I went all-in on wireless charging and it's been great

I love wireless charging. It's nothing new, but it's taken quite a while to catch on and start showing up in more phones. Maybe that's because the prevailing hardware trend is only recently shifting away from aluminum, which blocks electro-magnetic transfers. Most high-end phones these days are made of glass, and while it's significantly more fragile than metal, it's a perfect non-conductor for wireless charging.

The first phone I owned that supported wireless charging was the Nexus 4 in 2012, but back then there weren't nearly as many great options as there are today. Wireless charging was slow, and I had no gripes about simply plugging in a Micro-USB cable. These days, things are a little different.

With wireless charging, it doesn't matter what cable my phone takes anymore.

Nowadays, most phones have moved to the newer USB-C standard, which I love for its reversible nature. But every once in a while, a phone will come to my door that, for whatever reason, still hangs on to the antiquated Micro-USB port (this is usually the case with cheaper phones like the Honor 7X), and some phones like my iPhone X don't use either. Keeping track of all of these different cables and switching them out on my charging bricks every time I get a new phone is more hassle than I care to deal with — first world problem, I know, but it's annoying nonetheless. That's where wireless charging comes in.

I have a wireless charger in my bedroom and one on my desk in my office — both the Samsung Fast Charge Convertible Wireless Charging Pad (opens in new tab) — and I almost never need to worry about cables because of it. Whether I'm using my iPhone X or my Galaxy S9, I simply place my phone on the charging pad at my desk while I'm working, then carry on with my day until it's time to place my phone on the charger by my bed and go to sleep.

Samsung's convertible pad charges my phones almost as quickly as a cable would; it's still not quite 1:1, but it's fast enough that I never feel the need to charge any other way. I just love being able to put my phone down on a pad that props it up so I can still see any incoming notifications — quick and effortless. If you're looking for something a little different, though, there are plenty of great options from brands like Anker (opens in new tab) and Satechi (opens in new tab). Fonesalesmen even has a portable battery pack (opens in new tab) with wireless charging!

Once I settle on a wireless charger for my car, my phones will be completely cable-free.

The only time I need to fuss with cables anymore is when I'm driving; my 2012 Mazda 3 isn't fancy enough to have a wireless charging pad built in, and I just haven't taken the time to research third-party solutions — I've been too busy trying to decide what Android Auto head unit to install. iOttie's Qi-enabled car mount (opens in new tab) looks like the perfect solution, but it's a little pricey at $50 — if that's what it takes to get a quality wireless charger in my car, so be it, but I'd like to weigh my options before pulling the trigger.

For now, I've been using a 15W car charger (opens in new tab) with a built-in USB-C cable and a USB-A port for using your own cable. It works well enough, but the car is my final frontier in my journey to using wireless charging exclusively, so I'm hoping to find a wireless solution soon.

I realize that wireless charging isn't for everybody; it took me years to finally start caring about it, and for many, it's still an unnecessary feature. I wouldn't quite call a lack of wireless charging a deal-breaker for me, but it's become a large consideration when I'm shopping for a new phone, and one of the only reasons I still haven't picked up a Pixel 2 XL.

See Samsung convertible wireless charger at Amazon (opens in new tab)

What do you think of wireless charging? Is it important to you, or are you uninterested? And do you have any wireless car charger suggestions for me? Sound off in the comments below!

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.

