How does Qi Wireless Charging Work and Why Do You Need It?

No more Cables Thanks to Qi Wireless ChargingQi wireless charging is just plain great.  What a terrific invention.  I hate having to plug my phone in every night.  You have to match up the plug with the little hole on the phone and plug it in.  It’s even worse with a thick case because the plug is somewhat recessed and you need to pull a flap out of the way.

This is where Qi wireless charging comes into play.  What’s Qi wireless charging in a few sentences?  It’s a powered pad or disk.  You just lay your phone down on the Qi charging pad and that’s it.  It’s getting charged.  The only cable that’s involved is the one that attaches the Qi charging pad to the AC wall outlet.

If you arrived at this site simply wanting to know what Qi wireless charging is, you can stop reading.  Thanks for coming.

If you’re still here, let’s talk some more about Qi wireless charging.

There are a few different Qi specifications.  Standard specs call for 5 watts of power output.  Now there’s a new standard called Qi Fast Charging that charges at 15 watts.  Qi wireless charging should work at up to 1.5 inches away although you need to ensure the device and the charging pad are lined up properly to achieve that.

Qi wireless charging has been available for several years.  I remember first seeing Qi on the Samsung Galaxy S6.  Now many Android based smartphones and tablets are supporting this method for charging.  By sticking to higher end devices from mainstream manufacturers, you should be able to get the Qi features but be sure to check prior to purchase.  Not surprisingly, you probably will not get a Qi charging pad in the box, even if your device supports it.

Sorry Apple people, you’re out of luck for now.  Similar to NFC support, Apple iPhone and iPad owners cannot use Qi for charging their devices.  It’s currently unsupported by Apple however according to Bloomberg, there’s something in the works for 2017.  According to the article, the reason it’s taking Apple so long to support wireless charging is the absence of solid standards so naturally, they are developing their own solution.  Sounds a lot like the Lightning Adapter doesn’t it?

An interesting question is if it works through a case or skin.  The answer is mostly yes.  be sure the case does not have any metal within it as that will cause issues.  Luckily, most cases are made of plastic, rubber or polyurethane.  So, most cases should be fine and I have even heard of the big thick Otterbox Defender working with Qi charging pads.  Your experience can vary depending upon the Qi charging pad and the depth of the case.

Not all Qi charging pads are made the same.  They come in different sizes and have varying amounts of power coming out of them.  The Qi standards are still in somewhat of a state of flux.  I have seen Qi charging pads that are compatible with everything except a Samsung Galaxy S7.  Why is that?  It’s because the Qi adapter is slightly different on those model phones.  So be sure that the Qi charging pad you are considering will work with your model of tablet of phone.

We’re starting to see Qi implemented in places you may not have thought about.  Not surprisingly, I was recently in a coffee shop that had a Qi charging pad.  We’re also seeing Qi Enabled Smartphone Car Mounts.  These are real nice ideas as it removes the chore of having to plug your phone in whenever you enter the car.

The future of charging your phone with an annoying little cable looks like it’s coming to an end.  Finally.