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Wireless charging is becoming increasingly popular, with the new Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all boasting Qi wireless charging technology. A number of Android devices are also wireless charging-compatible.
The technology allows you to charge your compatible device by simply placing it on a wireless charging pad. That means no more fiddling around with cables and trying to find the right connector.
How does wireless charging work?
Of course, wireless charging isn’t completely free of wires - the charging pad itself needs to be plugged into the mains. The word “wireless” refers to the fact that your device - whether a smartphone, a smartwatch, a tablet or wireless headphones - can then be placed on the charging pad, rather than plugged in.
Wireless chargers use an electromagnetic field to transfer energy, which is typically sent through an inductive coupling to the electrical device. The energy is then used to charge batteries or run a device.
The Qi wireless charging standard - which is compatible with the new range of iPhones - originally worked solely through magnetic induction. However, it now also works through magnetic resonance, which allows the device to be charged from up to 45 mm away, rather than having to be in direct contact with the charging pad.
Which phones are compatible with wireless charging?
Several smartphones already use wireless charging, and now that Apple has announced its support for the technology it is likely to grow in prominence. The list of current and soon-to-launch devices that are compatible with wireless charging include:
Apple - iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X
Samsung - Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6 and S6 Edge
Microsoft Lumia - 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928 and 920
Google Nexus - 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013)
BlackBerry - Priv
Are other wireless charging standards available?
While Apple and other manufacturers have chosen to back the Qi standard, other options are available. Recently-released Samsung devices - such as the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S7 - support both the Qi and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standards.
Despite both enabling wireless charging, Qi and PMA are not compatible with one another. That means an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X could not be charged with a PMA wireless charger.