Within this article, we highlight what the Qi wireless charging standard means and how it works.
You may have noticed that most smartphone brands offer Qi, but are you unsure as to what it means? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Qi, pronounced “chee”, has become the accepted global wireless charging standard. Although there are several competing wireless charging standards, Qi has been adopted by all the major phone manufacturers, including Apple, LG, Huawei and Samsung. It’s the only type that can be found built into the main phones, like the recent Apple iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10.
In order to ensure companies have the ability to exchange and use the same information for wireless charging, it was important to create a standard that could be supported by all the major manufacturers. This allows one charger to be used for different devices from various manufacturers. If chargers weren’t able to be used for multiple devices, then it could lead to confusion in the market. Thus, the Qi wireless charging has grown to become the accepted universal standard as a result.
Do you recall the first time you heard of Wi-Fi? Well, just like Wi-Fi has become the global standard for wireless internet connections, so will Qi become the global standard for inductive wireless charging.
Chairman of WPC has discussed: “Due to the increase of Qi products, it is important to ensure that all wireless chargers work correctly with all mobile devices.”
What is wireless charging?
Just like the name suggests, wireless charging allows you to charge a device wirelessly without having to plug it into a charging cable. Essentially, it is the transfer of power from one outlet to another. In regards to charging mobile phones, wireless charging will include a Qi wireless charger and a Qi-enabled phone.
How does Qi wireless charging work?
So we’ve determined what wireless charging is, but how does it work? While the science behind wireless charging is pretty complex, the fundamental concept is a pretty simple thing to understand. To be able to charge a device wirelessly, there must be two different components known as induction coils. These two coils create power by passing an electrical current which creates an electromagnetic field. When the receiving magnetic plate (which is usually built-into the phone) comes into contact with the sender, an electrical current is generated within the device as a result of the magnetic field being produced. Once the two coils come into contact and checks for Qi compatibility, the generated current is then turned into direct current, which sequentially charges the built-in battery on the mobile device.
As a matter of fact, wireless charging isn’t a new technology but has instead been around for years. Items like electric toothbrushes use inductive charging to keep their battery charged up.
What is the Qi wireless charging standard?
Although all wireless charging technologies operate in similar means, there are actually two different types of wireless charging. These two types are known as magnetic resonance and magnetic inductive charging. The Qi wireless charging standard is described to be an inductive method of charging.
Why do phone manufacturers use Qi?
Major phone manufacturers chose to incorporate Qi into their products for various reasons. Since its initial publish by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) in 2010, chipmakers have had a sufficient amount of time to introduce chips which integrate the functionality demanded by the Qi interface standard. These chips would fundamentally act as a bypass for manufactures and phone makers, as these organisations have been able to incorporate wireless charging in a simple and cost-effective way.
In addition to the standard being easy to adopt, Qi is also much more energy efficient than when compared to magnetic resonant charging. As a result, chargers Qi chargers can be of smaller size and less bulky.
Does my phone have Qi wireless charging?
To be able to charge your phone wirelessly, you must make sure that you own a smartphone that supports Qi wireless charging, and the number of smartphones that are compatible with wireless charging is increasing.
Devices and phones that support wireless charging include:
- Apple: iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- Samsung: Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10E (Aswell as more devices)
- Sony: Xperia XZ3, Xperia XZ2 Premium, Xperia XZ2 (Aswell as more devices)
- LG: G7 ThinQ, V30, G6 (US version only), G4 (optional), G3 (optional) (Plus more devices)
- Nokia: 8 Sirocco
- Huawei: Mate series (Aswell as more devices)
- Microsoft Lumia: 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928, 920
- Google Nexus: 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013) Pixel series
- BlackBerry: Priv (Aswell as more devices)