One of the upgrades Nintendo didn’t add to its new OLED Switch was wireless charging, but as YouTube’s Robotanv discovered, at least with the Switch Lite, making the console Qi-compatible was a rather trivial hack with minimal soldering and about $14 worth of added parts.
Robotanv has been upgrading gadgets with the convenience of wireless charging for about nine years now, dating back to 2012 when they cracked open an iPhone 4s and made it compatible with wireless charging pads. Apple didn’t officially add wireless charging to its smartphones until the iPhone X in 2017. Given how small iPhones used to be, performing that upgrade on the iPhone 4s required some very delicate and precise soldering, but doing the same upgrade for the Nintendo Switch Lite appears to be a much easier process.
USB-C is an open standard, which meant that it was relatively easy to find a Qi wireless receiver compatible with how the Switch Lite charges. Robotanv opted for a cheap MyMax receiver which can be found on Amazon for about $14. After stripping the receiver’s USB-C connector down to its bare wires, and removing its charging coil from a protective pouch to make it as thin as possible, Robotanv was able to quickly solder the receiver to a couple of easily accessible additional test pads Nintendo had included for the console’s power pins.
No modifications were needed for the Switch Lite’s back cover either, Robotanv simply taped the Qi receiver to it, reassembled the console, and when dropped onto a wireless charging pad, the power started to flow. YouTube commenters have raised concerns that the added Qi hardware may restrict airflow within the Switch Lite needed for cooling, but Robotanv hasn’t noticed any performance issues with the console since the upgrade. Fully charging the Switch Lite takes about three hours, and it comes off the pad a little warm afterward (as do most smartphones) but otherwise, the hack appears to have worked perfectly. But if you plan to try it yourself, follow the advice of another YouTube commenter and disconnect the Switch Lite’s rechargeable battery before doing any soldering with the power connectors.