78 Comments
  • Wireless charging is the best. I really hope Google brings it back
  • I think it's super overrated. But of course to each his own
  • Hi there I was just wondering if you could tell me how I go about getting wireless charging plz?
  • Well, first thing's first, if the smartphone doesn't support it, and you can't access the internals, chances are it will never happen. I'm sure I've seen a video showing how to modify some phone to accept wireless charging, but I can't remember which device it was. I'm sure I have also seen a wireless-charging battery pack made for a specific device that replaces the original battery and rear cover of the device, but again, I don't remember which device and where I've seen it. Anyhow, if your device does accept wireless charging, check the specifications to determine which wireless charging standard it supports, and buy a wireless charger that supports that standard. When all is said and done, you simply place your device as close to dead-center as possible on the charging pad, and Bob's your uncle!
  • There are several after market 3rd party cases one can snap onto the back of a device to make it able to wireless charge.
    I think that there are one's for the Samsung galaxy S5 onwards.
    Good luck :-)
    ..and Fannys your aunt! (Ref: Bob's your uncle) ;-)
  • "it's a perfect conductor for wireless charging" Non-conductor. Yes, I like wireless charging. Been using it for 3 years now.
  • Yeah... Conductor versus non-conductor is a pretty important distinction in electronics lol. Also in saucepan handles...
  • Ha, good catch! Fixed now, thanks.
  • Not for me. I keep a case on my phone. It's too expensive of an investment, for Me, not to. I'm not going to keep removing the case every time I need to charge the phone and I've tried several chargers, none of which work through a case.
  • What kind of case do you use? I have no problem charging thru my case, whether its my thinner profile one on my s8+ or the bulkier one on my wife s8.
  • Otterbox Defender which isn't that thick, but nothing. I have five different wireless charging pads sitting here including a Samsung and Aukey, and none of them charge through the case. Take the case off? Works like a charm.
  • I can charge my S9+ through the Defender with no issues at all. Using Samsung Fast Charging bases.
  • Same here with the Note8.
  • if you don't care that you cannot stand the phone up to charge it does work with the Defender just not standing up, I ended up going with the Commuter and it only works sideways but it does charge and pretty darn quick
  • I'm able to wirelessly charge my S8 Active through the Spigen rugged case i have installed.
  • Mine charges fine through a Spigen case.
  • Then you have tried some pretty inadequate wireless-chargers. Every single one I have used works fine through a number of external phone cases, thick and thin. I am sure others would agree to this.
  • I have an Otter box Commuter on my Note8. Charges fine.
  • I use a ghostek case on my s9+ and it works just fine. And the ghostek case is not thin at all.
  • I have an iPhone X and Galaxy S8. Both are in OtterBox Defender cases and both charge perfectly through the case. I use a Tylt Vu charger and a generic one. Maybe you're just not hitting the "sweet spot".
  • My 1st phone with wireless charging is lumia 1020...Loved it...Now have Note 8 and s9+ and Samsung wireless charging stand absolutely love it
  • I'm also all in with wireless charging. My s6 supported wireless charging but it was slow so I didn't use it. It's fast on my s9+, that's the primary way I charge it.!
  • My iPhone X is in a otterbox defender case and my Samsung wireless charger has no problem charging. Cable free for me.
  • Wireless charging is a absolute must on any phone I get going forward. BlackBerry introduced me the charging dock back in the Bold 9900 days, from there it was the Z30 (Verizon), to the Samsung Active series (currently S8 Active).
    Wireless is so convenient
  • I was all in on wireless charging for a while around 2012-2015... Well, maybe not all in, but pretty close. After living without it for a while it's a feature i couldn't care less about. Give me a full day of battery life and a Dash charger and I'm happy.
  • Exactly. In my nexus 5 days I was all about it but I needed to charge that phone twice a day. Now most phones will get you through a day of heavy use no problem so I don't care about it much anymore.
  • Isn't that the opposite of how the technology should be used though?
    Wireless charging is slower, so if you're having to top off a couple times during the day, it's better to used a wired charger. Wireless charging is best when you get through the whole day then just throw your phone on a pad at night. Even better, if you've got a tablet that also charges wirelessly, you just swap out your phone for your tablet at home and both devices stay charged. I do agree that it's probably not as important anymore since USB-C is such a better connector than Micro-USB.
  • I see in the picture in the article that you are using the Samsung wireless convertible a charger. The build is great, but you ever seem to be fighting it to have the phone right dead in the center of the cradle? If I'm off even a tiny bit, it turns cuts in and out of charging. Edit: I'm blind....that's not the Samsung charger...my bad. Sorry.
