If you buy a luxury smartphone, it is unthinkable today that it cannot be recharged wirelessly. For other gadgets, such as headphones, wireless charging is becoming more common as well. Preview.
The latest generation of iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro and Xiaomi Mi9. These are just some of the latest smartphones that have just been launched on the market that can be recharged wirelessly. This technology extends to more and more accessoriessuch as Apple Airpod headphones, Samsung Galaxy Bud and other smart watches. The only thing you need is a wireless charger with Qi support, a universal standard for low power wireless power transfers. For the little story: Qi – pronounced "tchi" – comes from Chinese and means "breath of life" or "vital energy".
In its simplest form, the wireless Qi charger includes a charger tray that must be plugged into an electrical circuit. This device only costs around ten euros. Four years ago, the IKEA furniture brand launched the ideaintegrate wireless chargers into furniture and other decorative itemslike a side table or table lamp. In Belgium, this range now has four products. Prices start from 15 euros for a simple reload tray up to 60 euros for Riggad table lamps. It must be admitted that this is practical: when you go home at night, you simply put your smartphone, the back facing down, at the refilling point, and a few hours later, your device is ready for battle.
The lucky ones don't even have to wait at home because More and more car makers are planning a place to charge wireless phones in the car. BMW has planned a location under the middle column storage space. The compartments in front of the shift lever are also often used as a reload point. Two comments: even though wireless charging is not a decisive choice in choosing your new car, check if there is enough space. We have found models that cannot accommodate large smartphones, for example 6 inches (16 cm). In addition, some manufacturers have told us that Qi chargers consume a little more in cars, such as bluetooth and wifi. If you do not use this option, it is better to disconnect it via an on-board computer.
While wireless charging is convenient, this technology still has one big disadvantage: more time is needed than wire filling. Although great progress has been made on both sides. Consider the Huawei P30 Pro which is marketed for a month: with a SuperCharge adapter with a standard cable (40 watts), the 4,200 milliampere / hour battery is recharged to 70% in 30 minutes. According to Chinese manufacturers, the P30 Pro charges 440% faster than the iPhone Xs Max which was launched last September by Apple. The P30 Pro can also be recharged with 15 Watt Wireless Fast Charging. The recharging device is three times slower than the SuperCharge wire adapter, but it's still 140% faster than filling the iPhone Xs Max with a cable.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, a newcomer to the Belgian market, goes even further with the Mi 9. Combined with an optional Turbo Charge charger, a load of 20 watts is possible. According to the manufacturer, the 3,300 milliamp / hour battery can be fully charged in 100 minutes. With a cable, it takes one hour with a standard 27-watt charger. Xiaomi also provides a special car charger, which can charge devices at the same speed.
There is a clear difference between wireless charger capacity and the possibility of a smartphone. Cheap wireless charging boards, with a capacity of 5 or 7.5 watts, not too fast. With the latest smartphones, which can support 15 or even 20 watts of wireless charging, it is better to invest in stronger, preferred Qi chargers of the same brand. This can wirelessly charge phone batteries up to four times faster, and sometimes even faster than with other brand cable chargers.
Advanced devices from Samsung and Huawei offer attractive options for the wireless charging concept. They allow users to provide power to other gadgets. At Huawei, this technology is called Wireless Reverse Charge. This is especially present in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro. Samsung has baptized its Wireless PowerShare system. In short: just place the two devices back to back and the first one to load the second. This is useful if for example you are participating in a music festival, you need a little power for your device and someone else has a device that is charged, equipped with this technology.
However, reloading the second cellphone takes longer. We did a test from the Huawei P30 Pro to Huawei Mate 20: in 90 minutes, the second camera battery rose from 54 to 67%, while the source cellphone rose from 100 to 67%. Therefore the results are far from optimal, but in an emergency, this can be useful. For personal use, it is more interesting to know that you can also charge other gadgets, such as wireless headphones, if they have wireless charging options.
At the P30 Pro presentation, Huawei assured that that too possible to charge mice, razors and electric toothbrushes through the Wireless Reverse Charge device. And indeed, it works with our wireless electric toothbrush. You will not be forced to carry all your chargers during your next vacation.
There is no wireless charger?
Smartphones that are wirelessly recharged have become fashionable for less than a year, especially in the upper class models. For older and cheaper devices, there are alternative solutions in the form of "wireless charging cases". This is a wireless charging shell. These shells are connected via a normal telephone charging jack, such as a USB-c or Lightning connector, and recharge in the same way as a wireless smartphone that can actually be recharged. There are covers for many telephone models and some car manufacturers offer them to their customers.