Last updated on November 7th, 2020 at 08:33 pm
Wireless charging has been around for quite some time and has been used to charge a lot of devices: computers, handheld devices, toothbrushes etc.
It also supports electric vehicles and cordless operations. Wireless charging has made people think that it is bad for battery and might even reduce battery life.
So, what exactly is wireless charging and are wireless chargers safe for your phone battery and your health? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of wireless charging you need to know.
What Is Wireless Charging?
Wireless charging is also known as inductive charging is an unconventional means of charging your device by receiving energy sent through an inductive coupling or transmitted through an electromagnetic field created by the charging pad.
Wireless chargers have in-built coils that generates current from the field when placed on the charging pad.
Smartphones that support wireless charging have glass backs instead of plastic or metal.
Because with a glass black there is a negligible loss between power transfers from the charging pad to the smartphone.
How Do Wireless Charging Pads Work?
Wireless charging pads, mats or surface have inbuilt coils in them that transfer energy to the receiver coils in smartphones that support wireless charging.
Using the motor/generator analogy. Think of the wireless charging pad being the motor which uses electric current to produce motion when it is plugged to a power supply.
The receiver coil is the generator which uses motion to produce electricity or current.
When the motor is being turned it forces an electromagnetic field to form. The receiving coil (“generator”) when close enough to the wireless charging pad then attains the same electromagnetic field energy as the source (“motor”).
This then causes the generator to also rotate and produce electricity that charges the battery of your smartphone.
Putting the analogy aside, the wireless charging pad houses the induction coil to create an alternating electromagnetic field which the receiver coil in the smartphone converts to electricity to charge the battery.
The smartphone device has to be very close the charging pad or the charging won’t take place.
What are the Advantages of Wireless Charging?
Is there a benefit to wireless charging? Wireless charging has its advantages. Here are they:
Wireless Charging Is Safe
The risk of getting an electrical shock is greatly reduced when compared to using a cable. Charging cables that have been used for a long time get worn out and can expose wires close to the input head.
But with a wireless charger if you need to charge your smartphone just drop it on the charging pad and you are good to go.
Wireless Charging Is Convenient
There are different types of charging cables: micro USB and USB Type-C. If you are over at a friend’s house and he or she has a wireless charging pad you can drop your phone on it to charge.
But if you use a smartphone that supports USB Type-C and his/her cable doesn’t, well you get the point.
Wireless charging is becoming quickly available in public places. In America, there are many wireless charging stations in airports, hotels, even in your car.
You can easily charge your phone without the need to carry around a cable. Although it won’t be a good idea.
Multiple Device Charging
One cable, one device. That’s how conventional charging cables work. You can’t charge multiple devices at the same time. Wireless charging pads can charge multiple devices at the same time.
The requirement? Your devices should support wireless charging. The only problem is whether it can charge both android and apple phones at the same time.
No Clutter or Mess
Having a lot of cables can create quite a mess. So many cables on your table, in your bag and your office can’t make everything messy especially if you bring along different cables for different smartphones.
If you have a wireless charger you can just plug it in and drop your smartphones on it for it to charge without bringing so many cables with you.
What are the Disadvantages Of Wireless Charging?
Wireless charging is not perfect and so there will definitely become disadvantages in using it.
Performance and Low Efficiency
Compared to conventional cable chargers, wireless charging is not as fast and efficient as cables.
The charging process is slow and the heat generated is higher. The energy losses that result from the power transfer is also greater than cable charging.
There are fast wireless chargers but they still can’t keep up with fast cable charging.
You can move your smartphone around through a limited range whilst it is being charged. This is not possible in wireless charging.
Your smartphone has to be on the pad before it can charge, moving it around will stop it from charging. The device must be kept on the pad at all times.
Compatibility is still an issue. Not all smartphones are able to draw power from the wireless charging pad even though they can be from the same brand.
There is also the case of Android and Apple smartphones. Most devices do not support multiple standards. You can think of it as network bands.
Not all devices are able to support the bands in various countries.
Is Wireless Charging Bad For Your Battery?
No, wireless charging is not bad for your phone. The only thing bad for your phone battery are high temperatures or you keep using your phone till it runs out of power completely.
This quickly degrades your battery and reduces battery life in the long term.
Wireless charging is also safe to use because the electromagnetic field generated is very small, weak in power and operates over short distances and has no adverse effects on human health.
P.S. Wireless Charging uses inductive charging not wireless connections.
Does Wireless Charging Reduce Battery Life?
Wireless charging doesn’t reduce battery life. But, what reduces battery life are constant exposure to extreme temperatures (hot and cold) and the age of the battery.
Batteries have a limited number of charging cycles. These charging cycles determine the state of your battery. The fewer charging cycles left the weaker the battery life and less power it can store. The opposite is also true.
That’s why new smartphones have better battery lives and this reduces as time goes on.
Is It OK to Wireless Charge Overnight?
Yes, it’s fine to charge your phone overnight. Because smartphones and chargers have certain measures in place to stop over charging your phone once the battery reaches 100%.
We have a post that fully explains what charging your phone overnight does to your battery.
Is Wireless Charging Better Than Wired?
No, wired charging is faster than wireless charging. However, wireless charging is much more convenient than wired charging.
Because you can simply put your smartphone on the wireless charging pad for it charge. Whereas with the cable you have to fumble for a few seconds before plugging it in.
In terms of charging speed, wired charging is much faster than wireless charging. Nothing charges your phone faster than directly plugging it in to a power supply.
Wireless charging is totally worth it. It is convenient to use. But, that doesn’t mean you should get rid of your charging cable. It certainly needs a bit more work. But, there is no denying it is certainly a nice feature to have.