Most people charge their phones using a charger with a cable; however, as technology changes every aspect of our lives, there’s a growing trend of wireless charging.
This kind of technology allows charging over short distances without using cables. Wireless charging has been around for a while now with Apple embracing the native wireless charging to its iPhone 8 and iPhone X lineup. With this move, wireless charging is finally becoming mainstream as more consumers and corporations adopt it.
Before you go buying an iPhone wireless charger, there are a few important things you need to know about this technology. This guide will ensure you’re up to speed on how this technology works, what to look for in a wireless charger, and several other wonders of wireless charging. Without much delay, let’s get started:
Table of Contents
What Is Wireless Charging?
As mentioned earlier, this is a technology that allows the transfer of power from a power outlet to a device without using a connecting cable. This process involves a power transmitting pad (wireless charger) and a receiver.
The receiver can be built into the phone itself, which is the case for iPhone 8 and iPhone X series; or in the form of a case that’s attached to a phone, which is what’s normally done with older iPhone models. This technology isn’t completely cable-free as the pad will need a cable going from the power outlet into it.
What Wireless Charger does iPhone Use?
For the past couple of years, there have been three competing wireless charging standards groups focusing on inductive and resonance charging specifications. They were the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP).
After a long period of industry indecision between these standards, 2017 saw a major shift after Apple chose to adopt Qi technology for its iPhone 8 and X series. This move forced the wireless charging industry to finally pick a side. The WPC created Qi (pronounced “chee”), which has grown to become the most popular of the wireless charging standards.
Apple’s decision to use the Qi standard has proved to have trickle-down effects for the industry. With the news of Powermat (a founding and a current member of the PMA/Airfuel alliance) joining WPC (the developers of Qi wireless charging) the world is a step closer to having a single unified wireless charging standard.
Powermat now contributes its technology to the WPC to further unlock wireless charging potential. This is bound to accelerate the growth of wireless charging infrastructure in the future
Although all wireless charging technologies work pretty much the same, there are two competing principles: magnetic inductive and magnetic resonance charging. The Qi standard uses both of these principles, which is one of the reasons it has become the dominant wireless charging standard on the market.
How does Qi wireless charging work?
Even though the inner workings of wireless charging can be a bit complex, the basic concept is rather simple. Wireless charging is based on the magnetic induction principle where an electric current is passed through two coils, one in the wireless charger and the other in the device you want to charge, thus creating an electromagnetic field.
When the charger/transmitter is powered up, it sends alternating current through its coil. When the receiving magnetic plate on your phone comes in close proximity with the transmitter, the magnetic field induces an electric current within the phone’s internal coil. This, in turn, charges the built-in battery in your phone.
The application of this technology comes down to having a Qi ready iPhone. If that’s the case, all you have to do is place your phone on top of the charger, or at least within the specified range, and the phone will automatically start charging. Pretty cool, right! If you want to adopt this wireless charging technology, check to see if your iPhone is Qi-ready.
If not, don’t worry as it can be equipped with an aftermarket receiver as we’ll discuss later on. The best part of this is all iPhones that support wireless charging can still be charged the traditional way, via the lighting port.
Qi wireless charging standard basics
In this part of the text, we are going to cover a few basics about Qi technology so you know how to effectively charge your iPhone wirelessly. First off this technology was designed to allow for electrical power transfer over distances of up to 40 millimetres (1.6 inches).
Secondly, since most wireless charging systems have adopted the Qi technology, it means that you can use a single Qi wireless charger from any manufacturer to charge your iPhone and several other Qi-compatible devices.
There are two major elements within any Qi wireless charging system: the base station and the mobile device. The former provides inductive power for wireless transmission. For this reason, it contains a power transmitter whose major element is the transmitting coil. The latter consumes the wirelessly transmitted power, which in turn charges the battery within the iPhone.
