Wireless charging is awesome. We no longer have to fuss with pesky, tangled and undersized cables to recharge our phones. Now, we can simply drop our phones on a pad and they start charging! Sounds great right? Well, this elimination of wires doesn’t come without sacrifices.
Reason 1: Charging Speed
Phone manufacturers have spoiled us with quick charging technology. It seems as if each phone that comes out can charge faster than the last. With quick charging technology, a user needs only fifteen minutes and their phone will be usable for a few additional hours. However, at this time, wireless charging and fast charging are exclusive from each other. Once you are spoiled by fast charging speeds, standard charging speeds will make you feel like you are waiting eternities for your phone to be charged. Samsung does have a feature called “fast wireless charging” however as this graph from Phandroid shows, it is still slower than wired fast charging.
Also, wireless fast charging is only available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+, so if you don’t have one of these two phones, you will be charging with the “old wireless” rate. As seen on the graph, this rate is significantly slower than both fast wired and fast wireless charging.
This factor is more dependent on the user rather than on factual information. When it comes to my usage, I can’t comfortably use my phone while it is laying flat on a surface. When my phone is plugged in and I need to interact with it, I always lift it off of the table. If I were to charge my phone wirelessly, I would have to halt the charging each time I interact with the device. Not only would this further slow the rate of charging, but I can’t imagine it being good for the device to constantly start and stop charging.
It’s Not Completely Wireless:
This may not be a huge deal, depending on the user, but it will bother those that are annoyed by the appearance of wires and who hope to eliminate them completely with wireless charging. Wireless chargers are wireless in the sense that the handset isn’t tethered to the charger by a cable. The device is still tethered to the charging pad, which is tethered to its power source (wall, computer, etc.)
There are wireless chargers, such as the QiStone which are completely wireless. This device comes at quite a cost and due to its capacity, must be recharged regularly.
There are many situations where one’s device may not be compatible with wireless charging. Some thicker cases and all battery cases block wireless charging on compatible phones. Also, many phones aren’t compatible with wireless charging. The technology is still new, and manufacturers of some budget phones are choosing to omit the feature. Fortunately for lovers of wireless charging, in many cases, this issue can be solved using a wireless charging receiver.
This solution comes with problems of its own, with many users reporting that the adapter didn’t work for them or provided too weak of a signal to charge the device. Because of universal micro-USB compatibility, the same cable can charge the majority of mobile devices and accessories (excluding Apple devices, USB-C powered devices, and accessories with proprietary chargers) through wired charging.
Cost may be a deal breaker for some consumers and an irrelevant factor for others. When it comes down to the numbers, wireless chargers are more expensive than wired charging cables. Some wireless chargers (such as the QiStone mentioned earlier) can cost nearly $100. There is also the cost of the adapters which may be necessary for some users to take advantage of wireless charging. On the other hand, some wireless chargers are relatively inexpensive: I was able to pick up the Yootech wireless charger as a gift on Black Friday for only $13.99. It is still on sale at the time I am writing this.
I have wrestled with the idea of switching to wireless charging many times. I may be willing to overlook most of these factors, but since I am using a Galaxy S6 as my daily driver, I would get too impatient with the slow wireless charging speed. In the end, it’s the user’s choice. Some may find the elimination of that pesky wire far more important than charging speed and convenience. Others may not want to have to purchase adapters and other accessories and will just stick with regular wired charging. Both sides are reasonable and understandable. There are also some advantages to wireless charging, such as the accessories available: wireless charging bedside tables, phone stands, pads for your car, all really awesome ideas.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Can’t live without wireless charging? Prefer wired charging? Let me know! Feel free to follow us on Twitter @amcoffeetech to stay up to date on new content. For anything else, email me at email@example.com. Thank you so much for reading, I’ll see you in the next one.