Wireless charging may not be the holy grail in the smartphone business, but it's ra[od;u become a must-have element for flagship smartphones such as the iPhone 12, launched just this October.
Starting in 2017 with the release of the iPhone 8. then the iPhone X, and all subsequent models, they feature charging wirelessly. The older iPhones, such as the iPhone 7 may feature fast charge technology but won't charge wirelessly.
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How Does Wireless Charging Work?
First of all, it's not truly wirelessly. While it's true no cable connects the cellphone, to the charger, the charger itself is connected to the wall by a wire. However, since the cellphone need not be connected to the charger by a wire, it is considered to be wirelessly.
Instead of wires, the cellphone rests on a wireless charger pad or disc. It is this charger pad that actually powers the phone.
The way the charger pad charges the phone is called inductive charging. The charger takes electrical current from the wall socket and then uses that electricity to power electromagnetic electricity into the charger disc.
The phone then absorbs this energy by receiving coils within the phone and then begins to slowly charge the phone.
Since the iPhone or Android phone will charge while it sits on the charging disc or pad, it is important to note that the back of the phone must not be encased in a metal phone case.
While metal is significantly stronger than say a plastic case, the metal in a phone case will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the induction charge, and in fact, the phone may not charge wirelessly at all.
How fast is wireless charging?
The technology has not significantly advanced enough to make wireless charging significantly fast.
While a typical wireless charge may take up to 2 hours, most modern iPhones support fast charge technology. With a typical fast charge, you can expect to plug your iPhone into a charger and have it ramp up to a 50 percent charge within 30 minutes.
In addition, because your iPhone, if being charged wirelessly tends to get hot, it is typically recommended that when charging wirelessly that you do not charge your phone more than 80 percent.
Perhaps in the future, you will be able to place an iPhone on a charger pad, and within 5 to 10 minutes have a full charge on your iPhone 20 or whatever is the current model when this technology is available. Until perhaps a decade from now, the existing charging technology will take you roughly 2 hours to enjoy.
What is a QI certified charger?
The current standard for wireless chargers is called the Qi standard.
Qi (pronounced chee) is a standard for induction wireless chargers developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, a group of wireless technology manufacturers who's Qi standard was adopted in over 160 different smartphones and tablets.
Without going into a long, technical explanation, it should be noticed that the best wireless chargers employ Qi technology.
Although Qi wireless technology is convenient, don't expect speed while charging. For example, one test of the iPhone 11 Pro reported that it took a full hour to charge the iPhone 11 Pro up to 38 percent wirelessly. Meanwhile, it took a full 3 hours to charge an iPhone 11 Pro to 83 percent.
Meanwhile, a similar wired test of an iPhone 11 Pro found it to be charged 50 percent after 30 minutes and 70 percent in 45 minute
Clearly going without wires to charge is clearly much slower.
What iPhone has wireless charging?
The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max, Phone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 and the 2nd Generation iPhone SE all come with wireless charging technology.
Should you jump ship and join the wireless charging field?
We don't think so for two reasons. One is which is that charging is notoriously slow when charging a smartphone wirelessly.
You can charge a smartphone using wires in a fraction of the time.
Second, you really aren't going wirelessly, Your charger pad is still hooked up to wires when you use it. Plus, unlike a wired charger, the minute you pick up the phone it stops charging, whereas you can continually talk and use a wired phone while it is charging.
We like the idea but call us back in a decade when Wireless charging advances to blazing speeds.