Android phones have had wireless charging for years, but Apple only now introduced the feature for its new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.
Better late than never, I suppose.
Wireless charging is a nice, if not essential, feature to have. It’s slightly more convenient than reaching for your charging cable; just place your iPhone on a wireless charging pad as if it were resting on a table. No plugging or unplugging necessary.
But that’s the only benefit to going wireless, at least for now.
In theory, wireless charging should also mean faster charging, so that you can replenish you phone’s battery in less time. But as we can see from this chart from Apple Insider, the difference between charging your iPhone 8 with the standard 5 watt power cable that’s included and using a 7.5 watt wireless charging pad is negligible.
Both methods take about two and a half hours to reach 98% fully charged. During a quick 15 minute charging session, you’ll get an extra 2 percentage points of power.
It turns out that even though the wireless chargers are designed to transfer 7.5 watts, the iPhone 8 currently only accepts 5 watts of power from wireless charging sources.
Before Apple rolls out an update that will supposedly increase wireless charging speeds, the 7.5W wireless chargers charge the iPhone 8 just as slowly as the included charger.
With that in mind, buying one of the $US 60 Belkin or Mophie 7.5W wireless chargers from Apple doesn’t make much sense, unless the convenience of wireless charging appeals to you.
Speed bump coming soon?
However, the iPhone 8’s wireless charging speed it set to change in the near future, as Apple plans to roll out an iOS 11 software update later this year that will allow its new iPhones to accept up to 7.5W of wireless charge, according to The Loop. I’ve asked Apple to confirm whether or not a future iOS 11 update will indeed bring faster wireless charging to the iPhone 8, but I have yet to hear back.
When, or if, that update rolls out, the iPhone 8 will make full use of Belkin’s and Mophie’s $US 60 7.5W wireless chargers sold on Apple’s site, and buying a wireless charger that charges up to 7.5W could make sense if the included 5W charger is too slow for your liking.
In the meantime, if you need to inject the most juice into your iPhone in the shortest amount of time, your best bet is to do one of the following options:
- Plug the iPhone 8 directly into a USB-C Mac computer (you’d also need to buy Apple’s USB-C-to-Lightning cable)
- Use or buy the 12W charger that comes with Retina iPads (you can use the regular Lightning cable that came with your iPhone)
- Use the USB-C charger that comes with USB-C Mac laptops (you’d also need to buy Apple’s USB-C-to-Lightning cable)
- Buy Apple’s 29W charger with Apple’s USB-C-to-Lightning cable
- Buy a third-party USB-C charger with Power Delivery (you’d also need to buy Apple’s USB-C-to-Lightning cable)