One of the OnePlus 8 Pro’s nifty features is support for Warp Charge 30 wireless charging. This proprietary wireless charging tech from OnePlus requires you to purchase a specific wireless charger from the company. In exchange, you have 30W wireless charging that can hit 50% charge in just 30 minutes, according to OnePlus. That’s just a fraction slower than the wired version of Warp Charge 30, which hits 50% in 23 minutes. The OnePlus 8 Pro also supports Qi, but at much slower charging speeds.
Of course, we don’t like to take any company claims at face value. Plus, there’s more to the whole charging picture than just hitting 50%, such as time to full charge. So we’re going to dive into our data to see how Warp Charge 30 Wireless and wired compare.
Wired vs wireless charging times
Let’s dive straight into the numbers. Collecting the charging data is simple enough, we discharge the phone fully and then track the time taken to fill the battery. We made sure to turn Optimized Charging off to see the fastest possible charge time using the technology.
Despite both charging methods boasting 30W of power, wired charging is notably faster. Time to full charge takes pretty much bang-on an hour, while wireless charging is about 15 minutes slower. The two charging methods start out quite close together up to the first 30%, before gradually drifting apart in charge time for higher capacities. Both also slow down rather similarly for the last 10%. We also see that OnePlus’ claims about hitting 50% charge in just 29 minutes for wireless and 50% in 23 minutes for wired hold up.
The OnePlus charging dock features a built-in fan to help with heat dissipation by blowing a small amount of air across the back of the phone. It’s whisper-quiet and I didn’t notice any heating issues while charging wirelessly. If you’re worried about heat and battery longevity, you can leave OnePlus’ optimized charging setting on to reduce battery load overnight even when charging wirelessly.
The key takeaway is that both Warp Charge 30 versions will have your phone back up and running in no time. But wired charging is still the fastest for quick top-ups from empty.
I also tested standard Qi charging to see how slower it is compared to OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30 Wireless. I didn’t plot the whole time because, frankly, it took far too long. 4 hours and 14 minutes to charge with what I presume is about 10W Qi charging from a Google Pixel Stand is completely impractical. It couldn’t even hit 50% after an hour and a half. OnePlus’ proprietary solution is much better for a quick top-up throughout the day, even compared to the fastest 15W Qi solutions out there.
Why is 30W wireless slower than 30W wired?
15 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a quite-significant 25% increase in full charge time from the move to wireless. However, it’s not necessarily obvious why 30W wired charging is a fair bit faster than 30W wireless charging. The key is understanding that the rating doesn’t necessarily relate to the power that makes its way to your smartphone.
The wattage rating usually refers to the amount of power consumed by the wall plug, but not all of that power makes its way to the handset. With any type of charging, power can be lost across the power transistors and even the wire from plug to phone.
Wireless transfer across the air sees an even larger transmission loss. The conductive transmitter and receiver coils are nowhere near 100% efficient, so power is lost as part of the wireless transmission, often in the form of heat. With this in mind, wireless will always be slower than wired for the same power.
Although not quite as fast as wired charging, Warp Charge 30 Wireless does a good job marrying fast charging speeds with the convenience of wireless. The only drawback is that you’ll have to pay an extra $69.95 for OnePlus’ charging dock if you want wireless charging speeds that are miles faster than standard Qi.