Qi chargers generally have a flat surface and the mobile device is placed on top of the surface. To improve the efficiency of the process, it’s important to ensure the coupling between these two major elements is as high as possible. Most Qi chargers require an accurate positional alignment for productive coupling between the coils.
This is usually achieved by including guide marks on the charging pad to show how and where to place your mobile device. There are, however, others that use more than one transmitter coil, thus you don’t have to place the phone on a specific area of the charging surface. A wider area is rather usable in such cases.
Benefits of Qi wireless charging
Wireless charging, in general, offers several benefits such as:
(a). Fewer cords
(b). Universal compatibility
(c). Convenience, especially with the possibility of charging multiple devices at once
(d). Safer connections: Wireless charging occurs without direct exposure to electrical connectors. This reduces the risk of electrical faults that would otherwise cause a connection failure or electric shock on users.
Additionally, your data security is highly at risk when plugged into an unknown cable, particularly in a public setting. USB public charging hubs are capable of sending and receiving data while charging. This risk is diminished with wireless charging.
(e). Durability: Since you don’t have to regularly plug and unplug a cable into the charging port, there’s minimized wear and tear on the iPhone’s charging port.
Now that we’ve seen the general benefits of wireless charging, why do Apple and other phone makers prefer Qi technology let see.
Why do Apple and other phone makers prefer Qi technology let see?
Smartphones usually have built-in voltage limiters to prevent wired overcharging. Wireless charging, however, relies on a coil. This means that a high-powered wireless charger with a 25-watt voltage can easily damage the coils, battery, and other internal components of a low-powered phone (say 5 watts).
Secondly, without proper ventilation and power management, heat can build up and damage your battery or even iPhone. Also, during wireless power transmission, the transmitter may be inclined to push magnetic energy to nearby objects like pieces of metal. This can cause overheating, burns, and even fires.
While these are common problems with other wireless charging standards, the Qi standard effectively ensures you never run into such problems. A Qi-certified phone or charger means that it has been tested by the WPC for effectiveness, safety, and compatibility.
These devices have passed temperature tests and can operate from 0-30 watts. They also comply with Foreign Object Detection (FOD) standards, ensuring the safety of nearby objects.
Some of the Issues with Qi
Despite being the most preferred wireless charging standard, the Qi standard is not without issues. As mentioned earlier, accurate alignment is required and any slight movement will disrupt the charging.
Oftentimes, users place their iPhones to be charged, perhaps overnight, only to find it has not charged because it was not accurately aligned. The second drawback is Electromagnetic interference (EMI). Metal objects near the charging coils can interfere with Qi wireless charging.
How to Choose a Wireless Charger?
With the recent demise of Apple’s long-awaited AirPower wireless charging pad, iPhone users are left with third-party solutions. Luckily, there are tons of options available in the market. This can make it a bit daunting to pick the best, which is why we’ve put together the most important things to take into account when shopping for the best wireless charger for your iPhone.
1. Design: Wireless chargers come in different shapes and sizes with each having its pros and cons. Most have a pad design, which is usually circular or oval and lays flat on the table or desk.
These are great for a bedside table since you don’t need to keep an eye on your phone. Some companies sell pads that can be installed into a desk so they sit flush with the surface, thereby creating a wireless charging table.
Second is a stand design where the phone is held at a semi-upright angle, allowing you to have a better view of the screen. That way, you can unlock the phone with face ID, see messages or notifications when they pop up, or even watch videos while the phone is charging.
The upright versions can function as a stand even when you’re not charging your phone. Be sure to look for one that offers multiple angles for more flexibility.
Still, under design, you’ll find a lot of different styles and materials used. Some even go as far as creating wireless chargers that double as clocks or lamps. Given the wide variety of designs you can choose from, ensure you pick one that fits in with your surroundings in terms of shape and color.
2. LED lights: Wireless chargers usually feature LED lights. It’s important to consider the types of LED lights used in your charger of choice for maximum functionality.
