What is Wireless Charging?

If you’re looking for a new phone, you probably might have heard of wireless charging as one of its ultra advanced features. It means that you no longer have to plug a cord into your phone to charge it. You just have to place it onto a special surface or pad provided by your manufacturer. This is our fairly uncomplicated guide to understanding wireless charging, and why it could be good for you.

How it works

Wireless charging eliminates the use of physical connectors and cables, which sounds like a fairly technical convenience. To further understand this, we need to learn about inductive charging. Inductive charging is a method of using an electromagnetic field sent through inductive coupling to a device, which then utilizes the energy to charge or run the device.

This technology has been around since around 1864, but was only found to be commercially viable for devices in 2006 by MIT. However, it took some time to create a completely safe way to do so for smaller devices, which is why groups of academics established the Wireless Power Consortium in 2008, to find a standard for inductive charging. They eventually did so in 2010, and the result was called the Qi open interface standard. The Qi standard has to date been successfully used in over 140 smartphones, tablets, and devices.



Can you get wireless charging for your phone right now?

If your phone doesn’t support wireless charging out of the box, you have the choice of getting an adapter or phone case that can charge your phone directly. Remember that the usage of wireless charging pads are a fairly recent entry into the smartphone market, so if you really don’t want to miss out on wireless charging, get a new smartphone that supports it.



Advantages

  • The convenience of not tripping or the risk of accidentally unplugging your device.
  • Because all the electronics involved are enclosed, there’s no risk of electrical faults such as short circuits due to insulation failure.
  • Without the need to consistently plug and unplug your phone, there’s less wear and tear on your phone. This could affect the resale value, if you are thinking of doing so eventually.

Disadvantages

  • Devices take longer to charge, even if the power supplied is the same amount.
  • The relatively new technology increases the cost of manufacturing, resulting in more expensive devices and/or accessories needed to do so.
  • The phone can be moved around while charging (but at a limited distance). Most smartphones that support inductive charging require them to be on top of the pad to charge.

Phones that feature wireless charging

If you’re really into the idea of wireless charging, there have been a bunch of phones that support wireless charging. Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920, which were released in 2012, also do so. If you’re into Samsung, wireless charging has been an option since the Galaxy S line circa 2013. The newer Apple Phones including the highly hyped iPhone 8 and iPhone X support it. Some other popular phones that support it are

Google Nexus 4 onwards

LG G4 (The US version)

The Blackberry Priv


That wraps up our guide to wireless charging. Surely it makes charging more convenient, but is getting a wireless charger worth it right now? You be the judge.