By Sam Davies
Wireless charging has come a long way since it was first made commercially available in 2012, when the Nokia 920 became the first smartphone to offer built-in wireless charging capabilities. Today, more phones — particularly, iPhones — have started to support wireless charging. Indeed, Apple’s adoption of Qi wireless technology has solidified them as superior in inductive charging technology, which was first launched with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus, and iPhone X.
Now, Apple has introduced MagSafe for the iPhone 12 series to allow for safer and faster wireless charging. If you’re unfamiliar, MagSafe is Apple’s magnetic technology that was originally created as a safety feature for MacBook cords. Interestingly, users are not required to have the MagSafe charger to charge their iPhone 12. You can still use the USB-C-to-Lightning cable that comes with the phone, or you can find other wireless chargers. If you’re considering the latter, here are a few things to pay attention to when looking for a Qi wireless charger:
Wireless chargers are either rectangular or circular, but they come in different sizes. As for colors, they’re mostly black, white, or gray. Aside from the aesthetics, you should also watch out for other features, such as the grip and coils. The grip is the rubber ring embedded in the pad of the charger and essentially keeps your phone from slipping. The coils, meanwhile, are what powers your phone. One coil is enough for your iPhone to charge, but you’ll see some multi-coil chargers that make charging more efficient. This is because it gives you more room on the pad, so you don’t need to be so precise on where you lay your phone down.
Another part of design to consider is whether you charge your phone on a flat surface or upright. This might not be that big of a deal, but if you’re working and need to charge your iPhone, having an upright charger means you can immediately see notifications.
For iPhones, fast charging starts at 7.5W. Some Qi chargers manage only 5W, but many can now also produce up to 10W. Today’s Qi wireless chargers are powered with internal printed circuit boards (PCBs) that allow them to power your iPhone without any problems, so as long as they’re within a few millimeters of each other, they’ll be fine. Indeed, engineers have aimed to tailor PCB board thickness to make them compatible with wireless chargers — no matter the size or design. And because Qi charging relies on magnetic induction rather than direct contact, you can still charge with a case on your iPhone (provided that it’s not metal).
Normally, choosing a wireless charger is a matter of deciding on the design you want and your budget. However, although an iPhone 12 is already expensive, buying the cheapest charger wouldn’t be the smartest choice. It would be worth investing in a wireless charger that will perform properly for a long time — and you’ve got several reputable brands to choose from. The RAVPower Wireless Charging Stand, for example, is $50 and can get your iPhone to 50% in an hour. It also has a wall charger, so you can charge the stand straight through the wall.
Wireless charging is still not as common as the typical charging methods, so it might get a bit confusing when choosing which one to buy. However, if you pay attention to the above points, you should be able to narrow down your choices and find the best one for your iPhone 12.
About the Author
Sam Davies is a freelance writer and digital marketer who has spent 10 years working with various tech brands. In his spare time, he enjoys running and learning about new gadgets.