  • Are you using the official Samsung charger with it? I've used other non Samsung ac adapters with my Samsung charging pad with bad results like what you describe.
  • Wireless charging is pretty much a requirement for me to have on a phone now. First experience was a Droid Turbo, and the 9 months or so I used a Moto X Pure while I was waiting for the Note8 to come out because I relinquished my Note 7 were irritating. You definitely get spoiled just being able to pick up your phone, and the argument about speed does not work for me, cause like you, with in on my desk and nightstand I have plenty of time for it to charge.
  • Wireless charging is one of those features I can't live without.
  • At this time I'm using a 5t and 2XL in the past I had Nexus 4,s7,s8 an note 8 but I don't miss wireless charging to me you can't beat the fast charge of the 5t and one thing that bothered me with wireless charging was during a charge if you had to use the phone for a quick minute it broke the charge used a cycle where as with wired this does not happen
  • Never had a use for wireless charging.
    Glass backed phones are too much of a compromise. They're too slow can't use your phone while it's charging and if I try it takes between 1 and 2 seconds to plug it into one of my strategically place wired chargers.
    I don't find the cables to the wireless chargers any different to a cable to a USBC connection.
    Like face ID and iris scanners it's just slower and less convenient than what came before.
  • Your phone doesn't need to charge while you're using it. Wireless charging is more than fast enough. If every time you set your phone down, it starts charging, then your phone will stay topped off without ever having to plug it in for quick charge.
  • Yes exactly the same. But I have the choice.
    In 20 minutes even if constantly using my phone I have enough charge to leave the office and spend the day in the field.
  • Sounds like wireless charging doesn't meet your use case, but it does seem to meet the needs of a lot of people in this discussion. I don't mind a glass backed phone, as I'm going to keep it in a case anyway, so not much of a compromise to me. Didn't think it was that big of a deal to spend a few seconds plugging/unplugging myself, and it's not, but going to (mostly) wireless just makes it so much easier to keep it topped off, and not being in the position (most of the time) of needing a fast charge or to use my phone while charging. Is it as useful in a pinch if I were to be low on juice? No, but a wall charger can be a pain to be stuck at, which is why I have a battery charged up in my work bag. Both wired and wireless charging have trade-offs, but personally, I find wireless to be a better experience.
  • Please don't get me wrong. I love gadgets and tech and would rather have wireless charging than not. Same with iris and face scanning just wouldn't want a glass backed phone.
    But if I'm honest they are less convenient and slower than what they replace.
  • Versatility is the best form of distinctionality.
  • Technically, you can use your phone while it's charging, if you want to reach over and tap it while it's on the stand. But I get your point. It's so horribly inconvenient to pick up your phone, use it, and then put it back down on the wireless charger. You've lost whole minutes of charging time that way. It's much more convenient to have your phone tethered to a cord while you're trying to use it.
  • Been addicted to wireless charging ever since Palm Pre. Plenty of options for wireless car chargers on amazon for around $25.
  • Something to keep in mind with Android auto (and carplay) is the need to plug in unless you get a unit and phone that will support wireless connectivity. I'd love to have wireless carplay with my iPhone and my Chevy, but currently I need to plug it in still.
    Proclip makes some very nice device specific mounts though (expensive though)
  • You don't have the right to praise wireless charging yet! Wait for the Pixel to support it.
  • Depends on your use case. I sit at a desk all day for 85% of the time so wireless charging is great for me. Phone is propped up so I can see notifications and it is super-easy for me to just pick up the phone the 1-2 dozen times per day to text, take or make phone calls, check other apps, etc. Less wear and tear on the USB port and my phone stays topped up at 100%. For someone who is typically on the go most of the time and nowhere near a wall plug, they may get home at the end of the day with a depleted battery and need to charge it up with little time to spare before heading out for evening activities (bar hoping if you are younger, delivering kids to activities if you are in that stage of life). For someone in that situation, plugging in to a fast-charger for 15 minutes may be all you have time for and you definitely want to get the most you can out of it. If you are someone that also needs to be on call 24/7 for a job or some family responsibility, and keep your phone on your nightstand every night, I would think a wireless charging stand would be much more convenient than fumbling in the dark to plug it back in after using. Again, all depends on your circumstances.
  • I don't use a daily driver that doesn't have wireless charging. I'm not going back to 2011.
    It's far more practical, it's better for the phone's battery and as I have it fitted pretty much everywhere, I never ever have to deal with the mess of cable charging. The only time I use the cable that came with my phone (and I don't like to use it often as I still have USB-C) is when I need to connect the phone to my PC to update the overlays on Substratum.
