Although it doesn’t take a genius to realize that wireless chargers benefit from a broader range of applications and an increased overall convenience, there are still questions to be asked about the actual performance. Especially considering that not all wireless chargers are built to meet the same operational standards.
It goes without saying thatyour average countertop wireless charger is miles ahead of even the best wired chargers on the market when it comes to mobility and accessibility. That aside, the actual charge that wireless chargers/charging stations deliver is still lagging behind what traditional chargers have to offer.
That alone is enough to deter some of the people who might otherwise be interested in switching from wired to a more hands-off approach to charging. As we are about to find out, it isn’t just the speed however that people are concerned about. Not unless you also take convenience into account because traditional chargers are still rather bulky and primitive to some extent.
Advantages of wireless chargers
Even though the jury is still out on whether wireless models can 100% replace wired chargers anytime soon, the advantages that this technology presents are undeniable.
- Reduced wear and tear –Unlike wired chargers that end up scratching your devices over time, wireless charging stations raise no such concerns. Because wireless chargers don’t really employ cables for anything other than to connect to wall plugs, the scratching/straining risks they present are non-existent. They also don’t require USB ports anymore, so no strain on the cable or the charging plug/port.
- Multi-charge potential –While wired chargers can only accommodate a single type of device depending on the charging port, wireless chargers can charge virtually any device with Qi-charging capabilities. It used to be that people who owned iPhones had to carry around Apple chargers or risk not being able to charge up their devices if visiting someone who owned an Android device. This problem was a much-dreaded problem for years before the invention of wireless chargers and a problem that we see going away over time.
- A safer charging medium –No matterwhat countertop wireless charger you employ for all your charging needs, you will find that the risks of connection failure or electric shocks are non-existent. This is different from traditional chargers that sometimes short-circuited devices or rendered them slow to recharge. This is because Qi chargers don’t transmit power by touching any exposed electrical connectors, thus making the whole process a lot safer.
- Compact and easy to hide –We also have to point out that wireless chargers are far more space-saving and inconspicuous than their wired counterparts. While traditional chargers are bulky and have wires sticking out, wireless chargers blend into the environment and they rarely employ wires or adapters. Given their peculiar design, they can be installed into almost any piece of furniture with a thin enough counter to accommodate them.
While we’re on the subject, know that wireless chargers will end up taking up even less space in the future as newer models get released. The technology shows no signs of slowing down at the moment as new designs are constantly being pushed by reputable manufacturers who have also started blending them into other devices, appliances, and even vehicles.
A long time coming yet still a long road ahead
It’s true that wireless chargers aren’t everywhere at the moment, and it’s true that they’re still not as widespread as perhaps they should be. But understanding that the future belongs to wireless devices and chargers alike is essential to forming an educated idea of the future. If anything, we can expect most devices to incorporate wireless charging capabilities going forward.
One of the issues that wireless chargers still have to contend with is the reduced charging speed. This seems to rise ever so slightly with each new iteration but overall the speed is substantially slower compared to wired chargers. They went from 3-4 Wh to all the way up to 25 Wh or more over time.
Believe it or not buta good countertop wireless charger can nowadays reach charging speeds of up to 30 Wh with some models. While this isn’t the case with all of them, it is still representative of the major strides being made on a regular basis and of the constant progress this technology enjoys.
Going forward, we can expect wireless chargers to not only match but maybe even surpass the charging speeds that for the time being only wired chargers can deliver. Judging by how far Qi chargers have come in recent years, it’s bound to happen in less than a decade or so if current trends are anything to go by.
Convenience has a thermal problem
Bear in mind that despite how versatile and accommodating many wireless chargers are, most Qi-ready devices out there are prone to sudden spikes in battery temperature during the charging process. This is because of how the inductive charge is being delivered and because of the primitive thermal management most of these batteries incorporate.
We can expect this to change over the next few years, of course, but progress is rather slow as far as batteries are concerned. At the moment, your average lithium-ion battery performs optimally at temperatures at around 5 to 30 °C.
Unfortunately, the Qi wireless charging process can sometimes raise the core temperature of these batteries quite a lot, rendering them prone to performance drops.
In other words, the convenience that wireless chargers offer comes with a price. Although this doesn’t imply any real threats to your devices, it still makes the whole process rather uncomfortable at times. Still, not all devices appear prone to thermal problems and this seems to vary greatly depending on the wireless charger.
Overall, however, there is still plenty that needs ironing out if wireless chargers are to fully replace their wired counterparts. For the time being, they seem like a good investment for anyone who owns a Qi-ready device and wants to switch to a hands-off approach to phone charging.