A signal that indicates when the phone is charging, has completed its charge, or if there’s a charging issue is particularly important. Some wireless chargers also produce LED lights that are very bright, which could prove distracting at night. So look for one that employs deem lights or deactivate after a few seconds.
3. Charging speed: This is one area wireless charging has been known to lag behind. The charging speed of wireless chargers isn’t as fast as that of traditional cable chargers, which is why you need to pay attention to how much power the charger you’re considering can deliver.
Wireless chargers usually offer between 5 and 10 Watts. Although a 5-watt charger is more than adequate, it won’t power your iPhone quite as fast. Wireless-enabled iPhones have a top charging speed of 7.5 watts, so Qi chargers that can produce 10 watts are more than enough for fast iPhone charging.
There’s a chance that iPhones could be updated in the future to accept higher wireless charging speeds; as such, buying a charger that produces at least 10 watts is a great way to future-proof your charger purchase.
4. Size: Wireless chargers are also available in several different sizes with some being ultra-thin and others taking up much space. The size you choose will depend on where you plan on putting your charger.
Will it be in the living room, on your office desk, or your nightstand next to the bed? Also, consider if you’ll be travelling with it. A thin and lighter model is more ideal for those who travel frequently.
On the other hand, a larger charging pad or mat gives more room for you to put multiple devices and charge them all at once. Be sure to get one with two or three coils; that way, you don’t have to be so precise when laying your phone down.
5. Grip: No matter the design, it’s important that the charger you choose has a good grip that can firmly hold your phone on the charging surface. Otherwise, even a slight bump can knock the two coils out of alignment, thereby disrupting charging. This will also keep your phone from slipping around and possibly falling, where it might crack.
6. Qi charger: There are a couple of wireless charging standards out there but iPhones only support the Qi wireless charging technology. Needless to say, you need to pick a Qi-certified charger. If not, it might be incompatible with your iPhone or worse, cause damage to the phone.
Qi-certified chargers have overvoltage and overcharge protection, which makes them safe for use. They also have temperature control protection to help counter overheating issues.
7. Charger brand: Several brands manufacture wireless chargers. It’s best to buy from reputable brands like Belkin Anker, Samsung, RavPower, or Mophie, to ensure quality. After all, wireless charging still passes an electrical current through your $749- $1,099 iPhone and you don’t want to get anything accidentally fried.
8. Cost: Last, but not least, wireless chargers are also available in different price ranges. You’ll find many affordable options with plenty of satisfied users. The more expensive models have several amazing features and may allow you to charge multiple devices at once.
As with every purchase, price and quality go hand in hand. Given how costly iPhones are, it may not be wise buying a really cheap wireless charger that could end up damaging your phone and requiring costly repairs/replacement.
Cleaning iPhone Charging Port
iPhones are known for their longevity. However, with continued use, you may experience a problem with the charging. Charging ports are located at the bottom and are always open. As a result, it can easily collect dirt, gunk, lint, debris, fragments of plastic or metal, and dust from your pocket, purse, or other surroundings.
Every time you plug in your charging cable, you push dirt against the back of the charging port. This will eventually create a small wall of dirt that will keep the charging cable from engaging with the pins inside the charging port. This, in turn, makes charging inefficient or completely impossible.
As discussed above, the latest iPhones are able to charge wirelessly, which means users won’t have this problem. For the old iPhone users who still use their lightning port to charge their phones, this text will help you keep it clean for efficient and faster-charging sessions.
The good news is these charging issues can be fixed by simply cleaning the charging port. Below, we will guide you through the best ways to clean your port so your iPhone can charge faster. But before you do any form of charging port cleaning, ensure you back up all data or at least copy the important ones on a computer, drive, or USB. It’s also important to turn off the device before you get started.
Clean using compressed air
This is considered one of the best and easiest ways to unclog the iPhone charging port. Simply hold a can of compressed air close to the port (but not too close) and blow short, light blasts of air into the charging port.