  • The charging speed difference on my G6 is too great for me to ever go fully wireless only. It doesn't take advantage of the quick charge base nor 24w brick so the only time my phone sees wireless charging is at bedtime because at that point I don't really care how slowly it charges. Maybe one day when all phones support wireless quick charging, but until then, USB C is the main go to.
  • People who aren't on board with wireless charging still use the excuse that it's not fast enough and they still don't understand that it doesn't have to be. I had an old wireless charger laying around from when I had the G4 and started using it at work with my V30. Anytime my phone isn't in use, I just plop it down on the charging pad. My phone stays topped off throughout my shift. Even if I use my phone long enough for the battery to drain significantly, my phone will still be idle long enough on the wireless charging pad that I'll leave the office with a nearly fully charged phone. I haven't even tried a fast wireless charger yet and I don't think it would be necessary.
  • Yet I've used "wireless" charging and I still don't think that it's worth it!!!! When charging is truly wireless, as in no cables or induction plate then I'll try it again but until then I'll give it a miss thanks.
  • I've read all the comments so far and apart from wear and tear on the USBC port I can't see any advantage to wireless charging.
    I dose look kind of cool to not plug your phone in and just pop it down on a pad but a glass back is a high price to pay for this.
    Have a USBC plugged in at my desk when I run low plug it in keep using the phone and in 20 mins I have enough for the rest of the day.
    Granted it dose take a second or two to plug it in.
    In the car my holder already has a cable. No Bluetooth issue and it charges.
  • PS. What does a wireless charger give me that a plugged in charger doesn't?
    I've seen they have the same wires but instead of a discrete USBC connection at the end they have a big pad. Is that it?
  • Convenience. Versatility. No cables to break. Charging port stays pristine if needed. Lemme ask? Do you use your phone while sleeping? No? Ok.
  • Get a moto z and a plastic qi mod. Glass back issue solved.
  • Yep, that would solve a problem I don't have.
    Having said that I really don't have an issue with plastic phones.
    Only phone I didn't break was a 3310.
  • That must have taken a lot of effort as the 3310 was a tank.
  • Anecdotal evidence shows that wear and tear was actually a bigger issue with Micro-USB than it is now with USB-C. So IMHO, there was a much stronger case to be made for using Wireless charging on devices before USB-C became the standard. So now that we've got USB-C, whether or not I'd recommend wireless charging to someone really just depends on your use-case. If you're plugging in often and wanting to get as much juice as quickly as possible when you do, then Wired charging is simply superior. If your battery lasts all day and you have a second device like a tablet at home that also has wireless charging, then it's very convenient to use a wireless pad for your tablet during the day, then swap it out for your phone at night. Saves a couple seconds of plugging and unplugging every day, and it looks tidier than having a cable draped across the nightstand.
  • Glass backs are a pain, and are only 1 solution. I really wish tech sites would have an article on other wireless charging friendly materials. The old Lumia 920 and 1020 were polycarbonate, and it made them rock solid. My 920 is still going strong, and is in better condition than most modern devices that have been used a week. Ceramic is also an option, as seen on the MiMix 2 s. Or, and more distinctive, is the Ikimobile Bless thone. Check out the cork backs, they are gorgeous. Manufacturers need to look beyond glass. Leave the fragile stuff to Apple.
  • Nope, I'm good.
  • I went all in with a bundle of longer cords and I like it better than wireless charging. It keeps charging every time I have to pick the phone up.
  • I love wireless charging. I have my Samsung convertible charger at work and what I love the most is that while on the charging pad, I can wake up the device with the home button then just stare at it as it unlocks. It's quick and convenient.
  • Yes nearly as convenient as waking the phone up by dabbing the FPS.
    Never mind why use one action when two can do.
    Progress I guess.
  • My first wireless charging experience was with the Nokia Lumia 920. Then the G3, then the S7 now where I have 2 Samsung wireless chargers; one in the office and one at home. Whenever I'm somewhere not in the car and I have to plug it in, it feels like I'm back jn stone age. Very thankful for wireless charging.
  • I bought the iottie charger a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale for $30. Bought some cable clips at the same time to tame the charging cable. I love it.
