Many people haven’t fully embraced current wireless charging platforms, considering them plugless rather than wireless. Currently, charging pads require point-to-point contact to charge your device. These charging solutions restrict the capacity of a mobile device to be as mobile as we would like them to be, but the question still endures - is wireless charging today faster, efficient, and better than conventional wired alternatives?
According to AnandTech, on average, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to charge a Samsung S6 from 0% to 100% with a wired charger, whereas it takes approximately 3 hours to fully charge with its wireless charger. How often you use your phone will impact your phone's battery capacity and in turn the speed in which it charges, but overall, wireless chargers today are typically about half the speed of a wall charger.
The end-to-end efficiency of wired chargers today may be less than what you might expect. According to Texas Instruments, on average, wall chargers today have system efficiencies that typically range between 50% and 65%. On the other hand, wireless chargers are typically around 50%. They’re less efficient than the typical wall charger, but overall, not too bad.
Every time you plug in your phone, your power port gets a little more sensitive. This may not be noticeable, but some phones can be more sensitive than others to the point that the power port may need to be replaced entirely or you have to wiggle it around for 20 minutes until the damn thing starts charging. Wired chargers physically degrade your power port more than current wireless chargers.
Wireless chargers require a receiver, a device either built into the phone itself, such as many new Samsung phones, or a small accessory that plugs into your power port. For people without a Samsung phone, getting a wireless charging system is a little more difficult than you might expect. Most brick-and-mortar retailers don’t sell wireless charging systems, and many of them that do only sell the charging pad, not the receiver. Imagine a situation where you wanted to mop the floor of your kitchen. What if you had to buy soap from one store and then travel to another to buy the mop?
Wireless charging today is good but not great. A major breakthrough in the industry would be to free us from point-to-point contact and improve aspects like speed, efficiency, and accessibility.