So apparently wireless charging is… not great

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022 by Chris Hayner

25% efficiency! Holy hell. That’s such a small amount of efficiency! In a recent reddit AMA, the founders of iFixit reminded us of the downsides of wireless charging. Not only are wireless chargers pretty inefficient, the higher-speed chargers can generate a fair bit of heat, which isn’t great for your phone in the long-term.

Also - unless you’re just leaving your phone to charge overnight on one (which, guilty) they are horribly inconvenient. Using your phone while it charges is easy with a cable, but really awkward with a charging pad. And of course it’s not really practical to whip out a charging pad on a plane, or the train, or even an automobile.. especially if you don’t have a tray table.

iFixit ran a study two years ago that showed while wired charging is 95% efficient, wireless charging is only 25% efficient on a good day. Which, if you think about it, makes wireless charging terrible, not only for your device, but also for climate change.

The study iFixit ran with Debugger found that we would need dozens of new power plants around the world if smartphones switched to 100% wireless charging. And based on how electricity works, it’s unlikely that we will get anywhere close to the 95% efficiency of wired charging anytime soon… if ever.

The entire AMA is worth the read. They talk about a lot of stuff regarding devices and the right to repair (and how manufacturers are hell-bent on destroying that right.) for example- did you know that car manufacturers are now trying to tie parts and software updates to your VIN instead of just making them compatible to all cars of that make and model? Welcome to the future!