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Wireless charging is finally beginning to live up to the hype

Wireless charging has been around for years now, but it's only recently started to come into its own.

Published onSeptember 29, 2019

Wireless charging has been around for roughly a decade now, with Palm’s smartphones offering Touchstone charging back in 2009.

It’s been almost a decade since then, and it’s now possible to find the tech on most big-name premium flagships out there. Whether it’s LG, Samsung, or Huawei, chances are good that your next AAA flagship will have the technology.

Despite this adoption, however, wireless charging has long felt like an overhyped feature on smartphones. This is largely due to the lackluster speeds of early charging solutions compared to wired solutions of the time. What’s the point of going wireless if you still feel attached to a charger anyway?

Even as recently as last year, we only saw 10W charging speeds from the likes of the Galaxy S9 series, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, and Google Pixel 3 duo. This is faster than legacy wireless charging solutions, but they were already slow to begin with.

Wireless charging gets a speed boost

wireless charging HUAWEI Mate 30 launch

Fortunately, the last 12 months have quietly played host to an inductive charging revolution. Xiaomi upped the ante in a big way with the Mi 9, delivering 20W wireless charging back in February. More recently, HUAWEI has also stepped up its game with 27W inductive charging for the Mate 30 series.

Conventional wisdom says that wired charging will always be faster than wireless charging. But it looks like we’re finally getting to a point where wire-free charging isn’t viewed in the same light as charging via the PC. That is, going wireless doesn’t necessarily mean a massive gain in charging time.

Don’t believe me? Recent wire-free charging solutions from HUAWEI and Xiaomi are faster than wired solutions from many brands. For example, the Galaxy S10 serves up 25W wired charging, while the LG G8 reportedly delivers 20W charging via a cable.

Manufacturers aren’t merely content to breach the 20W wireless charging mark either, as both Xiaomi and OPPO have recently announced 30W solutions. Xiaomi’s Mi 9 Pro 5G offers 30W wireless charging that should fully charge the device in 69 minutes.

If that isn’t enough, Xiaomi confirmed that it was testing 40W wire-free charging, too. This suggests even faster wireless charging is in the pipeline by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. And HUAWEI, Xiaomi, and OPPO will undoubtedly be pushing other manufacturers to increase charging speeds. In other words, it looks like we’re one step closer to a world where charging pads don’t leave us tethered in the first place.

Do you value wireless charging in your smartphones? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

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