6 common wireless charging myths
Despite having been in use in consumer devices for almost 10 years, there still remain a number of misconceptions about wireless charging technology—especially the safety of wireless charging—which may discourage consumers from making the switch. Today, we separate fact from fiction when it comes to some of the most common wireless charging myths.
1. Wireless charging is slow
The first iteration of Qi wireless charging only provided a maximum of 5 W of charging output, which by today's standards is certainly on the slower side. However developments in the standard have resulted in power outputs as high as 15 W, which is more than the output of the wired chargers included with many phones—prior to the iPhone 11, Apple only provided a 5 W wired charger in the box. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to get the fastest possible wireless charging performance.
2. Wireless charging is inefficient
While it's true that the conversion from electric current to an electromagnetic field and back results in some power loss, as much as 80% of input wattage can be transmitted when charging wirelessly. Much of the efficiency depends on the charger's coil design, with good design and high-quality components resulting in less energy loss. Cheap, non-certified wireless chargers tend to use inferior materials and components and will likely score low in terms of efficiency and reliability.
"Cheap, non-certified wireless chargers tend to use inferior materials and components and will likely score low in terms of efficiency and reliability."
3. Wireless charging is dangerous
In practice, wireless charging is no less safe than traditional wireless charging. The Qi specification includes strict requirements on design and thermal regulation to prevent damage to devices while being charged. All Qi-certified devices dynamically adjust charging output to prevent excessive heat build-up and have built-in safety features to ensure charging current is only emitted when two compatible devices are placed nearby one another. Additionally, the electromagnetic field created by a wireless charger poses no danger to humans.
4. Wireless charging can overheat your phone's battery
Good design and electrical engineering can keep heat levels low enough to prevent battery damage. Both Qi-certified wireless chargers and smartphones are required to regulate charging output to ensure that excessive heat buildup does not occur in a phone's battery while charging. Using Qi-certified wireless chargers constructed using high-quality components will ensure that there is no damage caused to your battery during charging.
5. Frequent wireless charging degrades your phone's battery life
All forms of charging have some effect on your phone's battery, as the proportion of original capacity which can be retained by a battery is reduced by around 20% after 500 charging cycles. According to industry research on electric vehicle batteries, the depth of discharge—how much of a battery's capacity is used between charges—can have a greater effect on its lifespan. Keeping a battery topped up at above 50% could result in slower degradation and be less harmful than letting it drain to 5% before charging. The convenience of wireless charging makes it easer to drop your phone on a charging pad several times throughout the day in order to keep it above that critical 50% level, rather than using a full day of battery before plugging in at home.
"Keeping a battery topped up at above 50% could result in slower degradation and be less harmful than letting it drain to 5% before charging."
6. Overnight wireless charging can damage your phone
For many people, overnight is the most convenient time to charge. However, some worry that charging for extended periods can lead to overcharging and potential battery damage. While this may have been true in the past, modern smartphone batteries have a built-in battery management system that cuts of charging power to the battery as soon as it hits 100%. No matter how long the phone stays on the charger, it will remain cut off of the charging current with no risk of overcharging. This applies to both wireless and wired charging.
As you can see from the above, none of the most common myths about wireless charging have any much truth attached to them. Wireless charging continues to improve as more manufacturers adopt the standard, resulting in an experience rivalling that of traditional cables in both safety and efficiency. Ready to ditch cables make the switch to wireless charging? Check out Moshi's Q Collection of wireless chargers to find the perfect match for your phone and lifestyle.