MNB RG: Nokia DT-910 Wireless Charging Stand #Accessories

| January 1, 2013 | 13 Replies

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It’s quite fitting that the first blogpost of the year is one from our readers. Starting as we mean to go on, we do thrive because of what our readers contribute and share with the Nokia Community. Thanks guys!

Anyway, this MNB RG is by Janne who emailed us a couple of days ago actually but I missed the mail at the time. Janne looks at the original Nokia accessory, the Nokia DT-910 wireless charging stand. The difference with the plate/fat boy is that you the screen of the phone is easier to see, a perfect accompaniment to certain apps such as the ‘sleeping screen’ update.

MNBnokia_expoNokia released an interesting “sleeping screen” update for the NFC enabled Nokia wireless charging stand DT-910 (http://mynokiablog.com/2012/12/27/nokia-update-brings-sleeping-screen-to-lumias/). I recently picked up one of these DT-910 charging stands, so because there was some confusion as to how it works, I decided to write a little review. No, this is not a Nokia sleeping screen of old, but it is an interesting accessory nonetheless.

DT-910 is obviously one of four wireless charging products from Nokia and its partners that launched with the Lumia 920 and 820, others are the DT-900 wireless charging plate, Nokia/Fatboy wireless charging pillow (basically just a high-quality beanbag-inspired pillow with a color-matched DT-900 inside) and the Nokia/JBL PowerUp speaker that has both NFC for music connection and wireless charging on top. DT-910 has wireless charging and NFC too. The regular DT-900 and Nokia/Fatboy products do not have NFC, so they don’t have any other function than charging.

In the included fair photo of mine you can see the Nokia/Fatboy charging pillows and a blue DT-900 charging plate on the back of the table, in the middle on top of the cardboard box is the wide Nokia/JBL PowerUp wireless charging speaker and on the front small, round Nokia/JBL PlayUp NFC speakers that don’t have wireless charging, but do have NFC connection for music.

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OK, so back to the DT-910 wireless charging stand. While these other products come in a multitude of colors as you can see from that expo photo, the more business-like DT-910 comes in black or white only, glossy on the base and behind, matte/soft on the front area where the phone lands. On the base there are these soft ridges where the bottom of the phone lands, I tried with both a Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, both land firmly and sit firmly on the base even when tapping the screen while charging, but it is also very easy to pick up as it doesn’t lock anywhere, just literally stands there supported by the ridges and the back of the stand. It doesn’t feel like it would trip sideways at all, very firm design. It uses the same white power supply as all DT-900/Fatboy, but the cable is color-matched of course (black in my case).

A silicone cover on the Lumia 920 didn’t bother, the charging works just fine through the cover. On both the 920 and 820 (with wireless charging cover) charging only works in vertical (portrait) position due to the fact that unlike DT-900, which has three inductive coils inside in two different orientations, the DT-910 stand only has one inductive coil inside (http://mynokiablog.com/2012/12/10/nokia-dt910-charging-stand-teardown/) aimed at vertical charging. Attempts at horizontal charging even with something to raise the phone higher were met with only intermittent charging results, it couldn’t hold the field. So, it works vertically only. On the Lumia 820 charging while upside down (standing on the head) also worked, although not on the longer Lumia 920 – not that there is any point in doing that.

Apart from offering support for the Lumia which allows using the user-interface, the stand differs from the DT-900/Fatboy charging plate with its NFC feature. This actually seems to be unique amongst all the wireless chargers from Nokia and its partners, only DT-910 currently seems to support the NFC feature I am about to discuss, the JBL speaker only supports NFC music connectivity if Internet reports are correct. But DT-910 has the ability to launch stuff via NFC. As said before, Nokia just released an update for their proprietary “Nokia accessories” app, which adds new functionality for the DT-910 stand. To get this update to work, though, I had to make sure “accessories” was updated, NFC was enabled and reboot the phone first, though.