  • I tried several in car wireless chargers that support quick charge, and the iOttie is the best. However, be aware that at least with the S8/S9 the phone will not quick charge with the screen on, and if you are playing music through Bluetooth and have navigation on, the power usage will be more than the wireless charger can deliver, so although it won't be as bad as not having any charger, you will lose power rather than charging the phone. At least with my S8, if I am just playing music it keeps up OK, and if I turn off the screen so it is quick charging it will charge up. In fact, using navigation at night when the screen brightness is at its lowest and the background is dark the charger will actually do slightly better than just keeping up with the battery drain, is it is really just an issue during daylight.
  • Thats funny cause i used a wireless charger and did nav and bluetooth music streaming and it was alble to still charge my s8 active. Maybe your not using a powerful enough brick?
  • I liked wireless charging when I was using Galaxies, but it wasn't nearly important enough to me to keep me from getting a Pixel 2 when I dumped my S7.
  • It's not truly wireless though, is it. This is known as inductive charging and I've had this feature on previous devices but no longer use it for one reason and that's because it's so damned slow compared with charging via a micro USB or USB-C cable even without fast charging.
  • How slow it is may be meaningful if you need to charge your phone multiple times per day. Even then, if you have a charging pad on your desk, it charges while you're not using it. And if you put the phone down on the wireless charger overnight, speed doesn't matter.
  • Wireless charging is fine, Hayato, but how sad is it that you have to charge at home, AND at work, AND in the car? Wouldn't you prefer just charging the phone one time and going for a couple days?
  • Wireless charging is an excellent feature I use it regularly and it gives you a second way to charge your phone and puts less wear on the USB port.
  • It comes down to use case. Spend a lot of time at the desk, in the car or somewhere where the phone doesn't move a lot, wireless charging is perfect. I have two of the iottie car chargers, refurbs @ $22 ea, for my work vehicle and personal vehicle. I have a Samsung high speed wireless charger next to my bed, a couple other HS around the house. I haven't plugged my phone into a charger for a couple of months. They are not handy if traveling, at all. To big and bulky. They are also not handy if you are in and out all the time and on the move. Driving yes, walking no, gaming no, sleeping yes. Especially with the new driving laws being enacted, Washington just started their distracted driving law, big fat tickets for anyone even touching a phone. I started using them around the time I had a Note 3. Saved me a ton of money on cables and charging ports as the samsung ports were known to be low quality. Never really stopped. I even still have a couple of my old non fast chargers, my first gen tylt finally went bad.
  • I still can't see what a wireless charger can do that my normal one can't.
    They are slower and less convenient in most situations and I wouldn't consider them a key feature.
    But like face ID & Iris scanning they are very cool.
  • it's not something I couldn't live without but it's handy, I have a nice triple coil stand at work plugged in to the computer usb port so not fast charging during the day but it works fine on my Note 8 with a slim LK case.
    going to bed at night I just plug it in and it's ready to go in the morning, charger in the car has never been used but handy to have just in case
  • « switching them out on my charging bricks every time I get a new phone » One brick per cable would be more practical imo. Wireless charging makes my phone too hot for my licking and it seems you have to put it just right to be optimal (using the same Samsung one as on the article ). I went vack to wires after one month or so
  • If you only have two outlets where you charge your phone, there would be no difference between changing cables and changing bricks.
  • It seems like a gimmick to me. It's a nice feature. but is it really that hard to plug a cord in?
    Especially since USB type c is more common in phone's now . At this point it just adds more cost to a phone that's already expensive. I've got a ZTE z max that has USB-C with quick charge 2.0 , 4080 m battery and it works great. With casual use I can go 2 days without charging.
  • I have been using wireless charging since the Nokia 920, which came with a free charger. Ironically enough, I am still using that Nokia charger. Runs circles around the Samsung charger.
  • Wireless charging isn't an absolute necessity, but after using the charger I received for free with my Note8, I wouldn't hesitate buying one for a different location, if I needed it.
  • I got a Samsung convertible charger last week, and it's fantastic! Didn't particularly want to spend $50. But I'm very satisfied.
  • I've had a pretty bad experience with it. I'm on my 4th note 8 because of it. It just stopped working again... smh. I love it when it works, I have the convertible that came as a gift and another from my edge 7 days. Those are the only two I use, aside from the one built into my truck. Not sure if it's something I'm doing or not, but I'm pretty savvy and have tried everything to get them going after they die including safe mode and ultimately factory reset. Had a hard time finding other people having problems until recently. https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Galaxy-Note-Phones/Wireless-Charging...
    Anyway, I hope I'm the mush and all of you continue to have this desirable feature at your fingertips for the life of your phone!