Samsung is no stranger to peddling smartphone accessories that fit into its ever-expanding hardware portfolio. Meet the latest member of this family, the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad ($49.99).
Intended to play nicely with the company's Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone, the charging pad is actually compatible with all smartphones that use the prevalent Qi standard.
Unfortunately, your U.S. Galaxy S4 is about to prove codependent. That's because it doesn't have wireless charging built in, so to even use the charging pad, you're going to have to fork out for the charging cover, a $39.99 plastic sheet in black or white that replaces the phone's standard-issue battery cover. Altogether, that's a $90 premium you'll have to pay just for the privilege of charging your phone without cords.
While I really love the idea of wireless charging and where it's going next, leeching almost $100 from your wallet for a system that's still less efficient than using a traditional, if more tangly, cable isn't my idea of money well spent. It'd be another story if the GS4 came with the look-ma-no-hands capability already built in and you were only buying one accessory rather than two.
Not all is lost for wallet-watchers who seek the advantages that wireless charging brings. If you like the idea of pulling the charging cord, you can try your hand at hacking your own wireless charger, as CNET did with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that came before.