Wireless charging: pros and cons

The good and the bad of setting up wireless charging

s4 wireless chargingThe ability to use wireless charging is slowly making an appearance on more handsets, with Nokia and Samsung leading the way with their respective high end Lumia and Galaxy  devices. Some devices feature built in technology and others require additional accessories. With this post I’ll give a quick run down of some of the good and not so good aspects of wireless charging.

Pros

Convenience – Once you having a wireless pad plugged in and set up ready, all you need do to charge your device is set it down. No more searching for a USB cable or plugging it in.

Scalability – Wireless charging pads can be installed in several locations, around the home, on your work desk or even, in the case of coffee shops and fast food restaurants, built into tables and work surfaces. A bit of engineering and determination could install one in your own furniture!

Multiple devices – Some wireless pads have the provision to charge multiple devices. Newer wireless charging protocols may even include the ability to create a charging box, that could charge any compatible device  placed inside it.

Cons

Heat – One drawback of some Qi wireless charging solutions is excess heat. Aside from the possible uncomfortable feeling of picking up a warm phone, too much extra heat around the battery can impair the lifespan and maximum capacity.

Slow charging – Not every charging pad or solution is slow however some of the cheaper models may deliver a lower charge than the official mains adapter. This has no adverse affect on performance however it does mean that the overall charging time will be longer.

More than 1 standard – At the time of writing this is not a major issue as only one standard, Qi, has proliferated the industry. A second standard called Power 2.0 is on the march across the USA though. It is possible that phone manufacturers could start choosing between standards, splitting the compatibility of accessories/handsets down the middle.

 

 

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About Josh Bethell

Josh joined Clove part time a few years ago whilst studying Computing at Bournemouth University. Since finishing his studies he has remained at Clove in a full time position, involved in sales, returns and social media.

Involved with both consumer electronics and software since the mid 2000s, keeping up to date with industry developments is as much a hobby as it is a job.

Easy going but never afraid to share an opinion, Josh can often be found in his spare time listening to some heavy rock or at a local gig as well as playing with the latest gadgets and video games.

Comments

  1. Paul Mansfield says:

    I have a Nokia DT-900 pad and it charges my Samsung Note 2 using the implanted coil that Clove sell.

    The same pad won’t charge a colleague’s Nexus 4 – it connects and starts charging then disconnects.

    The moral: Qi doesn’t absolutely guarantee compatibility.

  2. Paul Mansfield says:

    p.s. using a samsung-specific app I find my phone charges at just 460mA which is less than a third of the rated charging. However, it means I can top the phone up at work easily without unplugging/replugging all the time and wearing out the connector on my phone. I also want a car dock with Qi charger pad built in. Any ideas?

  3. Hi Josh,
    how wide will the jaws of the Nokia CR200 expand?

    the Nokia specs don’t say
    http://www.nokia.com/gb-en/accessories/accessory/cr-200/specifications/#

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Paul, it will hold 60 – 80mm wide and recommended 7-14 mm thickness. I’ll ad it to the product description when I get a moment :)

      • Paul Mansfield says:

        hmm, so a Note2 at 80.5mm wide might just fit, but be very very tight.

        the Note3 is 79.2mm wide and would fit ok.

        hmm, a perfect excuse to upgrade from a Note2 to a Note3?

  4. zac pregent says:

    lookin at the lugu lake charger /battery pack.. will all wirelss qi chargers reduce battery life/full charge capabilities?.. where did you find your sources for this?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Zac, it’s mostly down to how much heat is generated by the pad.
      The more efficient pad / receiver combinations give off very little heat and therefore don’t affect the battery as much.
      This is why going for a first party option (if available) with your phone is often the best choice as the units will have been tested extensively with that device.
      The third party models are still well tested however they tend to be less efficient as they are not targeted towards a single product, giving off more heat and charging more slowly.
      My sources vary from across the web and also my own experience in testing various pads and receivers.
      If you’re looking at any wireless charging solution I would recommend hunting down some reviews for it first

  5. Thanks guys for exchange of ideas about Qi. I have several questions. (1) Why does my Qi charger pad charges sooo slow? (2) Do the charger pad and receiver need to be of the same make or brand to be able to charge fast enough comparable to wired charging? (3) Can I use the charger pad for any Qi-enabled phones or tablets? (4) How reliable are the Qi charger set (pad and receiver) sold in the markets now, either online or instore? Thanks for taking time to reply.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi, I’ll try my best to answer
      1) The speed at which it charges depends on the power output. More ‘coils’ (or wire) in the pad creates more power and faster charging, however this also causes more heat. A trade off is usually made to keep the heat down (which can damage the battery in your phone) and the charging speed.
      2 & 3) Brand shouldn’t matter. As long as both units are Qi compatible then there won’t be an issue. A notable exception is with certain Nokia pads and non-Nokia phones.
      4) Anything for sale in a respected retail outlet will have undergone extensive quality and safety tests before coming to market

  6. There are apps which will tell you the charge current, and my Gal Note 2 charges at about 470mA on a Nokia DT-900 pad, which is less than a third of the normal.

    I have my Qi pad at work, which means I can top up the phone whenever I put it down. It will charge the phone from near empty but if I am using the phone a fair amount it will take all day!

  7. Hi i have read your article is awesome about the pros and cons of wireless charger…. great news but i actually wanna know one thing ie. i get one wireless charger from Amazon is working well and affordable according to my pocket money for more info. you can check the given link from where i get this –http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HZF6UGG dual usb wall charger , Now my question is that as i can see many products in the market same like this so how can we find the perfect one for Us according to the current market value as there are so many companies in the market. Please help Thanks

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi there, sorry but I’m not 100% sure what you’re asking here..
      Are you selling these dual USB chargers you have linked to and looking for wireless chargers to sell too?