Like USB-C, wireless charging has emerged as a common feature in today’s smartphones and other mobile devices. For a while, there were two competing standards which made life tricky for folks but now one standard, Qi, has prevailed making life easier for everyone. So, what are some of the ‘gotchas’ that might still be other there?
Wireless Charging Compatibility
There are a lot of wireless charging devices out there so you’ll need to pay attention to ensure the gear you buy is compatible. That means confirming Qi certification. Qi is an established evolving wireless charging standard that is backed by over 200 companies including Apple, Philips and Belkin. Some standard Qi products include the all the new iPhones released since last year, the last three generations of Samsung Galaxy S smartphones , the Galaxy Note 9, Huawei Mate20 Pro and a slew of other phones.
Look for the Qi logo on your packaging to check compatibility with your Qi phone before you a third party charger.
And by the way, although it supports wireless charging, the Apple Watch doesn’t use the Qi standard.
Wireless Charging Speed and Wattage
Wattage and speed are important when considering what charger to purchase, as specific phones are most efficiently charged by a particular wattage. For example, iPhones best charge at 7.5W, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t charge on a 10W charger. It’s about finding out what is the most efficient for your device. Furthermore, opting for a 15W charger might be a good purchase decision to future-proof, so that when you purchase your next new device your wireless charger can handle it.
Some manufacturers, such as Belkin, fine tune specific charging pads for different devices depending on how the wireless radios and other components work with the wireless charging mechanisms inside the device.
Wireless Charging Safety
Safety is always an important factor when it comes to purchasing any mobile accessory, so it’s important to look for Qi-certification on the packaging. If you don’t use a certified charger, you may experience issues such as:
- Your device could become damaged
- There may not be any foreign object detection
- Your device may overheat, shut down or stop charging before it reaches 100%
- You may not be able to use your device while its charging
- The charger may be more prone to malfunction
- An AC adaptor may not be included with the charger
Five Great Wireless Charging Options
- Belkin Boost↑UP Qi Wireless Charging Pad: This 5w charger works with Qi-compatible phones. Preice: $39.95 (requires USB cable and power adaptor)
- CHOETECH Qi Fast Wireless Charging Stand: I’ve got one of these on my desk and it’s worked with a number of different smartphones. $29.95 gets you a 10W charger that connects to a power source using a micro-USB cable.-
- Scosche Wireless Charging Universal Vent Mount: $56 will give you a wireless charging option for the car. This mount sits on your air vents although there’s also Universal Windows/Dash mount option for an extra $33.
- Belkin Boost↑Up Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone + Apple Watch: Priced at a hefty $233.69, this charging station is a neat bedside companion for keeping your iPhone and Apple Watch charged up over night.
- Cygnett ChargeUp Swift 10000mAh Wireless Charging Power Bank: If you’re looking for a portable charging solution that offers flexibility, the Cygnett ChargeUp boasts a a pair of USB-A ports answer all wireless charging for just under $90.
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