So you’ve bought a brand new smartphone with your hard earned money & let’s consider that you want to showcase one cool feature of your phone to your friends. Which one to choose – Wireless Charging you say? Please don’t !
But why? Isn’t Wireless Charging the coolest thing in a smartphone? The glass backed device can transfer electricity to the battery cells just like sharing files via the Wi-Fi Direct feature. We’re going to tell you why it isn’t as intuitive as it feels.
Simply put, it works on the principle of electromagnetic induction. It is as follows – Considering two coils of wire. Out of the two, one has current flowing through it. Now the current flowing creates a magnetic field. The second coil when comes in proximity of this magnetic field, induces an EMF (current) in it. This is the current which is transferred to the batteries.
You can read the following posts to gain more information – Wireless Charging technology – the things to know.
Companies developing Wireless Charging:
The biggest among the list is Qi standard which was developed by Wireless Power Consortium. Early adopters of Qi like Nokia for their premium Lumia series propelled Qi into a global leader stats.
There are companies like WiTricity, WattUp & uBeam which are almost close to the initial concept of wireless charging – they rely on RF signals to transmit power to the authorised electronic devices.
You can read more about the companies in here.
Why it isn’t great
To be honest – just like any other guy, we were also fascinated by the earlier concept models & explanatory (read as promotional) videos about Wireless Charging and how it will revolutionize the industry. It didn’t.
The technology was shown off as users consuming content on their smartphones, laptops while charging their tech – and the charger plugged into the wall socket several meters away, in the same room.
But when the technology was first released in the Microsoft Lumia devices, it had to be placed on a wireless charging pad. A WIRELESS CHARGING PAD!
But but, where’s that wall-socket-and-power-transmitter that you guys were so stoked about? Instead all we have is that charging pad & to use it as an induction cooktop for our smartphones. This is not intuitive by any means. And we complain about lack of wireless charging on flagship devices… which doesn’t make any sense at all. The manufacturers don’t even bundle wireless chargers in the box.
The tech is slow to charge too. Sure it maintains battery health by slow charging – but who cares? The battery cells on your latest flagship can maintain health for atleast 2-3 years from the date of purchase, even with the fast-charging support. Considering the changing trends in the market – most of them change smartphones after 3 years. So probably there’s no need to cry over decreasing battery health. And if the battery drains out faster before the so called 2-3 year period – the device has come with a faulty battery out-of-the-box.
The funniest difference between the concept & reality is that its nearly impossible to consume content on the smartphone while it’s charging wirelessly. You cannot hold the phone in your hands & type. Some charging pads can be configured to keep the phone upright or in landscape mode – so that users can watch videos while charging, but what’s the point? It was better to purchase a longer charging cable rather than buy a good-for-nothing wireless charger. In that way its possible to use the phone while charging and making sure that you do not lose productivity.
So in the end, its the users that need to take care & make sure that they aren’t fooled by the marketing tactics of manufacturers – branding wireless charging as the next big feature in their latest flagship phone. A fast charging (wired) technology like Qualcomm Quick Charge, OnePlus Dash Charge or Oppo SuperVOOC is much better than expensive & gimmicky wireless chargers.
It is a common misconception & clever marketing that rebrands them as “Wireless Charging” while truth is that those are nothing but INDUCTIVE CHARGING. The same principle used in modern day rice cookers in the kitchen. Basically a coil with current flowing in it, inducing a current in the receiver coil inside the smartphone – inductive charging & not wireless in true manner.
What’s your thoughts? Do you think Wireless Charging is great? Let us know in the comments below.