Any new iPhone can be charged wirelessly, but it can be hard to tell which Android phones have this useful feature. Brands such as Samsung, Google and Sony generally support it on their flagship phones. OnePlus is the odd one out, as it supports wireless charging on exactly one phone: the OnePlus 8 Pro (at least for now).
Wireless charging on Android has evolved quite a bit over the past decade. Previous implementations were usually owned by the manufacturer who created it. Fortunately, modern Android handsets and even Apple iPhones have adopted the Qi standard for wireless charging. And on some higher end Android phones you can turn on “reverse wireless charging”
What is wireless charging?
But how does the technology work? Well, wireless charging uses electromagnetic induction to charge your phone. In layman’s terms, a coil, which is usually made of silver-plated copper or aluminum, is present in both your phone and the wireless charging pad. When you align the two coils or ‘place the phone on the charger’, you create an electromagnetic field. Your phone generates power from the field which is then converted into direct current (DC) energy, which is pushed into your phone’s battery.
Aligning the coils is quite easy. In general, you want to align the center of the back of your phone with the charging dock. As with wired charging, you will see your phone light up to indicate that charging has started. Keep in mind that you may not be able to charge wirelessly if you have a thicker, sturdy case.
All this is thanks to the Qi wireless charging standard. It is managed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which defines wireless charging as “energy transferred from one device to another without physically connecting a cable”.
Pretty simple right? Now time for the confusing part: loading speeds. All phones that can be charged wirelessly support 5W charging. It’s the default, but it’s pretty slow. Unfortunately, faster charging on Android is a mess. Most manufacturers use their own patented “standard” for faster charging. That’s why you see that certain wireless chargers advertise specifically for Samsung phones, for example.
Samsung flagship phones from 2019 or later support the company’s Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 standard. Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 owners can expect up to 12W of charging, while Note 10+ and above can see up to 15W. Fortunately, 15W is “fast enough” to the point where speed doesn’t matter.
If you want to talk about proprietary standards, check out OnePlus’ first wireless charger. The company’s Warp Charge 30 wireless charger gives you up to 30W of ridiculously fast wireless charging for your OnePlus 8 Pro. Unfortunately, with 5W standard charging you are stuck with any other phone.
While charging at 30W is insanely fast, especially wirelessly, there are some trade-offs. The biggest thing is how loud the charger can get. Due to the charger’s tremendous speed, it has built-in fans to dissipate heat. It also has an integrated charging cable, which means you have to toss the entire charger if the cable frayed or breaks.
And to take it one step further, you only charge 30W with the OnePlus charger. No third-party wireless charger can access that kind of speed. But that also means that unless you punch the $ 70, you’re looking at 5W speeds on a different charger.
And then you have reverse wireless charging that is available in most Samsung phones and the Google Pixel 5. The name says it all, it allows you to charge accessories such as true wireless earbuds, smartwatches and other phones by placing them in the center of the back of your phone.
But don’t expect a fast charging. You can technically charge another phone with the feature and it’s great in a pinch, but reverse wireless charging is limited in speed to around 5W.
Which Android phones support wireless charging?
For the most part, glass backs are an easy indicator of whether a phone supports wireless charging (although this isn’t a guarantee). Some cheaper phones may choose to use plastic backs as a cost-effective measure. Unfortunately, wireless charging does not work through aluminum or other metals.
But just in case you’re not sure, the following recent Android phones support wireless charging:
- Samsung Galaxy Fold or Z Fold 2 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or Flip 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Ultra or S20 FE edition
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Note 10 Plus or Note 10 Plus 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e or S10 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 +
- Google Pixel 5
- Google Pixel 4 or 4 XL
- Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL
- LG wing
- LG Velvet
- LG V60
- LG G8, G8s or G8X
- LG V50
- LG V40
- LG V35
- LG G7
- LG V30
- Sony Xperia 1 II
- Sony Xperia 10 II
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- Sony Xperia XZ2 or XZ2 Premium
- Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
- Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro or 10 Lite
- Xiaomi Mi 9 or Mi 9 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
- Huawei P40, P40 Pro or P40 Pro +
- Huawei P30 or P30 Pro
- Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro or Mate 20 RS Porsche Design
- Huawei Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro or Mate 30 RS
- Huawei Honor V30 Pro
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- ZTE Axon 10 Pro
- ZTE Axon 9 Pro
- Nokia 9.3 Pureview
- Nokia 9 PureView
What are the drawbacks of wireless charging?
Wireless charging isn’t perfect. It has some issues like the inability to use and charge your phone at the same time. Some chargers try to get around this by tilting your phone upwards but the problem still persists. As soon as you pick up your phone, the charging will stop.
Alignment can also be a problem. If you don’t align the coils, your phone just won’t charge. You should also avoid wireless charging if you have a case that fits credit or RFID cards, as inductive charging can permanently damage the magnetic stripe on your cards.
And don’t forget that wireless charging is generally slower than just plugging in your phone. Most Android handsets come with fast chargers in the box. Charging speeds vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it generally takes about 90 minutes to go from empty battery to 100% with a 20W USB-C power adapter. In comparison, charging a phone from dead to 100% with a standard 5W wireless charger takes about 3 to 3.5 hours.
The best wireless chargers for your Android phone
Now that you know what wireless charging is, it’s time to find the perfect charger for you. Whether you’re looking for a simple mat, a charger for multiple devices or a charger for your phone, we’ve got you covered.
Belkin Wireless Charger 15W (Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone SE, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Galaxy S20, S20 +, S20 Ultra, Note10, Note10 +, Pixel 4, 4XL More) (WIA002)
The Belkin Boost Wireless Charging Pad quickly charges most phones at speeds up to 15W.
Best Samsung Charger
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