The Wireless Charging Gimmick

As more and more smartphones have the ability to charge via induction, it is becoming more and more apparent that this ability it is nothing more than a gimmick at this time.

Mind you, I'm not calling it a fad. But it's not the most useful feature either. Why?

  • it's not really wireless: you get a pad that needs to be plugged in. There's a wire and it's just as fixed a position as it is for a wired charger.
  • it doesn't really offer any freedom: when plugging the phone into your laptop to charge or in a socket that is close enough, you can talk while your phone charges without the fear of getting cut off. When you lift the phone off the wireless charging pad, the charging stops.
  • it's too expensive for a minor facility: placing the phone on a mat rather than plugging the cable is a minor thing. It may save 10 extra seconds, but not sure that is worth the € 90 for a kit. I'd rather have one cable available for each location where I usually charge my phone.
  • it's useless on the go: when you move around (plane, train, etc), it's still easier to pack a cable which you can use with your mobile battery pack or laptop rather than carry the pad.
  • it's not yet as efficient: current wireless charging kits offer an element that needs to be attached to the battery, which doesn't offer the same mAh as the regular chargers (especially for phones that support USB 3.1)

All in all, it's a similar issue as wired phones vs bluetooth. Despite the convenience, bluetooth headphones haven't replaced wired headphones and despite leaps in connectivity currently we are facing a bit of a status quo. Wired headphones have plenty of advantages over bluetooth (not demanding much power from the phone is chief among them).

But there is plenty of potential in wireless charging. What I'd like to see:

  • wider charging field: if I'm standing near the charging spot, I'd like to have the phone keep charging anywhere inside a 3m (for starters) radius sphere.
  • better efficiency: I'd like to see the same charging speed as wired chargers