Solutions

Solving problems with Nokia Lumia Wireless charging shell

Overview

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a fantastic smartphone & camera at a reasonable price. However, Nokia removed the wireless charging coil from the phone to keep it slimmer & lighter. In order to use the wireless charging pad I got from the Lumia 920, I had to buy the Wireless Charging shell for Lumia 1020.

For the first 2-3 months of owning the phone, I always have the Wireless Charging shell on, so that it’s easier to hold. Without the shell, the edge of the camera protrusion is quite uncomfortable to touch due to its sharp edge. This made me hold the phone lower & made it unbalanced. Every time I held it, it wanted to leap off my hand!

The Wireless charging shell improved the Lumia 1020 by giving it the capability to charge wirelessly & also made the phone a lot more comfortable to hold & use.

Problem

Unfortunately, as I suspected when I first got the Wireless Charging shell, problem started on the 3rd month of using it. I say as suspected because looking at the design of the connector, I know from experience it’s going to have contact issues in the future.

Nokia Lumia 1020 external power connector (inset)
Nokia Lumia 1020 external power connector (inset)

The symptom is straight forward. The Lumia 1020 wouldn’t charge when positioned correctly. When the induction coil is not aligned, the Wireless charging pad will blink white. I tried many positions & orientations & the LED simply wouldn’t turn white & charge the phone.

As you can see from the above picture, one of the terminal (probably – ) is blackened. This is caused by oxidation, especially when the copper contact points move around due to improper fit or insufficient pressure on the terminals. Guess what? The Wireless charging shell can move around when jiggled.

When the oxidation builds up, it insulates the terminal & can no longer conduct electricity. No electrical current, no charging, no white LED. Duh!

Solution

The solution is also very simple. You just need to clean the contact point & ensure it doesn’t oxidise again.

Little bottle of wonder.

Just take a cotton bud. Shape it such that the tip has a bit more cotton. Spray it with a little bit of WD40 or your favourite non-conductive lubricant.

Use the oiled cotton bud to clean the blackened terminal until it is mostly shiny.

Wipe off the excess oil from the polycarbonate body using blotting film or microfiber cloth & that’s it!

* Do Not wipe off the oil on the copper contact. Leave a thin film of oil to prevent future oxidation.

* Avoid using tissue or toilet paper as they may be abrasive & make micro-scratches on the phone surface!

Conclusion

This works & my Lumia 1020 is charging like normal. 😀