Once all that was set, I could make the DT-910 stand and Lumia talk to each other via NFC. On the stand the NFC tap area is placed in such a manner that simply placing the phone on the charger won’t launch the NFC feature. You can tell where the tap area is from the small NFC logo on the front of the base of the DT-910 stand. Tap here with the top of the Lumia (or wherever NFC is depending on model, on the Lumia 920 I just tap with top end where the Nokia logo is) and Nokia accessories starts whatever function you have set for it. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t found any way to set NFC connections as trusted, so each time I do tap the NFC the phone also dialogs for a confirmation. An unnecessary step I hope to see go away in future updates. Unless someone can guide me otherwise?

Going to the phone’s settings and onwards to accessories you will now find settings for Charging Stand. Basically it allows you to select an app for the NFC function to start, you could open your favourite news app for instance and open it via NFC before placing the phone on the wireless charging stand. As a new feature there is also what we have here called the “sleeping screen” option, but officially known as Weather & Calendar, which is built-in to the Nokia accessories experience and offers a few further options. When you select this, you can also select which location’s weather to display (current GPS or manual choice) and whether to use Celsius or Fahrenheit and that’s about it. From the Nokia accessories app you can also choose to like them on Facebook and send feedback. I have included a combined screenshot, left is the actual “sleeping screen”, then the Nokia accessories settings menu and two right-most panes are the Charing Stand settings.

The Weather & Calendar app, once active, shows the time and the next calendar entry. These move from time to time so as to not burn on the screen. It is also supposed to show the weather, but I have been unable to get the weather part to work so far on any location home or abroad, language set both to Finnish or English (I even went as far as to install Nokia’s exclusive Weather Channel app to see if that makes a difference, it didn’t) – there just isn’t any weather displayed, although setting the weather location and measurement unit work just fine. Any help, guys? Also, you can change the brightness of the text by sliding on the screen, which works very smoothly.

Once Weather & Calendar is on and the phone is charging on the stand, the screen saver does not kick in (at least not in any normal period I tried), so it looks like it is genuinely useful as a table watch. The two-row time format is a bit hard to read, though, didn’t see any setting to change it. Also the capacitive Windows Phone button lights stay on. Do note that regular apps started via the NFC function do revert to screensaving/locking the phone normally, so they are less useful in that regard, going dark soon after last used.

Finally, for those asking, no the Weather & Calendar view does not show missed calls or text messages, I tried. Although of course at the time the message/call comes in, usual dialogs show, but then it reverts back to showing just the time, calendar and weather (for those whom the weather works). By the way, Weather & Settings does not appear as an app in the app list, so it can only be started via the NFC feature.

And that’s about it, for the Nokia DT-910 wireless charging stand. Like DT-900/Fatboy, it has a small LED on the front signalling wireless charging. It is a high-quality product for those who want to occasionally see/use the phone’s screen while wirelessly charging, with a bonus NFC function, usefulness of which remains to be seen in my eyes. I think the NFC potential is mostly up to future software updates from Nokia (and perhaps Microsoft regarding trusted NFC devices), there is potential there, but so far the experience is a bit simplistic with a niggle or two. On the upside, with the latest update, it is already much more useful than it was at first – so given time, I’d expect improvements.

Personally, I still think the colorful Nokia/Fatboy charging pillows are the greatest. There is just something about dropping a phone to sleep sweet dreams on a pillow… But the DT-910 does feel better than I expected in charging use, placing the phone on the soft ridges/back is very satisfying and it looks plenty smart. Nice contrast between a yellow phone and a black charging stand too. I think the basic DT-900 charging plate is the least satisfying of these three, it misses the charm of the pillow and the extra utility of the DT-910 charging stand.

Cheers Janne!

Category: Accessories, Lumia, Nokia

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This account is for the stories readers from MNB submit to tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com as ready to publish articles. Email tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com if you have a Nokia related story you've written that you'd want to share with MNB's readers. For more information, check out http://mynokiablog.com/tips/ Tips/Guides/Rules for commenting: http://mynokiablog.com/2012/05/29/commenting-help-tips-guides-and-rules/
  • Janne

    To clarify Jay’s intro:

    Nokia DT-910 wireless charging stand. The difference with the plate/fat boy is that you the screen of the phone is easier to see, a perfect accompaniment to certain apps such as the ‘sleeping screen’ update.