Make sure that can comes with a small straw that you can attach to its nozzle to avoid over-spraying. And, each blast should not last more than 2 seconds. Repeat the process until the dust and is completely blown away. Once you’re done, wait a moment and then try charging your iPhone to see if the charging port is working.
With that being said, keep in mind that too much air can push the dust further into the port, making the situation worse. Apple has even warned its customers against using compressed air to clean the lightning port because it can easily damage the port. If you choose to use this method, be extremely careful!
Clean iphone using a simple toothpick
The compressed air method discussed above only works if the dirt is not tightly packed. But as mentioned earlier, connecting the charger now and then pushes the dirt and causes it to be lodged too firmly inside.
In such a case, using a sharp object may be more effective at cleaning the charging port. A toothpick is a more suitable tool to use in this method because wood is much softer and more flexible than wire or plastic.
We highly recommend toothpicks with round tips since they are not as sharp and will, therefore, not cause damage to your iPhone. Keep in mind that this process will take a while, so be patient.
To get started, hold your phone in one hand the toothpick in another. Find a spot with great lighting like under a desk lamp or use a flashlight. Then, lightly insert the toothpick into the port and gently move it around to avoid breaking off the contact circuits inside the pins.
If no particles or grime are coming out, exert the slightest pressure for a soft scrape. Once the toothpick is picking up some grime or knocking out debris, you can blow into the lightning port to remove loose dirt.
Or, you can switch to using interdental brushes or the canned air method if possible. Try to avoid the sides of the port so as not to damage the anchors. In rare cases, you may need to clean the charging port sides; be extremely careful when doing so.
Once you finish cleaning, test the charging port to ensure its working and that nothing is amiss.
Take your iphone to a professional
Although cleaning an iPhone charging port at home seems easy, we must point out that it’s a bit risky. In that case, it’s best to leave it to the professionals who will inspect the device and clean it in the right, with the right tools, and without causing any damage.
An Apple Store will clean your charging port for free. If there’s none nearby, you can visit a regular repair shop that specializes in smartphones. Of course, you’ll have to pay a nominal service charge. But given the delicate components and high cost of an iPhone, your phone is better off in the hands of a professional.
The best way to clean the iPhone charging port would be without touching or sticking anything in it. That’s because the port has delicate contact points that the charging cable docks into. Even the slightest damage to these parts will magnify the charging issues. You might end up having to replace the lightning port altogether, which will cost you time and money.
Tips after cleaning iphone charging port.
Once you’re done cleaning your iPhone charging port and it’s working again, it’s best to buy a mobile case with port cover. This will prevent dirt, dust, or debris from entering the charging port and it’s much easier to clean the cover.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with any charger port issues, you can always switch to wireless charging as discussed below. Although, keep in mind that a cable connection might be necessary when you need to transfer big data.
Can You Wirelessly Charge An Old Iphone?
Apple’s newest iPhones, including iPhone 8, X, XR, XS and XS Max support wireless charging. But does iPhone 7 have wireless charging? Well, older models from the iPhone 7 backwards don’t have this feature as standard. The good news is it’s possible to upgrade these older iPhones so they are compatible with wireless charging accessories. You’ll need a couple of accessories as outlined below:
1. The first accessory you need to convert your old iPhone (iPhone 5/6/7) to wireless charging is a wireless charging receiver card. A quick online search will turn up a number of wireless charging adapters to choose from.
2. Next, you need the right case (only if the receiver coil you’ve chosen doesn’t come with one). There are a few key points to keep in mind when buying an iPhone case for wireless charging support.
For starters, it should be thin, between 3-7 mm. Note that the thicker the case, the slower the charging speed will be. Secondly, it should be non-metallic as metallic body cases don’t support Qi receivers. A Look at wireless-enabled iPhones and you’ll see that they have either plastic or glass backs.
