Wireless charging: is the future here?

While the technology has been speculated to be the next great leap forward in the smartphone world for a while now, it is, of course, already available on certain Samsung devices. So, will it make a huge difference to our lives? Or, is it just a gimmick that will go the way of plenty of other features we’ve seen on smartphones down the years?

Technological impossibility?

There’s no doubt that wireless charging is an incredible feat of technology. But there’s also no doubt that we’re in the very early stages of its development. While you might like to imagine your devices being charged from across the room while you sit and browse through social media or watch Netflix, you’ll need to have them placed on a charging pad – meaning that it’s difficult to use them at the same time (or certainly more difficult than using them while they’re simply plugged in with a standard charger, if you’re near a socket).

Real benefits?

For that reason, other than potentially offering one less physical ‘hole’ in the handset housing for water and dirt to penetrate, it’s questionable as to how transformative wireless charging technology can truly be right now. In fact, at the present state of technology, something that’s far more useful is simply a long battery life and fast charging technology – both of which seemed to be drawbacks for the iPhone 7, particularly compared to Samsung. Wireless charging might look cool, but the convenience it offers is difficult to see – it takes longer, and the phone essentially can’t be used during it. Meanwhile, getting full charge in less than an hour, even with some use, has obvious benefits.

The end of USB?

There’s no doubt that wireless charging is here to stay and will surely be a vital component of the smartphone arms race as time goes on. But, right now, the technology simply seems too much in its early stages to be of any great use – more of an example of things to come than a genuinely useful feature right now.

While it might be attractive, potential smartphone buyers looking to make a decision between the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei should probably make their decision based on other factors – for all the use you’re likely to get out of it, other features are more likely to weigh on your mind right now. The humble USB port isn’t going anywhere yet.