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    How Next Generation Smartphones Fare in the Age of Wireless Charging

    • 4 min read

    How Next Generation Smartphones Fare in the Age of Wireless Charging

     

    Those of you who have paid attention to market trends and to emerging technologies will know by now thatmodern flagship smartphones are quickly turning to wireless charging as an alternative to traditional standards. As a matter of fact, it can be seen as rather odd for a modern smartphone to lack Qi-charging capabilities at this point in time.

    Even though the technology still has a long way to go considering its tremendous potential, the options one has in regards to wireless chargers are quite versatile right now.You can get your wireless charging under desk if need be, on the table, built into the furniture, or in a stand-alone form with a charging pad that you can set up anywhere you want.

    Considering how wireless charging is a boon to convenience and universality by most standards, it would be safe to say that future devices will all incorporate wireless charging capabilities. So this raises a very important question: how do modern smartphones fare in regards to emerging wireless charging trends?

    To put it bluntly - some of them don’t while others still struggle in a half-baked, sluggish fashion. Mind you, smartphone manufacturers would tell you that this is owed to the insufficient strength of the wireless chargers that most people use, whereas wireless charger manufacturers would insist that it’s all the fault of the phones themselves.

    Questionable software implementation

    Perhaps the biggest fault on the side of companies like Samsung and Apple is limiting the charging speed of most of their devices. This, however, seems to only apply to wireless charging for a series of reasons, thus rendering the still novel technology relatively insufficient. 

    Then again, this could be becauseboth Apple and Samsung are working on their very own proprietary wireless chargers and are therefore looking to limit the scope of potential competitors.

    Consider this scenario – you’ve just acquired a brand new iPhone and you’re thinking about charging it wirelessly. So far so good, because most of their new phones incorporate Qi-charging capabilities. 

    Uponplacing the device on your wireless charging under desk spot, you realize that your phone either charges up annoyingly slow or it fails to recharge altogether.

    While the phones are perfectly capable of recharging wirelessly as per their hardware configuration, it does seem thatApple’s software limits the devices from charging at full strength. This has been observed with both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, but only when charged via third-party wireless chargers.

    Furthermore, you should know thatmost new iPhones are factory-built to allow for two-way wireless charging, but this is also something that Apple restricts via software limitations. Needless to say, this could reduce charging times to half if left unchecked, but for whatever reason, Apple decided against bilateral charging for reasons unknown.

    The battery issue

    It would also be wise to understand that the reasonsome manufacturers limit the charging speed of their devices, isn’t just for financial or logistical grounds but for practical purposes as well. For instance, know that a traditional charger delivers around 21.01 Wh on average, which is about 50% more than even the best wireless charger the market has to offer.

    By comparison,your average wireless charging under desk setup will deliver something around 7.5 to 12.5 Wh, with some going as high as 13 Wh. Needless to say, this does mean that you are better off using your wired charger if you’re looking for a quick recharge but that there are still plenty of reasons for employing a wireless charger if you get the opportunity.

    It should be said that althoughgood wireless chargers can accommodate a variety of Qi-ready devices, the actual charging speed can range considerably depending on the phone. A common issue that some people experience is for the battery to drain while connected to a wireless charging pad.

    This is because of a lack of communication between the charger and the phone itself, which sometimes leads to situations where the phone doesn’t charge up at all. On average,you can expect iPhones to charge at a standard of 7.5 Wh, whereas Samsung phones can reach speeds of up to 10 Wh or more.

    Part of the reason why there doesn’t seem to be any consistency across the market is because of how the software configuration of each individual phone functions. You see, there must be constant communication between the unit under charge and the charger at all times. In other words,the phone needs to be ‘tuned’ into the charger’s output for a secure connection.

    This is the part where software sometimes fails even the most reputable manufacturers.The inconsistency between the actual battery charge and what’s being displayed on the screen is sometimes at the root of the problem. For some reason, the issue is a lot more prevalent in Qi-ready devices, especially when they fail to fully synchronize with the charger.

    Wireless charging standards

    Know that devices adhering to the Wireless Power Consortium Qi standard often rely on modulated backscatter regulation. This is whythey seldom require any wire-based interface to speak of, even though some of them allow for a wired recharge if needed. This standard seems to have become the norm among new releases, a trend that we believe is sure to continue going forward.

    That said, the standards are still unclear in regard to Qi-ready devices that aren’t phones or tablets. If we look at wireless headphones, for example, we see that the charging standards for them vary considerably across multiple spectrums. 

    Some would argue that this has more to do with the feeble nature of wireless headphones but it’s still something to account for when buying a wireless charger.

    By the looks of things, the universal wireless charging standards are bound to change over the next few years as more and more devices incorporate Qi-charging technologies. 

    This may or may not apply to other Qi-ready devices like headphones, electric shavers, or electric toothbrushes, but then again, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to presume that they will eventually get an industry standard of their own.