How much faster are Samsung's Fast Wireless Chargers?

Qi fast charger
Qi fast charger

Wireless charging is one of those things most folks tend to ignore for two reasons. No Android phone that supports wireless charging has ever included a wireless charger in the box, and wireless charging is never as fast as the charger you do get in the box. It's only marginally more convenient to set a phone on a little tray than it is to plug it in, so the list of positives has never really been high enough to justify mass adoption.

Samsung's recent phones have included a new kind of wireless charging — dubbed Fast Wireless Charging — which aimed to do something about the charging rate. With more Samsung phones arriving with this Fast Wireless support, we decided to take a look at the difference between these new chargers and the older Qi chargers from the Nexus 5 days.

Your average wireless charger

Wireless charging

Qi and Powermat chargers have been around for a while, and while most of them look like small platters you connect Micro-USB cables to there are a few that have drifted from this design. Zens has a cool Qi car charger you just slip your phone into, Fonesalesman makes a battery pack with a Qi coil on top, and the list goes on. The problem with these chargers is rarely design, and usually output. These chargers had a maximum output of 5V/1A, which charges a Galaxy S7 from 9% to 100% in about five hours.

This is fine if you're charging your phone overnight, or if you're leaving your phone at your desk all day during work, but when your power cable can replenish 30% of your battery in 10 minutes that wireless charger becomes a lot more difficult to justify. The only real benefit here is less stress on your Micro-USB or USB-C port, which is frequently not worth the cost of a wireless charging accessory. Even a really cool one.

Fast Wireless Charging

Fast Wireless Charging

Setting the same Galaxy S7 on a new Samsung Fast Wireless charger offers a mostly similar experience. You get a notification that your phone is charging wirelessly with a fun animation, and the phone starts charging. There's a small indicator for faster charging, like you get with Samsung's included rapid charger, but the results are a little different.

On a Fast Wireless charger, our Galaxy S7 charged from 9% to 100% in just over two hours, cutting the total charge time in half. A quick look at power input through Ampere (opens in new tab) confirmed that Fast Wireless Charging was delivering almost exactly twice the amount of energy to the phone. This isn't quite as fast as a rapid charger, which will take this same Galaxy S7 from 9% to 100% in 90 minutes, but it's still pretty great when compared to the alternative.

Should you upgrade?

