I’m seeing wireless charging advertised everywhere lately. Well-known brands, such as Samsung, promise ‘no cables, no connectors’. But if something sounds too good to be true…
Sadly, the future isn’t here just yet – you can’t charge your phone over thin air. ‘Wireless’ charging simply offers the next best thing for owners of the latest high-end phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Google’s Nexus series (but not the iPhone yet).
The idea is you place your phone on a charging pad or charging spot eliminating the need for a traditional wire direct from the mains to your phone’s USB socket. Some chargers will let you charge several devices at once.
But the charging pad still has to be plugged into a wall.
Why I’m sceptical about wireless charging
It’s billed as being more efficient, practical and safer. Samsung has claimed on Twitter in one promoted tweet in particular: ‘cut the clutter, charge wirelessly’.
Judging from the replies, the idea has fallen flat with some. ‘Sounds like extra clutter to me’, one said. Another added: ‘is there no wire going into the charging pad?’ which prompted the response from Samsung: ‘Yes, there is a wire going into the charging pad.’
As you can guess, I’m in the sceptical camp too. Placing your phone on a pad means you can’t even use it while it charges. And the device you’re supplied with is larger than a normal charger, making it less portable.
So is this really an indication of how we’ll be charging our phones in the future, or another expensive gimmick? A wireless charging pad for your Samsung Galaxy S6 will set you back £40.
Is it worth getting a wireless charger?
I asked one of our resident technology experts, Robert Leedham, for his thoughts:
‘Wireless charging is good when it’s included with the phone, but I wouldn’t pay extra for it. The Apple Watch was the first device I’ve really used with it, and while it was relatively convenient, again I wouldn’t be forking out extra for it with a phone or tablet – it’s not a deal breaker of a feature.’
So if you can get hold of the tech for free, then why not? But if you’re seriously considering buying, you may wish to weigh up the pros and cons first before parting with your hard-earned cash.
I’d prefer to see manufacturers focus their attention on the real issues around battery life, rather than gimmicky ways to charge your device.
In March, 64% of you said you’d opt for a thicker phone if it meant you didn’t have to charge so often – ‘my phone never makes it through the day’ was the general consensus.
Have you been tempted to make the leap from traditional wired charging to ‘wireless’? Do you already own a device? If so I’d love to hear your thoughts, and your experiences with placing your phone on the pad.