Wireless charging offers a convenient way to charge your phone, but with speeds limited to 10W or lower, it isn't the fastest way to top up your devices. But with the Galaxy S10 series Samsung is overhauling the standard. Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to offer wireless charging on its phones, and with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 it is rolling out charging speeds on par with wired charging.
That's a big deal, as the main issue with wireless charging thus far has been how slow it is in context to wired solutions available today. Here's what you need to know about Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, and how you can get the most out of it on your Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10+.
How does wireless charging work anyway?
Wireless charging relies on resonant inductive coupling to transfer power between two devices. There are two electromagnetic coils — one in the wireless charger and the other on your phone — and an electromotive force is generated when they get close enough, which is how the battery on your phone charges.
There were two competing standards for wireless charging — Powermat's PMA and the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi — and Samsung has offered support for both on its devices from the beginning. But at the start of last year, Powermat announced that it was joining the WPC to work on the Qi standard, signaling an end to PMA. The decision was driven mostly by the fact that Apple chose the Qi standard starting with the iPhone 8.
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 delivers a 12W charge
One of the main criticisms of wireless charging is that it is significantly slower than wired charging. With the rise of fast charging standards like Quick Charge and Dash Charge, you don't have to leave your device plugged in overnight to fully charge the battery — the latest protocols charge your phone's battery from flat to 100% in just over an hour.
By contrast, wireless charging solutions we've seen so far maxed out at 7.5W, so if you're looking for a fast way to charge your phone in the middle of the day, you're better off just plugging it in. With Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Samsung is looking to fix that by offering 12W wireless charging.
The first wireless charger based on Samsung's new protocol is the $99 Wireless Charger Duo Pad. The wireless charger looks a lot like last year's offering, but the pad on the left now offers 12W fast charging.
With Samsung's wired charging still at 15W, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 is able to deliver speeds that are close to what you get when you plug in your phone.
Exclusive to the Galaxy S10 series
Right now, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 is limited to the Galaxy S10 series. If you have a Galaxy S10e, S10, or an S10+, you'll be able to wirelessly charge your device at 12W using the new Wireless Charger Duo Pad.
Be an expert in 5 minutes
Get the latest news from Android Central, your trusted companion in the world of Android
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.