Still plugging in your Android smartphone every night? There is a better way – or at least, there is if you own a smartphone that supports wireless charging. If your phone is compatible (eg the Nexus 6, LG G3 or Samsung Galaxy S6) all you need is a wireless charging pad or dock, which are now more common than you might realize (you can even find them in some IKEA furniture).
The wireless charging standard used most commonly in Android phones is called Qi, and you can find a comprehensive list of compatible devices here. The handsets we mentioned above are among those that have Qi support built-in; other phones can be made compatible with an adapter. Check out what's needed for your handset and you're ready to get going.
Which wireless charger should I choose?
Wireless chargers come in all shapes and sizes, from docks that plug into a wall outlet, to mats that work out of a USB socket, to wireless chargers integrated with your furniture. No matter what type of handset you have, and what budget you're working to, you should be able to find something to suit it — official devices from your phone's manufacturer are a good place to start, although they tend to be a little pricier than third-party offerings.
Just make sure you buy something that's properly compatible with your device. Some phones are only compatible with Qi, while others work with the PMA (Power Matters Alliance) standard. The difference is that Qi works with wavelengths of 100-205 KHz and PMA uses wavelengths of 277-357 KHz. Some devices, such as the Galaxy S6 and its variants, support both standards.
Charging your phone
One you have a wireless charger, all you need to do is plug it into a power source and you can place your phone on it to start filling the battery. The battery level should start rising after a few moments. There are no special settings to configure, no switch to flick — the message on the battery screen will read Charging wirelessly so you know the connection is working.
The charging might be slightly slower than it is from a standard charger, but it's much more convenient. Most estimates put it around 20 percent slower than cabled charging, although Samsung offers fast-charging wireless chargers for the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5. If you turn your phone off to charge it'll fill up much faster too.
Benefits of wireless charging
The best part about wireless chargers is that there's no need to plug in or unplug your phone, you just drop it on your wireless charger and away you go.
If you have a dock-style wireless charger, you can sit your phone next to your computer while it charges, so it's always ready to display new notifications. Using a pad charger will protect your phone from bumps and scrapes on your desk.
Wireless charging also helps prevent wear and tear in the cable and charging port areas. And with the emergence of USB Type-C, using wireless chargers will allow you to side-step that irritating transition phase from one USB type to another, and save you having to hunt for the right charger for your phone.
If you're interested in any of the charging docks pictured in this article, here are the Amazon links.
- Buy now: Woodpuck Bamboo Edition Qi wireless charging pad
- Buy now: Wireless charging furniture from IKEA
- Buy now: Samsung official wireless charging pad
- Buy now: Samsung fast-charging wireless charging pad
- Buy now: Mondpalast portable wireless charging pad
Do you use a wireless charger? Do you think wireless charging is better than fast-charging? Tell us about it in the comments.