 that much better. F#ck\ng whiners...

"You can trade for a 920/928" - Some people prefer to have the amoled screen on the 925 (for things like the glance screen to work efficiently), and 928 isn't available globally. Also the selling point for the 925 was its lightness and thinness.

"buy a black Qi case" - yes that's what people should do, but I personally think the 925 wireless chargers look horrible compared to the 1020 ones.

I've gotta say, wireless charging really isnt quite what its made out to be,
1. Its not convenient (in that you cant pick it up and use it like you can with a cable)
2. Its painfully slow, (takes almost twice as long as my wired charger)

Wireless charging would be really useful for office, coffee shops and such, but at home.....it was a novelty that wore off very quickly!

I use it on my 920 exclusively.  Never wire charge.  I have a Qi stand in my office and bedroom.  For me it's very nice and I would miss it if I had to go back to hard connectiion.
 
That said, i agree its an unnecessary feature.  Kind of like push button start in your car, or maybe even electric windows in the car.  Sure you can turn a key or crank your window manually, but once you've had the "luxury" of either, you really don't want to live without it anymore. 

Life is short.  Pamper yourself :)

Totally disagree!
1.  I initially thought it was a neat gimmick when I got the free wireless charging plate with my L920.  Now, I understand just how wonderfully convenient it is to be able to walk through a room and drop off my phone or pick it up without having to stop and plug in or unplug a cable.  I can't begin to tell you how jealous my wife is (L900) of my charging plate.  You only need to pick it up if your phone's dying which is very rarely the case for me.
2.  My plate charges my phone significantly faster than the cable.  Maybe I have a super-charger!?

I have two wireless charging stands and the charging pad I received for free when I bought my 920. For the stands, one is on my nightstand and one on my desk at the office. The idea is when you are at the desk leave the phone on the stand. Its easy to view incoming calls, texts, and appointments instead of lying flat at my desk. Also if you are like me and spend a great part of the day at the desk then there should not be a need to use the phone while it is plugged in at home as it will be nearly charged all the time. I am not saying a near dead battery doesn't happen ever but it is rare for me anyway. At home outside of the bedroom, I actually have the charging pad in the living room on a table next to the couch so when I am watching TV, I just lay it up there and use when necessary. The only time I use wired charge is when I travel. So at home I enjoy not having to fiddle with cables. Just a thought.

Would lining up just the qi coil pins with the contacts on the 925 then attaching the coil to the inside of a case work just as well as the official charging back plate, rather than hacking the 825 & a charging plate?

I've heard this argument before.  it's used again all over this thread.  The idea that Nokia is holding back because they are waiting to see what Apple does?  What?  Someone help me understand how that could be a factor.  These smartphones have a very short shelf life.  One to two years and most are disgarded or broken.  Even if Apple came out with a Qi killer, it doesn't stop your phone from charging.  You bought a compatible Qi charger for your house, office, etc.  You're good to go no matter what happens. 

If this can be done with a hack then Nokia should have included this in the device. Offering a "flagship" device without wireless charging is a step backwards to me. I understand that this is probably mostly due to not having a set standard and that Qi may be the dying format but that should not matter now. They should keep pumping out Qi phones and if the other standard is widely adopted, then the people buying these phones second hand will just have to use cables to charge he device.

Oy.  You have to click through to be told they aren't going to tell you how to do it.  Jeez..  If a clickthrough isn't going to supply additional information, what's the point (aside from click bait)?

If you're getting the qi charging wire/coil from the case... couldn't you THEORETICALLY buy any qi charging mat off ebay to do the same thing for cheaper?

I'm at a loss about why Nokia would require a case to enable the wireless charging.  I hate the idea of adding a case to a phone. I currently use a Lumia 810 with the replacement QI Shell, and that just seems to be an outstanding way to progress.  It keeps them in the accessory game, and allows those of us who are addicted to Qi charging to choose whether to add a Qi case, or a shell...