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Wireless Charging Sucks: 4 Reasons Why

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Many gadgets like smartphones, earbuds, and smartwatches support wireless charging today. And with all these tech companies boasting about how fast their wireless chargers are, you’d expect the technology to have some serious weight to it, right? We think not.

Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t use a wireless charger.

1. Wireless Charging Isn’t Wireless (Yet)

iPhone connected to lighning cable

Let’s agree on one basic fact about wireless chargers: they are not wireless. Sure, you don’t have to plug in your device with a cable, but the wireless charging dock itself comes with a cable that’s plugged into the wall socket. This defeats the whole purpose of wireless charging.

With a wired charger, you can at least pick up your phone and use it like normal, provided that you stay near the socket. But with a wireless charger, the phone needs to be kept intact. As soon as you pick it up to, say, type a text, the charging stops. That’s adding more inconvenience than removing it.

Ideally, a truly wireless charger should charge your device no matter your location. As long as you have a long-range charging hub, your phone will charge even if it’s in your pocket or on a countertop. The good news is that we already have this technology, but the bad news is that it doesn’t work well enough to be actually useful.

2. Wireless Charging Is Inefficient

iPhone Wireless Charging

Perhaps the biggest complaint about wireless charging is its inefficiency. You see, with a wired charger, the power from the socket goes straight into your device. But with a wireless charging pad, the power has to pass through the pad’s plastic housing and the glass on the back of your phone.

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These insulating materials dull the flow of electrons, making the whole process inefficient and slow. In a world where fast wired charging is reaching 100W or more, wireless charging doesn’t even come half as close. Not only does it waste your time, but it also wastes electricity.

Related: How to Charge Your Android Phone Faster: Tips and Tricks

At best, wireless charging suits smaller devices like earbuds, smartwatches, portable speakers, computer mice, etc. But if you go any further, its limitations become apparent quickly. The bigger the gadget, the harder it becomes for wireless charging to keep up. That’s why we don’t see laptops, e-bikes, and electric cars using wireless charging.


3. Wireless Charging Causes Overheating

Smartphone on a charging stand

A nasty side effect of fast charging (regardless of the medium) is that it produces a lot of heat. And as you might know, overheating damages your overall battery health. Wireless charging magnifies this problem due to its inefficiency.

All the extra energy that doesn’t get fed to your battery during a wireless transmission is lost and emitted as heat due to thermal radiation. That’s why a fast wireless charger will always give out more heat than a fast wired charger of the same wattage.

Related: Battery Capacity vs. Charging Speed: Which Is More Important?

4. Wireless Chargers Are Expensive

You can easily find a decent 20W fast wired charger for under $10. But a fast wireless charger of roughly the same wattage will cost anywhere between $12-$25 or even more. That means you’re having to pay more to buy a worse charger that also damages your battery due to overheating. Not a smart purchase, if you ask us.


Wireless Charging Wastes Time and Money

For a lot of people, time is money. But wireless chargers waste both time and money. Not only are they expensive, but they take forever to charge your phone.

Wireless charging technology still has a long way to go, and in its current state, it doesn’t deliver the benefits it promises. Until the technology improves to an acceptable level, it cannot replace wired charging.

If you’re in the market to buy a new charger (perhaps because your phone didn’t come with one), save yourself the trouble and just get a fast wired charger. Anything near 20W or above is a good choice.


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