A stylish gadget that gets rid of unnecessary wires is wireless charging. Almost all new phones support the technology, but even older smartphone lines can be connected to a wireless charger.
What It Is
Wireless charging technology is simple:
- A charging station is a power source. It’s connected to the network.
- Inside the station there is a copper magnetic coil, through which the current flows.
- This creates an electromagnetic field around the charging pad. It’s small, but enough for your smartphone or other gadgets.
- As soon as you put your phone on the charging pad, it’s exposed to the field.
- To convert electromagnetic energy into electrical energy, you need a receiver coil – the phone has one.
- The goal is achieved: the device’s battery is charged and you can play online slots or watch YouTube again.
A coil a few centimeters in diameter is enough to charge the phone. If the coil is large or there are several of them, even large laptop batteries can be charged.
However, classic charging charges faster. Wireless stations have losses – this is a cost of induction technology. And to start charging, the phone must be placed strictly on the charging pad.
Which Smartphones Are Suitable for Induction Charging
All major concerns (Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and others) have already integrated this feature into their models. To find out if your smartphone supports wireless charging, check the manual. But the newer the phone, the more likely it is.
And if not, the option can be added manually. To do this, you use a Qi-receiver – a one and a half millimeter thick plate with an adapter, which should be plugged into the charging slot of the smartphone. The plate is hidden under the case or glued to the back panel. Such a simple upgrade will allow you to use the wireless charging technology.
Types of Wireless Charging Stations
Compact stand stations, easy to place even in a small area. To charge your smartphone, just put it on the working platform of the station.
Easily embedded into tables, sofas and bars. They come in flush-mounted and surface-mounted versions. They are often installed in airports, cafes and offices.
Portable external batteries are equipped with the popular Qi standard for charging smartphones, wireless headphones, speakers. Convenience powerbank with wireless charging is obvious – a compact device can be taken with you. The main thing is that the battery is charged.
The greater the capacity of such a device is, the greater the number of wireless charging it will be enough. One of the basic conditions for charging with such a power bank – the smartphone must be as close to it as possible.
Car Power Banks
Basically, it’s a holder for the phone with wireless charging. Attached to a fan grill, glass or mounted on the dashboard. Holds and charges your smartphone and makes it easy to receive calls on the go. The charger itself is often plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car, in newer models of cars is standard equipment.
How to Choose a Wireless Charging Station
The main parameter of such a charger is the power. It should correspond to the power of your smartphone or other gadget to be charged. If you don’t want to understand the parameters – choose a station of the same brand as the phone. But this is not necessary – most phones get along with the products of other brands.
Wireless chargers have two types of power:
- Input – this is the power that the charger itself consumes from the mains. As a rule, this parameter is from 5 to 25 watts.
- The output is what the charging speed depends on. Match the output power to the phone – otherwise the device will simply not charge or will do so too slowly. For example, the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max, Galaxy S10 supports 10W; Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra – as much as 50W. The power can be clarified on the case or the box of the device, in some cases – on official websites or in reviews of bloggers.
Wireless chargers are often sold without a power adapter. When choosing a unit, pay attention to the power. Due to imperfect induction technology, wireless charging loses up to 30% of its power. If you connect a 5W wireless station to an adapter with the same wattage, your phone will consume almost half as much due to charging losses. To avoid this, choose a power adapter with a slightly higher wattage. For example, for a 5W gadget, a 10W adapter would be handy – so you get the maximum wireless charging speed.
Qi is the most common wireless technology for charging devices. It’s based on electromagnetic induction, where energy is transferred through electromagnetic fields. Qi phones are supported by almost all popular manufacturers.
Stations based on Qi technology work in the 5-15W range on average. Smartphones support the 5W or 7.5W standard, but there are those that charge from 10 or 15W or more (these are fast-charging models). Put your phone exactly in the center of the charger and don’t forget to remove the case – then the loss in speed will be minimal.
There are stationary and portable wireless chargers on the market. The first work from the mains, are equipped with a cable and power supply (included or purchased separately). The latter are external rechargeable batteries. Power Banks are charged from the mains, but you can take them with you and on the road. The battery capacity of such a charger is enough to fully charge your smartphone several times (depending on the phone battery).
The Form Factor
Wireless charging can be of two types:
- A horizontal flat stand that can be placed on any horizontal surface, table or bedside table. Note that when using a horizontal device, you must turn off vibration mode – otherwise your phone may move off the charger and stop charging.
- A vertical stand (docking station) in which the phone is held at an angle. With this charger, your phone is easy to use while making video calls, scrolling through the news, or typing text messages.
It’s important that the surface of the device is matte and anti-slip, with rubber elements. The phone is simply placed on the charger and is usually not attached to it in any way, so you want it to have less opportunity to slip or fall off the charging pad.
Consider the plastic that the charger surface is made of: a low-quality one will scratch and wear out from frequent contact with the phone.
The larger the charging pad in the charger, the easier it is to place the phone. On the other hand, such a device is more bulky and more difficult to place on a narrow table or take with you. Some devices have a large contact pad for charging two gadgets at the same time.
If you place your phone on a small pad, be careful – even a couple of millimeters of movement will result in the device not being able to charge.