Sunday, 27 September 2015

Wireless Charging - More a Convenience than a Game Changer

For a while now, Samsung have been using wireless charging as a key differentiator between its newer Galaxy phones and the iPhone. Personally, the idea of wireless charging is not really much of a game changer to me. Let's face it, you still need a charging pad attached to a power source to pair up to the charging unit in the phone, so it's not really wireless at all. - it's just shifting the position of the wire away from the phone. 

But I'm a sucker for new tech so I decided to see what the fuss was about and I have to admit to being rather surprised. It is actually quite cool and it's not that expensive to get started.

Initially I bought a GMYLE Qi receiver unit which slips between the iPhone body and any (reasonably thin) case. The receiver has a lightning connector which simply plugs in and out of the lightning socket on the phone. I paired this up with a GMYLE Mini Qi charging pad. To start charging it's simply a matter of placing the phone onto the pad until a contact is made. 

I was surprised how quickly the phone charged,

On the downside, it was getting the phone in the right position to start the induction process - not a real problem and one which becomes easier after a few days - but it can be a bit hit and miss. Also, the process does appear to generate more heat than using a normal charging cable plugged into a USB port.

Once I was happy with the proof of concept I decided to splash out a little bit extra and buy a proper charging stand and charging case. I went for the portable (collapsible) T-310 Foldable stand from DLAND and the KD iPhone 6 Wireless Charging case. This combination works so well that I bought a second stand to keep in the office. And a few days ago, I purchased a Moxia Energizer QI Enabled Induction case for my old iPhone 4. This works equally well with the existing kit.

All the charging pads connect via Micro USB and the charging cases themselves act as reasonable protectors as well as providing the necessary juice to the phones. So, when you're on the move you still need to take cables with you. Just for the record, the cost of the stand and case for the iPhone 6 was about £45, but you can do it on the cheap for under £20.

There are rumours going around already that the iPhone 7 will have true wireless charging capability,  but I'm afraid I have my doubts right now. But there is no doubt that not plugging cables in and out of the phone is preferable to the alternative - but it really is no more than a convenience at present. True wireless charging - now that will be a game changer!