Wireless charging is becoming more popular day by day. Many peripherals, from cellphones to wireless earbuds now come with a wireless charging option. There are even talks that Apple wants their iPhones to be portless in the future, relying completely on wireless charging.
You may be wondering whether wireless charging has some inherent advantages over wired charging. It does, but there are also advantages to using a plain old wired charger. Here, we explore some of the key differences between the two and tell you the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Wireless Charging vs Wired Charging: How do They Work?
Wired charging is quite simple. Electricity from the outlet is used to fill up the charge in the battery. That charge is then slowly depleted through use.
Wireless charging works similarly, but the method of filling up the charge is different. Instead of electricity being transferred to the battery through a port and a wife, it is transferred through electromagnetic induction.
In simpler terms, coils at the back of your phone line up with the coils in the charger to create a magnetic field that transfers electricity.
Does Wireless Charging Damage the Battery?
No, it does not. This is a common misconception in the wireless vs wired charging debate. There are other disadvantages to using a wireless charger as we discuss later, but damaging the battery is not one of them.
People often assume since peripherals are left on wireless charging pads for longer periods, the battery experiences increased stress and goes through more cycles. However, your phone’s battery isn’t being drained when charged wirelessly, debunking this myth.
There are other reasons to not consider using wireless chargers. Let’s look at some of them:
Advantages of Using Wired Charging vs Wireless Charging
There are quite a few reasons why you should not ditch your wired charger and the bag of USB cables you have lying around just yet.
Wired Charging is Faster
The biggest advantage of using a wired charger is speed. Some USB-C chargers can go right up to a 100W, allowing you to fast-charge two devices simultaneously. Remember that although there are chargers that can allow you to charge at speeds faster than 100W, you will not be allowed to take them with you on a plane. For this reason, they are not very popular.
Wireless charging is becoming faster with each passing day, but it is still a lot slower when compared vs wired charging.
Wired Charging Has Compatibility
As of now, almost every single device in the world is compatible with wired chargers. Wireless charging, on the other hand, is absent from most budget devices.
On top of that, wired charging also allows your charger to be compatible with all legacy devices. Even if you find your mp3 player from 2010 and want to listen to some of the tracks on it, all you will need is a compatible USB cable and your wired charger. If you have a wireless charger, you are almost certainly out of luck.
You Can Use Your Device When Charging with a Wire
Wireless chargers usually come in the form of a dock or a pad. As such, you need to remove your device from the charger before you use it (unless you are willing to bend your body into an unnecessarily uncomfortable position).
Wired charging does not restrict you in this manner. Want to use your device while charging? Keep it plugged in and pick it up from the table. As long as the wire’s long enough, you will have no trouble using it.
Advantages of Wireless Charging vs Wired Charging
Now, let’s look at a few ways wireless charging is better than wired charging.
Wireless Charging is Convenient
With no wires to plug in, wireless charging is extremely easy. Simply place your device on the pad and it begins to charge.
This is also great for people who forget to charge their devices and find them out of battery at the worst possible times. These people can purchase a dock, place their device on the dock when they get home and have it charge in the background.
If it is convenience that you are looking for, then you might also want to take a look at some of the solar chargers out there. These chargers are perfect for people that go on camping regularly or live in areas where the electricity is not reliable (e.g. an area frequented by storms).
Wireless Charging is Safer
Wireless charging is safer in two main ways. First, it is impossible to damage your device due to a power surge. The magnetic field that is created due to the coils is only able to carry a specific amount of power in it, thus making sure that your device is protected from subpar electrical equipment.
Secondly, since you are not using a port, you cannot damage it. If your phone only has wired charging and you end up damaging the port, then you will have to get it repaired or replace your phone. Phone repairs are expensive, especially if you want to get yours repaired from the manufacturer. Wireless charging can prevent this from happening.
Wireless Charging Requires Less Maintenance
A good quality wireless charger is often able to charge multiple devices. As long as you only purchase devices that have the option of utilizing wireless charging, you will be able to use the same charger to charge multiple devices.
On top of that, since there are no cables, there is no way for you to damage them. Cables often stop working after some time due to wear and tear from normal use. This requires replacement that can be expensive (especially if you use fast-charging cables).
Although the cost of a decent wireless charger vs wired chargers is greater initially, the running cost may be much lower.
Currently, there are no clear answers in the wireless vs wired charging debate. It seems likely that wireless charging will eventually replace wired charging completely. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. As such, what you use should depend on what you value most: Practically and speed (wired) or convenience and safety (wireless).