What is induction charging and how does it work
Wireless charging uses the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, which consists in simplifying the charger's change of electric energy into magnetic energy, which is then converted back into electricity in the receiving device. Electrical wires coiled into a screw are used for this, forming coils in this way. In the charger we have a transmitting coil, which, after supplying with alternating current, generates an electromagnetic field. When the receiving coil is within its range, the electromagnetic field is induced to form an alternating current. To avoid too much loss during this conversion, the distance between the coils should be as small as possible.
The scientific foundations of this technology are, as I mentioned, quite old and date back to 1831 when the phenomenon was discovered and described by Michael Faraday. Electromagnetic induction is to this day the most common method of generating electricity and is the basis for the operation of the most important devices equipped with electrical network infrastructure around the world.
Now we will make a long jump and jump to 2009 for the presentation of a new Palm device called Pre. Developed under the direction of marginalized and pushed out of Apple Jon Rubinstein, the revolutionary device offered the option of wireless charging for an additional fee. For $ 70, you could buy so-called Touchstone charger, together with special smartphone backs equipped with a coil. The functionality initially aroused a lot of interest, but with the fall of Palma quickly disappeared from the stage.
However, a much more important event for the development of this technology took place a year earlier, when the Wireless Power Consortium was established. At its origin was the development of a wireless charger for the Amway water purifier. After the experience related to this, several companies decided to set up WPC to standardize this type of device. As a result of their work, a standard called Qi (Chinese “energy flow”) was presented for the first time in 2009. A year later, the final version of the 1.0 standard was presented, which included 5W power supply at a distance of up to 4 cm. Nokia quickly joined WBC, followed by other great players on the smartphone market. It is worth noting that the Palm Pre mentioned earlier, used its own solution and did not comply with this standard.
Over the years, WPC has been developing subsequent versions of this standard, significantly increasing the power of chargers and thereby reducing battery charging time. The first smartphone that introduced Qi to mobile salons was Nokia, which in 2012 presented the Lumia 920 smartphone equipped with this technology, and a moment later Google joined it with the Nexus 4 model.
In the following years LG and BlackBerry joined this group, but the breakthrough in raising the popularity of this solution was the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Another big impulse for the market was the introduction of wireless charging for Apple smartphones, along with the presentation of model 8. This ultimately tipped the scales in favor of the consortium behind Qi, other organizations trying to introduce their own solutions joined WPC. Today, devices based on this standard are in widespread use, it is estimated that 90% of chargers are Qi compliant.
Recommended induction chargers
Chargers can be bought for a few dozen to several hundred zlotys. The simplest models have one charging field, the most advanced several, often dedicated to specific devices, for example smartwatches or wireless headphones. Samsung offers a stand with active cooling, which can be useful for people using the desktop mode on a smartphone (e.g. Samsung Dex or Huawei EMUI Desktop). The smartphone is then more loaded and emits more heat.
Before buying it is also worth checking what power the product offers. Most chargers with a single field offer 7.5 – 10 W charging, the better ones reach 15 W. Chargers with several fields usually have a main, faster field and the smaller ones often work with values of 2.5 or 5 W. Ultra-fast chargers such as Huawei SC61 in Poland they are not available through official channels and you have to hunt for them allegro or in Chinese online stores.
It is also worth paying attention to the appearance of chargers. There is a really large selection on the market in this respect and we can easily choose the equipment that matches our workplace. For example, companies such as Satechi specialize in equipment that visually matches Apple products. Some large manufacturers such as Samsung or Huawei produce their own brand chargers perfectly suited to their products.
As a curiosity, it can be said that Apple also planned to go this way, but the unrealistic requirements of the designers caused a technical knockout on the part of physics and the project called AirPower was canceled. Although there are rumors lately that the Cupertino company will try again. AirPower was to be distinguished by the fact that it would not have specially designated charging fields.
Below are some interesting products available on our market:
In addition to the chargers shown above, it is also worth taking a look at the offer of companies such as Belkin, Mophie, Spiegen, Anker or Xiaomi traditionally liked in Poland. The offer of this type of devices is really very wide.
These smartphones support induction
If you are a fan of Apple equipment, the matter is simple, every iPhone from model 8 upwards offers wireless charging at a speed of 7.5 W. Models XS and 11, despite the lack of information on the company's pages, charge the battery faster, probably at a speed of about 10 W.
For Samsung supporters, the flagship Galaxy line is the choice. Wireless charging has both the S10 series (except for the Lite model) and of course the latest s20. Charging with Koreans is faster than with Apple and is 15 W (on smaller models of the S10 series – 12 W).
The real speed demons are the Chinese. Huawei's flagship models of the P30 Pro series support charging at speeds up to 27W, Xiaomi in the Mi 9 Pro 5G model reaches up to 30 W. If you are looking for a little cheaper option, you can always choose models without Pro in the name, although of course there will be chargers from the more “normal” genre.
Both Chinese and Korean phones also offer bi-directional charging on some models, which means that if you do not have a charger at hand, you will be able to charge another device with the current from your smartphone's battery.
Wireless charging can also boast of the flagship from LG, model G8s ThinQ. However, if you are Sony fans, you have to wait with the purchase, the current Xperia 1 model does not offer this option, you will not receive it until the upcoming Xperia 1 II.
Induction charging or after charging – what do you prefer?
As you can see from the review above, if you want to use this solution you need to invest in smartphones from a slightly higher shelf. The question is, is this technology important enough for you to convince you to open the portfolio a little wider? From my perspective, the main advantage of wireless charging is the lack of the need to constantly search for a charger and the security of such a solution, especially if you have children and a cat .. Apart from the higher price, I do not see any disadvantages of this technology. Let me know in the comments whether you belong to #teamkabel or #teaminduction.