Why Android and Qi wireless charging are a perfect match
If you're a long-time flagship Android user, you're probably quite familiar with the Qi wireless charging standard, and have likely already owned several devices which support wireless charging technology. Most major Android smartphone manufacturers have been using some form of the Qi standard for more than 6 years, with the earliest implementations of conductive charging going back as far as 2012. Today's Android smartphones offer some of the best wireless charging technology available, working seamlessly with certified third-party chargers to provide a charging experience superior to that of other operating systems. Today, we take a closer look at just why Android phones offer the best wireless charging in the industry.
Android got a head start
Probably the key reason why Android smartphone manufacturers are able to offer such a well-rounded wireless charging experience is because they've quite simply been doing it longer. The first Android phone to include Qi wireless charging as standard was Google's own Nexus 4 way back in 2012, with Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Sony's Xperia Z3V following not long after in 2014. Most subsequent flagship models from these brands also included Qi, helping to cement the specification as the de facto industry standard for Android phones. It wasn't until the release of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in 2017 that iOS users got their first look at wireless charging, by which time some Android manufacturers were already on to their third or fourth generation of Qi-enabled handsets, meaning awareness of wireless charging technology was already much more widespread among the Android community.
Android charges faster
If you take a look at the top Android smartphone models which support Qi wireless charging, most are capable of accepting at least 9 W of charging power from a compatible charger, with models such as the Pixel 5 going as high as 12 W:
- Sony: 11 W
- LG: 10 W
- Google: 12 W
- Samsung: 9 W
Ever since its inclusion in the iPhone 8, Apple has limited Qi wireless charging to a maximum of just 7.5 W for all models, making it the slowest wireless charging of any flagship smartphone available today. The current Qi specification supports charging output of up to 15 W, meaning that there is still some additional room for advancement in charging speeds for Android manufacturers using current charging technology.
If you exclude the major Chinese-based manufacturers and their 'home brew' wireless charging systems, the majority of Android manufacturers stick to Qi for wireless charging. The Qi specification is administered by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC); an industry association of manufacturers who work together to develop the Qi wireless charging technology for the shared benefit of the industry. The key advantage of a certification-based standard like Qi is that interoperability is guaranteed among certified devices, allowing use of chargers from a range of third-party manufacturers with Android smartphones without affecting performance. Similarly, interoperability means several different Android phones in a household or office can share a single charger regardless of manufacturer.
Contrast this to Apple's recently-launched MagSafe wireless charging protocol, which requires an Apple-certified charging module and a power adapter supporting the rarer 9 V/2.22 A USB Power Delivery profile (which Apple's own 20 W USB-C power brick just happens to support) in order to achieve the maximum charging output of 15 W. The consequence is not only the need to purchase additional equipment which can only be used for iPhones, but you're also less likely to find a compatible MagSafe charger in public places like coffee shops, airports, or libraries. MagSafe's magnetic alignment system also interferes with the one-handed convenience of traditional wireless charging, as you'll need to use one hand to hold your phone steady while you use your other hand to pull the charger away.
If you're really looking to reap the benefits of wireless charging, it's pretty hard to discount and Android smartphone as your top choice. The combination of tried-and-tested implementation, interoperability, and speed make Android and Qi an enviable combination. If you're after a reliable, Qi-certified wireless charger for your Android handset, look no further than Moshi's Q Collection of wireless chargers, which all support the latest EPP (Extended Power Profile) for maximum charging output.