The metal rears found on iPhone 7’s are not suitable for wireless charging. For the ultimate wireless charging experience, consider a case that comes with a battery built-in like the Mophie Juice Pack Air case.
This case allows your phone to charge wirelessly first before powering the extra 2,525 mAh battery, which offers up to 27 hours of extra use. The only downside to this wireless battery case is that it’s bulkier than the typical plain receiver.
3. The next part is buying the transmitter (wireless charger) on which the phone will rest to charge. As mentioned earlier, iPhone users will have to seek third-party solutions when it comes to buying a wireless charger. We’ve already covered how to buy the best wireless charger, so check that section for some insights that will help you make the right choice.
Now that you have everything you need to wirelessly charge an old iPhone, here’s a step by step guide to finally make that connection:
(a). First, switch the phone off and then remove the case if you have one.
(b). Next, insert the lighting connector of Qi Card into your iPhone’s lightning port. Ensure this is done properly as per the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any loose contact.
(c). Now, attach the wireless receiver patch to the back of the iPhone body. Majority of the wireless charging adapters come with a sticky area, which makes it easy to attach the coil to the iPhone body firmly.
(d). The next step is to put the case on. This step is optional but it does help to keep the wireless receiver in place.
(e). Now you are ready to charge your old iPhone wirelessly. Simply connect the transmitter to the power supply and place your iPhone 7 on top of the pad. Make sure it’s in the right position for it to automatically start charging wirelessly.
Converting older iPhones to support wireless charging seems interesting and there are a lot of benefits that you can rip from it. However, attaching the Qi receiver to the lightning port means you won’t be able to use the lighting port for other things like listening to music via lightning headphones.
Plus, you’ll have to remove the receiver to be able to insert the wired car charger to the lightning port. For everyday travelers, this can be a tedious job. The good news is you can overcome this limitation by buying a wireless charger for your car as discussed in the text below.
How to Choose the Best iphone Car Wireless Charger Mount?
If you have a wireless-enabled iPhone, you probably already have a wireless charger for your home or office use. If the idea of wireless charging is good in your house, it’s even better in your car.
Virtually all cars have built-in USB ports that make wired charging in the car possible and incredibly easy. This is not the case for wireless charging as majority of the cars, especially the older models, don’t support it.
While it’s true that there are a few cars with wireless charging that support the Qi standard, some have physical size constraints and may not fit every iPhone. Others have Qi wireless charging built-in but in an inconvenient charging location.
For instance, if it’s placed in the center armrest console, your phone will be out of sight. Last, but not least, other built-in wireless car chargers charge very slowly and the efficiency decreases when you are driving.
As you can see, there are several reasons you may want to add a wireless charger for your iPhone into your car. The good news is the concept of wireless charging has become attractive enough that there’s actually a wide variety of car wireless phone charger mounts available in the market.
Finding the best fit for you can be a bit of a challenge given all the choices, which is why we have created this guide to help you make an informed decision.
What is a wireless phone charging car mount?
This is a wireless charger built into a phone mount for your car. In other words, it’s a 2-in-1 device that works as a wireless charger and doubles as a phone holder.
This unit allows you to charge your iPhone in the car without the hassles of wires, and clips the phone into position so you can use it hands-free while driving. Their construction and grip ensure the phone stays tightly stable during turns and bumps, allowing for efficient wireless charging.
What to Consider When Buying a Car Wireless Charger Mount for your iPhone.
Choosing a wireless iPhone charger for your car is not like selecting one for home use. That’s because driving, especially on bumpy roads, requires even better performance of the wireless charger. We’ve identified a few key things you need to consider when shopping so you can get the best car wireless phone changer mount for you. They include:
Mount type: Car mount wireless chargers perform the same but they are created differently. In terms of installation, they come in four ways:
Dashboard/windshield mount: This type is installed on top of the dashboard or to the windshield, using a suction cup and/or an adhesive pad. Dash chargers can support your phone in a horizontal or a vertical direction, thereby placing the phone close to your normal line of sight.
