All About Wireless Charging

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

Most modern smartphones and devices support wireless charging ⚡️

It's nothing new - the first smartphone to support wireless charging was the Nokia Lumia 920; released in 2012. Samsung added wireless charging to their phones with the S6 in 2015, and Apple got involved in 2017 when they released the iPhone 8.

This is why smartphone manufacturers switched from aluminium to glass backs, as the charging signal cannot transmit through metal.

How does it work?
The charging pad (base) is plugged into the mains with its own power supply. The pad has a transmitter coil, and the phone has a receiver coil. The charging pad uses inductive charging, whereby power is created by passing an electrical current through the two coils to create an electromagnetic field.
This allows a magnetic field to produce electricity through oscillation, which generates an electrical current within the device.
This current is then converted into direct current (DC), charges the battery.

Pros vs wired charging:
- It's often more convenient to place your device on a pad than plug it in, especially in a car.
- It's universal - you don't need to have the correct cable for your device, and one base can charge your phone, smartwatch and headphones.
- Reduced charging port wear - a component that often degrades and is easily damaged

Cons vs wired charging:
- Less energy efficient, so more power required - almost 50% more energy to charge a battery.
- It's significantly slower; especially versus modern fast-charging cables. It takes 30-80% longer to fully charge a smartphone on a pad.
- It's more difficult to use your phone whilst it's charging on a pad.
- A pad is more expensive than a cable.

Your device will get quite warm on a pad, as it's less energy efficient, but there's no evidence that it causes any harm to the device or degrades the battery.

Wireless charging will continue to improve, and has big implications for the future of tech, especially with the continued adoption of electric vehicles. As for your phone and smartwatch, you can expect to see wireless charging everywhere soon - built into your car, in your desk, in cafes and on public transport 🔋

Thanks for reading!

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