If you've taken the time to buy a wireless charger, you've probably come across the term "Qi-certified." But what the hell is Qi, and why should you use a Qi-certified wireless charger?
Qi is just a standard for wireless charging
Qi (pronounced "Chee") is a standard for wireless power transmission. This format is maintained by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and aims to standardize wireless charging across all devices in the same way that USB or Bluetooth standards standardize data transmission across devices.
But why does wireless charging work? Do you need to be standardized?
Without a standard like Qi, wireless charging would be a serious nuisance. Imagine, every smartphone uses its own cable instead of Micro-USB, USB-C or Lightning. Without the Qi standard, this is the nonsense you have to deal with.
We say "basically" because it is technically possible for non-standard wireless chargers to work with non-standard phones. However, mixing performance standards with unsupported devices is both ineffective and dangerous.
The Qi Standard Ensures Safety and Simplicity
Wireless chargers rely on magnetic induction or magnetic resonance to transmit energy (Qi uses both). It's like the magnetic field that surrounds the earth. Your phone contains a coil that converts this magnetic energy into electrical energy and charges the battery. Simple, right?
For this reason, it is technically possible that non-standard wireless chargers use non-standard receivers in phones. Imagine a world without wireless charging standards. You may encounter three major problems:
- Phone Overload: Smartphones have built-in voltage limiters that prevent overcharging via cable. However, wireless charging depends on a coil, such as a coil on an electric range. Without a wireless charging standard, a high power wireless charger (eg, 25 watts) could damage the coil of a low power wireless phone (which may have a limited range of 0 to 5 watts) along with the battery and other internal components.
- Overheating: This is already a common problem with high voltage (or cheap) wireless chargers. Without proper power management or ventilation, heat may build up and damage the phone. Sufficient heat can cause the battery to deteriorate, which can also cause a fire.
- Heat Transfer to Nearby Objects: Without built-in foreign object detection (FOD), a wireless charger may tend to push against magnetic energy against things that are not phones, such as metal parts or nearby objects. This can lead to overheating, burns or burns.
The Qi standard for wireless charging effectively ensures that these problems never occur. When a phone or charger is Qi-certified, it has been tested by the Wireless Power Consortium for safety, effectiveness, and compatibility. Qi-certified devices must operate at 0-30 watts (the Qi standard can be up to 1 kilowatt, but not for phones), pass temperature tests, and comply with Qi-FOD standards. They must also be compatible with all other Qi-certified devices (phones or chargers) just as all Micro SD cards work with all Micro SD ports.
RELATED: How Does Wireless Charge?
Other standards for wireless loading exist and they are dead.
We refer to Qi as the only standard for wireless charging That's because there are other standards for wireless charging, but they're not really relevant anymore.
Honestly, we agree, different standards for wireless charging do not work well together, so it's for All phones and wireless chargers (at the consumer level) are better at supporting a single format, but what about knowledge and technology do some of the other wireless charging standards exist?
Well, there is Powermat (PMA), where devices are charged using magnetic induction. Do you remember the funky loading mats from 2008 or 2009? These were PMA chargers. Samsung Galaxy phones (S8, S9 and S10) continue to support the PMA standard (in addition to Qi), but people complain that the S10 does not work with all PMA chargers.
The other notable standard for wireless charging is called AirFuel (formerly Rezence), which relies on magnetic resonance to charge devices. It's backed by a handful of obsolete devices that nobody cares about, including an iPhone 5s case.
Should these alternative standards for wireless charging get a new lease on life? That's like asking if it's ok if another USB standard comes out. It could spur competition but would also make everything more complicated than it has to.
The Future of the Qi Standard
Wireless charging is currently a hot topic, and it's hard to tell where things are going. The technology is still in its infancy, and while charging a phone on a plastic stand is a good thing, wireless charging offers great potential for future applications.
Do not expect a wireless car soon. From now on, the WPC seems to focus on … kitchen appliances and power tools. Hey, do not judge, we all have to start somewhere, right?
The name of the game is efficiency and efficiency convenience. There is no point selling a wireless charger if it wastes power, charges much slower than wired solutions, or is too impractical for regular use. Currently, the Qi standard supports a power transfer of up to 1 kilowatt. By focusing on kitchen appliances and power tools, the WPC will hopefully find a way to perfect wireless kilowatts of power transmission while finding out how integrated wireless chargers (in countertops, under carpets, etc.) can be built.
Don & # 39; t Buy non-certified wireless chargers
If a wireless charger is not Qi-certified, you should not buy or use it. Anker, CHOETECH and Yootech Qi-certified chargers are already incredibly cheap and offer the guarantee that your phone will not overheat or get damaged during wireless charging.
If you want to purchase an older PMA or AirFuel charger Make sure (for whatever reason) that your device complies with the charging standards. Or you could just throw $ 12 on a CHOETECH Qi-certified charger.
Sources: Wireless Power Consortium, MakeZens, Wikipedia