They also won’t block your view while driving or access to the dashboard controls. Note that some states like California have strict windshield-obstruction laws, meaning you can’t install a car mount wireless charger onto your car windshield.
Vent clip: This type is installed onto the slats of your car’s air vents by clipping it on the grills. Ensure the air vent grills used are straight since circular or curved ones will make the mount unstable.
The major drawbacks of vent mounts are that they can limit the use of the air vents, weigh down the slats, or even block access to the dash controls in some cars.
Tension-grip cradles: This type of car mount wireless charger physically grips your iPhone to hold it in place using two spring-loaded arms on either side. Some even include a third arm that extends from the bottom for additional support.
This type of automatic clamping wireless car charger mount usually expands to fit a phone of any size. It closes securely around the phone and lets you mount and remove your iPhone quickly with just one hand.
Magnetic: This type of mount uses magnetic power to keep your iPhone in place. Simply hold the phone close to the mount and when it’s properly aligned, the magnet will grab and hold it in place.
You will need to attach a small metal plate to your phone or its case so the magnetic iPhone charger has something to hold onto. Don’t worry, the best magnetic phone holder won’t hurt your phone or interfere with the wireless transmission.
So, which type of smartphone mount should you get? The answer to this question is relative, depending on one’s needs and preference. Ideally, the best car wireless phone changer mount should be able to hold your phone steadily while you drive, and in a convenient place that allows you to see the phone without blocking your view of the road.
Other factors to consider
Charging speed: The Qi 1.2 standard currently supports charging speeds of up to 15 watts. 5W and 7.5W chargers have, however, become more common these days. If you have one of the iPhone 8 or iPhone X series, you should get a 7.5W charger.
As for the older iPhones, a simple 5W charger will do. Charging speed does matter because you don’t want to spend forever charging your phone. Go for one with a fast-charging mode as it will fully charge your iPhone in just 60-90 minutes.
WPC certification: As determined earlier, IPhones use the Qi wireless charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium. A charger that’s certified by WPC means that it has been tested and found to be safe and in compliance with Qi standard.
Type of phone case: Some car mount chargers will support wireless charging with the case on but others don’t. Removing the case when you want to charge your phone seems like a simple thing to do.
It can, however, become tiring and time-consuming when you have to do it every other time. In that case, a case-friendly charger is of great convenience. That being said, ensure your iPhone’s case is below 4mm, the thinner the better.
Design: The design of a wireless car charger also plays a role in how good it is. Those with a smart design usually assist you in usage. For instance, some charger mounts feature a 360-degree rotation, which allows you to adjust it in any direction for better viewing.
Others feature smart chips that align your iPhone with ease, thus allowing for fast charging. As if that wasn’t enough, some come with great protective features, including anti-scratch and anti-slip silicone padding to ensure your iPhone is highly protected in any road condition.
Extras like charging indicator lights are also worth noting. The design of a wireless automatic sensor car phone holder and charger includes how the charging cradle looks, as well as how well it holds the phone. The grip should open and close with ease and the cradle should mount well in the car.
Size: Some car mount wireless chargers are designed to accommodate multiple phones at once. Needless to say, such a charger will take up more space in your car than those that charge single phones. The size you go for will depend on the amount of free space you have in your car so the charger mount doesn’t block your view when driving.
Flexibility and adjustability: A car mount wireless charger is designed to be multipurpose (a charger and a phone holder). In that case, a height-adjustable base is great as it allows you to have the best phone anchoring while avoiding sun glares. Some even come with a fully rotating head so you can have a great view of the phone at different angles while charging.
Power source: The best car wireless phone charger mount is the one that uses a standard connection like USB-C or Micro-USB as opposed to using proprietary connections. That’s because the latter is more difficult and expensive to replace.
Also, the power of a wireless charging adapter can affect the charging speed, which is why it’s best to get a charger that comes with its own adapter to maximize efficiency.
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