Wired vs wireless charging: Which is better?

Wired vs wireless charging: Which is better?

Published: Aug 29, 2021

Wireless charging has been gaining popularity over the years, but many of us still choose to stick with the tried-and-true method of charging with a wire.

You may have heard rumours of portless phones—yes, that means no more charging ports—becoming a thing in the near future.

Is it time to invest in a good wireless charger? We put the two charging methods head to head to help you make a decision.

Round 1: Battery Health

  • Modern batteries are designed to withstand degradation, even if you leave them charging overnight.

  • This is true for both wired and wireless charging—overcharging is a non-issue.

  • What matters more is battery temperature. Critics of wireless say cheaper wireless chargers tend to overheat.

  • That said, wired charging is not immune to overheating either.

Verdict

It’s a tie. It’s more important to make sure your battery doesn’t overheat regardless of your charging method and to practise good battery habits.

Round 2: Speed

  • Today’s mainstream wireless charging tech has not reached the same speeds as wired charging.

  • The likes of iPhone, Samsung, and other popular Android models promise fast or even “warp” charging that takes you from 0 to 50% in half an hour.

  • Wireless charging might take you twice the time.

Verdict

Speedy wired charging wins this round hands down (for now).

Round 3: Ease of use

  • Wireless charging is fuss-free.

  • Place your phone on the charging pad and you’re good to go; no wires and tiny ports to navigate.

  • Some even let you charge multiple devices at once.

  • A few downsides: Cheaper pads may need you to properly align your phone before it can charge.

  • You also can’t use your phone while it’s charging wirelessly. Wired charging, ironically, doesn’t restrict you that way.

  • Another point for old school: wires are more portable than a relatively bulkier pad.

Verdict

Wireless and wired have pros and cons in terms of ease of use. Too close to call.

Round 4: Sustainability

  • Your phone guzzles energy regardless of the charging method.

  • Wireless charging is, however, significantly more inefficient than wired charging.

  • This not only means slower charging; the wireless charger is also wasting more energy and generating more heat.

  • Until these inefficiencies are fixed, wired charging is less wasteful.

Verdict

Both aren’t the best for the environment, but wired charging is 50% more efficient, and thus more sustainable.

Round 5: Price

  • Wires are cheaper: you can get a good one for less than $20 a pop.

  • A wireless charger of similar quality and brand may cost twice as much.

  • In the long term, you can factor in wear and tear: wires are more prone to damage and will need more regular replacement.

  • You might even damage the delicate charging port on your phone, which would mean even higher costs.

Verdict

In the short term, wires are the cheaper option. Taking into account wear and tear, you might find wireless your winner.

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