Wireless charging, thoroughly: what it is, how it works, and compatible mobiles

Even without getting to set and become a standard capable of covering all the mobile market, wireless charging in smartphones takes several years between us, and increasingly are-fortunately-the brands that decide to join the trend of adding this technology to your devices. At the end of the day, if the goal is to reach a totally “wireless” future, adopting wireless charging is something that most, if not all, smartphone manufacturers should do sooner or later.

Contrary to what happens with fast charging, which we already talked about at the moment and which today is in an overly fragmented panorama, the vast majority of smartphone manufacturers that have already adopted a fast charge have made through the Qi standard, which helps users to use universal accessories whatever their device, as long as it is compatible with fast charging. This, in turn, makes understanding the operation of the technology, as well as the accessories that work and those that do not, and especially the mobiles that are compatible, much easier to understand.

Wireless charging on mobile phones: all the information

What wireless charging is and how it works

Wireless charging, thoroughly: what it is, how it works, and compatible mobiles
Wireless charging, thoroughly: what it is, how it works, and compatible mobiles

Several companies have been trying for years to make the devices have the ability to charge “from a distance”, without having to put the phone on a base to carry out the load. But given that today these systems are still far from seeing the light, in this guide we focus on wireless charging technology by contact; which really works, and is included in all the mobile phones with wireless charging in the market.

As I said before, the vast majority of smartphone manufacturers have opted for Qi technology -pronunciado “chi” – wireless charging. This system was developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, and is based on a system of electricity transmission by electromagnetic induction, which works at distances of up to 40 millimeters.

Taking this into account, it is easy to deduce that to carry out the charge wirelessly two different devices are needed: a base connected to a power source, and a receiver device that must be compatible with Qi technology. In the case of smartphones, the charger is the base or charging station, and the telephone is the receiving device for electricity.

Samsung with wireless charging

Both in the charging base and in the receiving device we will find a coil – transmitter in the charger and receiver in the smartphone -, and when in contact they create a magnetic field through which the alternating current is induced to carry out the charge of the device – to know more information about it, it is advisable to learn the concepts of the Law of Faraday-.

Since the two coils must be aligned so that the load is carried out correctly, it is common to see how some load bases use graphic guides -texts or boxes that indicate where to put the phone-, to prevent misalignment from causing problems during the loading process. However, some manufacturers of wireless chargers choose to create their accessories under a system known as induction of free positioning, which is based on the use of various coils located at different points inside the charging base to create an electromagnetic field that harbors a larger surface, and thus avoid any possible misalignment.

In general, the energy transfer carried out during a mobile Qi wireless charging process is between 0 and 5W. However, the system can also expand its power to 120W when the receiver requires a greater flow of energy … for example, a laptop. Even so, in the market we can find wireless chargers that offer greater power, but given the inefficiency of this type of technology -and even so Qi is a much more efficient standard than others-, the loss of energy that happens during the process of load is greater than if it is done by cable, and that’s why wireless charges are never made at the maximum power offered by the charger.

This loss of energy also causes the charging process through Qi technology to generate more heat than wired systems, this being one of the main reasons why brands like OnePlus still refuse to introduce wireless charging into their phones.

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