Fast Wireless Charging

Samsung's Fast Wireless Charger certainly delivers a much faster charge than the previous generation of Qi and Powermat chargers, but it's still an additional accessory you need to buy for your phone. That means shelling out around $50 for one of these accessories from Samsung, or keeping your eye out for a deal on third-part Fast Wireless Chargers. Now that Fast Wireless chargers exist for the house and car, it may be worth considering a full replacement to wireless charging. On the other hand, your included power cable still delivers the fastest overall charge.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • That one looks like the thing I put my electric razor in when it needs to be cleaned.
    Wireless charging is a gimmick imo
  • I thought the same about wireless chargers for a while. I got one and I changed my mind immediately.
  • Same here. I have one at work and one at home now, and it's an absolute pleasure. Is it a "need"? No. But it is very convenient and with the Quick chargers, extremely quick.
  • Exactly!
  • Place it charge it BOOM. Love it.
  • You must be talking about the Note 7, right?
  • No, S7 Edge.
  • Sorry but far from a gimmick. It's the best thing to happen. If Samsung does go away with 3.5 this will be a savior.
  • Gimmick or no gimmick I love having the option of charging my phone different ways. Sometime during the day I'll let it rest on my wireless pad in the office. Funny how people still ask can I do that with my iPhone? Lol smh
  • How is it a gimmick when it works like intended that can replace an actual physical function of a phone?
  • I had it many years ago on my palm pre and it was great then. Some day we will live in a world without cords.
  • I agree..... your just throwing $$ away.
  • I love wireless charging. It is convenience. You can get a 3rd party ones for $20 and it is fast charging too.
  • Wireless charging is no gimmick. I have a pad in the centre console of my car, I hop in, plonk my S7 on it, shut the lid and away I go with music or navigator or just the phone on Bluetooth doing its thing. Hands free phone and it's charged on the way. Love the tech!
  • Love the convenience. Won't go back and in fact rarely plug my phone in for any reason.
    I have a slow wireless by the bed, a fast wireless at the office and Samsung's wireless cradle in the car which all mean I typically end the day above 70% by not doing anything different then simply placing my phone down as I would without wireless.
  • My GS7 seems to get warmer on a no brand name wireless charger than it does when plugged into the cable. Since the battery isn't replaceable I don't want to stress it out any more than I have to. Sticking to the wire. I could be paranoid but the only reason I have a GS7 is my LGG4 stopped working after a road trip. It spent most of the day of getting hot while plugged in and playing games. Ok maybe it was the LGG4's time but I gotta think the 8 hours of very warm to the touch didn't' help.
  • Wireless charging works by induction. There is what amounts to a coil inside the charger, and the phone. When you place one on top of the other, the current in the coil of the charge is inducted into the one in the phone.
    This creates eddie currents, that will allow the phone to charge. These eddie currents have a tendency to give off heat from the Joule Heating, caused by the induction between the two coils. It's really nothing to worry about. Joule heating is what heats up most photocopy machines these days because it is more efficient and simpler than running lamps inside the machine.
  • I have a slow one next to my bed, but I don't need another one.
  • For the most part, I enjoy wireless charging. I do find it slightly more convenient with one caveat not mentioned in the article - you also can't charge it while using it. So if you're lying in bed and playing a game or reading an article at the end of the day and you're battery is about to die, it has to be sitting on your nightstand to charge. This is largely inconvenient.
  • In some scenarios yes. But to say you can't use it while charging wireless is untrue. In a wireless car cradle there is no issue with most functions. Gaming would be a particular challenge though.
  • Good time to catch up on YouTube videos. I have my charging stand for my Nexus 7 by my bed. :P
  • On the very infrequent occasions that I need to charge my phone while holding it, I pull out the cable from the charge pad and insert it in the phone. The other 99 out of a hundred days I can just lay down the phone on the pad.
  • Fast enough to burn them up
  • I love fast, wireless charging. I find it very convenient. I won't say it's a dealbreaker if a device I look at in the future doesn't have it, but it's something I will definitely take into account, after becoming accustomed to its convenience.
  • Can't wait for more vehicles and furniture to have these built in. I've got wireless charging it's convenient, more so when you spend your day at a desk.
  • Now that I can get behind. Things that we use daily having these built into, that's smart. I didn't even know furniture had these in them. That's cool
  • Between me and the wife, we have 4 around the house /office. Really convenient, especially the fast chargers.
  • I have a slow wireless charger that I lay my Note 7 on in my office. This is convenient. Now, that Samsung may limit me to 60 percent charge until my replacement phone comes in, the extra charging becomes imperative. But I won't be buying an expensive Samsung version to reward them!
  • When will we see fast charge 2.0?
  • So I finally went to wireless after I got my 2nd fast charging adapter. (Thank you best buy and your $30 sale) I have a fast cable for work and home. So I just kinda bring the wireless charger with me (,mostly I don't wanna charge all night so if I'm low in the morning I bring it to work) Good investment the price is shittty. I'd rather go official with stuff like this. Now I'm doing research to find an extra one for work. So if anyone had s recommendation let me know!
  • Does their wireless fast charger make their phones burst into flames like the Note 7? LoL
  • Hahaha. Always a jokester.
  • Worth mentioning that S-pen won't work while wirelessly charging.
  • The Samsung ones jk.
  • My Samsung Fast Charging pads are giving me a hard time with my Note 7. The charging stand either charges, stops, charges, stops repeatedly.. as if my phones only barely positioned over the coils. Or sometimes it randomly charges fine. Actually, if I place on the stand in landscape mode it gives me no issues. The Samsung pad on the other hand.. Only charges without my Spigen case on. Annoying.
  • You have a brass pair my friend.
  • Platinum. Brass is for peasants.
  • Do a test with a case and without
  • I've found the type of case makes a big difference.
  • My S7edge has no problem charging on both the flat and angled Samsung fast chargers in an Otterbox defender case, and protective cases don't come much thicker than that.
  • You need to justify the cost of a wireless charging accessory? A basic Qi charger costs $4! If your phone doesn't come with it, an antenna will set you back $2. You stick those inside on the battery and done. if you were wise enough to buy a phone where you can replace the battery yourself.
  • I just have a bunch of no name wireless chargers around the house, office, and an air dock in my car. Basically put it down for 30 min here, an hour there, charge it during my commute to work, my S7 basically never runs out. It's not about charging it when you need to, but more of keeping it topped off through out the day. Much more convenient this way.
  • I think they are smoking hot.... :)
  • If you work at a desk, it's great to have. I'm looking forward to a car mount version of the quick charger.
  • They do have a wireless car mount.
  • I too thought wireless charging was lame.. but now that i have a fast charger and a s7 Edge, Its going to be hard to go back. I just set the thing down on my night stand and boom its charging.. no more plugging in and then unplugging... no wear on the port.. Its just nice.
  • I used Palm Touchstones with my Palm phones. Then moved to S4 and did a mod to keep using them. Now have S7E which has Qi/power mat compatibility. I use the Samsung quick wireless charge on nightstand. In car, living room and home office I use the Touchstones with Qi coil mounted on top. I use a slim clear case with magnets attached to let me keep mounting the phone on the Touchstones.
  • I want true wireless charging, not a dock faking wireless charging!
  • Huh? Do you have a clue?
  • No he doesn't, he's just an Apple troll and running off at the mouth. The same devices that have no wireless charging and not even fast charging, to be accurate. Just ignore the little Apple troll.
  • That Zens charger is just stupid. Why would you hide half the screen whenever you want to charge your phone?
  • I never cared about wireless charging until i got a samsung fast wireless charger for my bday. Now i have two, and rarely plug my phone in anymore.
  • You can find one , on ebay with 4-5 euros. Thermal protection included, and enough efficient. No need for spending 20 or 50euro. I use it a couple of years ago, on my Nexus4, Nexus 5 and now on Nexus 7
  • Fast enough to blow up their phones? I'll see myself out.
  • I have 2 of the Samsung Fast Chargers (one in bedroom / one in home office) and also have a wireless charger in my car mount in the car for my Note 5. I love them, much much better than plugging in. Easy to grab, use fast, put back on charger. The car one is not fast charging and if I am running a bunch of stuff like Waze / Pandora/ etc it has a hard time keeping up but then I just plug in. But still fine for 95% of time. To me, any new phone I ever get has to have this... Not an option for me... .
  • Does fast wireless charging work on the S6 Edge+?
  • Yes
  • If you charge your phone overnight, turn the fast charging off. The extra heat will degrade the battery.