When it comes to technology at home, there's nothing worse than a tangle of wires. However, over recent years, our tethered tech has been slowly freeing itself from the tyranny of the dreaded cable. Wi-Fi was one of the first to lead the charge, allowing us to access the web without being shackled to the spot, and now other functions are following suit.
What exactly is wireless charging?
Exactly as it sounds, wireless charging is a way to charge the battery of your device (most commonly, smartphones) without the need to plug it into a cable. It's quicker, easier and looks a lot neater than traditional charging methods - you'll find no tangled or broken wires here.
However, wireless charging doesn't mean that you can wander around your home, phone in hand, while it charges. It doesn't work in the same way as Wi-Fi, and you'll need a wireless charging pad to take advantage of the technology (which you need to leave plugged in - so some wires are involved at one point during the process).
How does wireless charging work?
Wireless charging can work in two different ways - via inductive or resonant charging. Currently, inductive charging is offered under a worldwide standard known as Qi (pronounced "chee") which dominates the wireless charging market, featuring on over 900 products to date.
All you need to do to power-up is plug in your wireless charging pad, then place your phone on top the start charging your device.
Without getting too scientific, inductive charging works by transferring energy between two objects (in this case, the charging pad and a smartphone). Both devices contain a coil of wire, and when alternating currents pass through the coil in the charging pad, they create an electromagnetic field
When you place your phone on top of the charging pad, the electromagnetic field turns back into an electric current. This occurs through electromagnetic induction, as the coil inside your smartphone takes the power from the field created in the charging pad, before converting it back into a normal current.
Which Smartphones Use Wireless Charging?
Wireless technology is already here, with a collection of smartphones currently on the market that offer this service. You simply need to use a charging pad, (either from your smartphone's manufacturer or 3rd party retailer) and place your phone on top to charge.
Below, you'll find a list of Android smartphones currently available to buy that have wireless charging capabilities built-in:
Which iPhones Use Wireless Charging
As for iPhone users, all three new devices for 2017 are capable of wireless charging. These are:
With the introduction of AirPods in 2016 for iPhone 7, it was only a matter of time before Apple brought wireless charging technology to its fans.
There are already two major manufacturers in the wireless charging technology market, Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) who champion Qi charging, and AirFuel Alliance - a group delivering resonant wireless charging. Apple has chosen to work with WPC to adopt the Qi charging standard for its devices, powering up via inductive charging.
Apple AirPower Mat
Set to arrive in 2018, Apple's charging mat is called AirPower. The AirPower mat has the ability to charge multiple devices at once, supporting the Apple Watch Series 3 and all three new iPhones. AirPods can also be charged using the AirPower mat, but they must be placed in the new AirPods case.
Are you excited about wireless charging? Or do you feel nostalgia for traditional cables?
Whichever you prefer, you can guarantee you'll be able to pick up a fantastic deal on the latest smartphones over at Mobiles.co.uk.