Apple has finally jumped into the wireless charging bandwagon. iPhone 8 and iPhone X feature wireless charging as one of the new key features. Among Android devices, wireless charging feature has been around for years. It’s already a standard capability among multiple high-end Android smartphones released by LG and Samsung. If anything, Apple is late to the party. However, the party often starts only after Apple arrives and today, wireless charging finally becomes mainstream and the technology simply kicks offs. We are seeing more and more Qi charging pads on the market, especially after the release of new iPhone models. However, wireless charging isn’t a completely painless experience and there are issues that you need to be aware of:
1. It isn’t completely wireless: It is true that you can simply drop your smartphone onto the pad to start the charging process. However, a wire is still needed for this arrangement to work. If you change location, you will need to unplug the charging pad and re-plug it at the new location. So, it’s only partially convenient.
2. It’s intermittent: In general, wireless charging works well only when you put the smartphone directly on the pad. It will stop charging when you pick the phone up. In reality, we often check our phone when it’s being charged and with the conventional corded method, it is always charged.
3. It’s slower: Although newest Qi charging pads perform better than older models, it is still slow compared to corded charging method. Both new iPhone devices support faster wireless charging standard, but these charging devices are not commonly available yet. In the end, you need to leave your smartphone on the pad longer, if you want it to be fully charged.
4. It’s potentially frustrating: In some cases, wireless charging can be frustrating. This charging method is based on induction. Both the smartphones and the charging pad have magnetic coils that need to be aligned to start the charging process. These coils should be lined up properly or the charging process will become intermittent or stop completely. If you choose a charging pad, make sure that it has more magnetic coils, so it’s easier to align your phone. However, this feature is only available on higher-end, more expensive models. Also, some smartphone cases tend to obstruct wireless charging, so you need to choose thinner cases. Also, most metal cases will prevent the wireless charging process. Most of the time, you will get numerous calls and notifications, which could cause your device to vibrate repeatedly. It means that your device will slowly be misaligned and the charging process stops without your knowledge. In order to counter this problem, you should choose a pad with a surface that has enough friction.
5. It’s expensive: Normal chargers with cable are cheap and you can find many generic ones that are usable if these smartphones have standard micro-USB charging/data port. However, a standard Qi charging pad can cost you around $50. If you want to get cheaper pads, then they usually have fewer magnetic coils, which make charging a more difficult process.