    The difference is also the NFC functionality included in DT-910, which DT-900 plate (or the DT-901 Nokia/Fatboy pillow) does not have. It is the NFC that enables “sleeping screen”.

    Although I wonder why Nokia doesn’t add some options what to do when the phone is wirelessly charging. I’m sure the phone knows whether or not it is charging via wire or wirelessly. They could add “sleeping screen” kind of stuff for those situations even without NFC.

    • StefanP

      My thoughts: Why do we need NFC at all? The 920 should know that it receives power via Qi.
      Secondly “NFC functionality” sounds like a sophisticated addition to the charger. In fact, it’s just a tiny NFC tag, worth a few cents. Which raises the next question: why is the DT-910 more expensive? The DT-900 has more coils and connects better, in all positions.
      Overall, the functionality is a bit disappointing, I hoped for more.

      • Janne

        Good point about the NFC, the tag probably isn’t anything more than what people put inside business cards for example.

        In Finland I paid the same for the DT-910 as the DT-901 Fatboy, although in some stores they are spaced 10 euros apart: DT-900 cheapest, DT-910 in the middle and DT-901 Fatboy the priciest.

        I guess you can place additional monetary value on the software Nokia delivers for the DT-910. Also, as an item, it is a bit more sophisticated than the very simple DT-900 plate.

        But I guess mostly it is about product segmentation than anything to do with real cost or the like.

        • StefanP

          Right, its a market price, not much connected to product costs. I guess that there will soon be instructions around how to do make your own NFC tag for this and thus everyone can invoke this sleep screen wherever you glue this home made tag. (The WP API does not allow to format NFC tags, according to the “NFC interactor” author. But this can be done on the N9, of course :) )
          Unfortunately I still could not find any wireless charger in Bangkok, tried several Nokia dealers. I can’t believe that it’s again component shortage. Either Nokia’s logistics system has been already ramped down in crisis mood earlier and is unable to handle such things, or they really got caught by surprise with an unpredictable demand.

          • Janne

            It must be a regional thing too, accessory availability for Lumia in Finland is, I’d say, really good now and was never non-existent after the late November launch here. Of course some dealers that have had too big promotions and stores in smaller cities may lack stuff, but overall one can walk into a store and buy pretty much any one of the accessories now (even JBL PlayUp popped up right before Christmas) in the Finnish capital area.

            I guess the only exception here right now are the wireless Purity headphones (the wired ones in new colors are available) and the colored silicone covers for Lumia 920, only black is available so far and even that came quite late.

            Also, Lumia 820 with its covers comes on sale on January 10th only, here.

      • Janne

        To clarify, by “NFC functionality” I meant the NFC tag on the stand + the NFC enabled software Nokia delivers for the DT-910.

      • stylinred

        more expensive? i was able to get it for less than the 900

      • slowhound

        In case you don’t want to launch any screensaver type of app, you can just leave to charging without tapping NFC.
        So NFC tag provides a choice for the user for different occasions.

    • jojordan82

      Janne please,

      I have a DT-910 stand for my Lumia 920. Even if I set “Weather & calendar”, it only displays a clock, nothing more.

      I read you have the calendar events shown but not the weather.

      Do you know now how to solve this? Thanks!

      • slowhound

        Change your Regional format from Settings-> language & region to United States (English), weather info will be displayed.

  • stylinred

    it’s a nice stand but that white led is a bit off imo (there’s an led on the base)

    i havent updated my dads phone yet but it’ll be cool when sleeping screen works on it

  • JGrove303

    $75 USD is steep. $150 for a Play Up seems steep. Bit then comparing the price of 2 Play Ups and a charging pad vs. the Power Up, Power Up is a bargain.

    I think I will still get this.

  • TykeNo1

    The ability to have different timeout settings when on mains or battery would be useful.

    The DT-910, would then be great to use something like Bloomberg app with the scrolling stock ticker on my desk at work.