Wireless phone charging makes it easier to keep your smartphone’s battery full. But if you’re thinking about purchasing a wireless phone charger, you’ll likely have some questions.
For example, you may be wondering if charging stations work on all phones, whether wireless charging is okay for your battery, and what kinds of phones are compatible with wireless chargers.
We’ll answer all of those questions and more in the sections below. So keep reading to get a complete overview of wireless phone charging.
What is Wireless Phone Charging?
Wireless phone charging allows you to refill your phone’s battery without having to use a cable or wall plug. The process typically works by placing your cell phone on a special charging pad.
Modern cell phones have a special induction coil inside of them that’s made of copper. This has a transmitter coil inside of it. When you put your cell phone on the charger, it will generate an electromagnetic field, which converts the charge into electricity that can refill your phone’s battery. It’s called electromagnetic induction.
The technology isn’t actually new. It’s been used by home products like shaving razors and electric toothbrushes for years. Manufacturers have finally figured out how to bring it to cell phones, much to the delight of smartphone owners everywhere.
Do Charging Stations Work on All Phones?
Charging stations work on the vast majority of all new phones, including iPhone 8 and later, Google Pixels, Blackberry Evolves, Huawei Mate, Galaxy S6, and later, and various phones from brands like Sony, Nokia, Motorola, Microsoft, and LG.
The bottom line is that if you have a relatively new smartphone (think 2017 or later), there’s a very high chance that it will be compatible with most commercially-available wireless charging stations.
This is because most phones have adopted the same wireless charging standard, called Qi. That means, at least for the time being, you don’t have to purchase a wireless charger from the same manufacturer that makes your phone.
However, it is worth mentioning that this could change in the future. Brands like Apple are known for wanting consumers to use products in their ecosystem, and we may see them try to pioneer a new wireless charging standard in the future.
How Do You Charge Your Phone with a Wireless Charging Station the First Time?
Using new technology for the first time can always present challenges – even if that technology is as straightforward to use as wireless charging stations.
With that in mind, here are step-by-step instructions that you can follow to charge your phone with a wireless charging station.
1. Plug the wireless charging device into an outlet
First, the wireless charging device needs to build up some charge of its own. You do that by plugging it into an outlet and allowing it to build up a battery reserve.
Note that after the charging station has a full battery, you can use it to charge your phone without leaving it plugged into the outlet. However, not every charging station has a built-in battery, so make sure you get one that does if you want this capability.
2. Place your phone on the surface of the charging device
Next, you’re going to put your phone face up on the surface of the charging device. You don’t need to do anything special. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you place it directly over the surface of the charging station.
3. Wait a few seconds for charging to begin
Now all that’s left to do is wait. After a few moments, you should see your phone icon show that the device is charging.
That’s it! You’re officially charging your phone on a station instead of with a plug and an outlet.
4. Try removing the case if it doesn’t work or disconnecting it from your USB
If your phone didn’t start charging after you followed the previous steps, then there are two main problems to check.
First, if you have a case on your phone, try taking it off and seeing if that fixes the problem. Phone cases can sometimes interfere with the signal that allows wireless charging stations to work.
You may also need to unplug your phone’s USB cable from your computer if you have it plugged in. Many phone models won’t connect to a wireless charging station if the phone is already connected to something else via a USB connection.
How Long Does Wireless Charging Take to Get a Full Battery?
The answer to this question can vary significantly based on factors like:
- The type of phone and charging station you have
- Air temperature
- What the phone’s battery level is at before charging begins
- How old is the phone, how old is its battery, and how old is the charging station
That being said, you should expect it to take between 3 and 4 hours to completely charge your smartphone when using a wireless charging station.
Manufacturers are working hard to design charging stations that can charge phones faster than this. But for now, somewhere between 3-4 hours for a full charge is the benchmark.
Is wired charging faster than wireless charging?
Yes, wired charging is still faster than wireless charging stations. You’ll typically be able to get a full charge within 2.5 hours when using wired charging instead of the 3-4 hours it takes with a wireless charging station.
Tips for speeding up the wireless charging process
The main downside to using charging stations today is that they’re slower than wired charging devices. However, there are steps that you can take to speed up the process when using a wireless charging solution.
Here are four steps you can take to make sure your charging stations refill your phone’s battery as quickly as possible.
Position your phone more accurately
You want your phone to be placed completely in the center of a charging station. That’s because this is how it gets the best wireless charging connection.
If your phone is hanging off to one edge or another, then centering it could help to speed up the charging process.
This isn’t guaranteed to make the charging process faster. But it is something that’s worth trying and can add up to make a big difference when combined with other changes in your charging method.
Make sure you’re charging in a room with a moderate temperature
It’s also important to keep in mind that charging stations are less effective in rooms with extreme temperatures. You’ll get a faster charge in a room with a moderate temperature than you would in a room that’s very cold or hot.
Try a newer phone
Another thing to note is that older cell phones and their older batteries take longer to charge in general – whether you’re using a wireless charging station or not.
If you’re getting frustrated that your phone isn’t charging fast enough, then that could be a sign that it’s time for an upgrade.
Try a newer wireless charging station
Wireless charging stations can also become less effective as they age. If you’re using an old charging station from a friend or relative, then an upgrade may be in order – especially if you’re trying to charge your phone with the device’s built-in battery instead of an outlet.
Is Wireless Charging Bad for My Phone’s Battery?
As a general rule of thumb, there’s nothing bad about charging wireless instead of through a wired connection.
However, wireless charging can generate more heat. If you’re using a charging station that doesn’t have a built-in cooling feature or one that gets excessively hot, this may cause your battery to wear out faster than usual.
One thing you can do to help prolong the life of your phone’s battery is to charge your phone less often. Try not to leave it plugged in overnight or for too long after it’s become full again. If you get into this habit, your phone will start running out of battery faster and faster.
Why is My Phone Not Charging on My Wireless Charger?
Even though charging stations work with most new phones, you may sometimes run into an issue where your phone doesn’t seem to benefit from wireless charging.
This can happen for several different reasons. We’ll cover three of the most frequent causes of a phone not charging wireless below.
It’s getting too hot
One reason why this may be happening is that the charging station is causing your phone to get too hot. This can disrupt the charging process and lead your phone to shut down as a safety feature.
The cable is broken
It’s also possible that the charging station’s cable is broken. This would lead to the station not being able to get power from the outlet and, therefore, not being able to transfer any power to your phone.
You need to enable wireless charging on your phone
Some phones require you to enable wireless charging before you can actively use the feature. This option will usually be located in your phone’s battery menu, which you can access via the settings screen.