Tech giants are cutting the cord across the board. Soon enough, a majority of smartphone brands will be retrofitting their flagship handsets with wireless charging capabilities. This means that 2018 could be the final year when the most popular mobile devices are forced to be tethered to your bedroom wall to juice up.
iPhones, Galaxy phones, Sony cells, and, even Google Pixels are gearing up for the cordless future. This will by no means completely replace wired charging right away. That will probably have to wait until every office desk and nightstand is capable of powering phones no matter where you drop. But if you want to get a taste of what this might be like, there are a few already released and rumored options to choose from.
Wireless Christmas: Apple Is Stepping Up To The Plate
Potential the most hyped of them all comes from the Cupertino behemoth, Apple.
iPhones have come with built-in wireless charging coils since the 2017 release of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X but there has been chatter that an improvement is on the horizon. According to a report by China Times, this year’s upcoming iPhones will come with a copper coil, instead of the ferrite polymer composite (FPC) component that is inside of the most recent trio. This would enable faster and more efficient charging.
A number of rumors have come to the consensus that Apple will release a 6.1-inch LCD model alongside two 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED handsets. These are expected to start at $700, $899, and $999 respectively.
But this year’s iPhone trifecta wouldn’t be complete without the expected release of the AirPower charging pad. This oval-shaped mat was first announced in 2017 with the ability to simultaneously power an iPhone, Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods. But after a host of technical difficulties keeping it from launching last year, it has reportedly been delayed until September. Expect it to hit shelves with a $149 price tag.
Wireless Christmas: Samsung Is Making Waves
The Korean technology goliath has been trailblazing native wireless charging support since the 2015 launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. This year saw the release of the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 9 — all of which can charge with no cord. All three of which support 12-watt, fast wireless charging, compared to the iPhones’ 7.5W capability.
These three devices start at $619, $739, and $999 respectively.
Samsung also recently unveiled its Wireless Charger Duo at $119. This charging port can power two Qi-compatible devices at once and comes with a fast-charging dock if you need a quick burst of juice before heading out.
But unlike Apple, Samsung also offers a portable wireless charging stand for $32.44. This means users can unplug it from the wall and power their phones when they’re on the go.
Wireless Christmas: Google Is Playing Catch Up
The Mountain View monolith has been glaringly absent from the wireless charging game, but a handful of recent leaks and rumors suggest that its Pixel phone will soon adopt the technology.
A leaked video tweeted on Wednesday showcased the unreleased Google Pixel 3 XL potential wireless charging capabilities. There’s no word as to how much this smartphone will cost and it is expected to make its debut in October, much like the previous Pixel iterations.
— Максим Хорошев (@khoroshev) August 22, 2018
A separate leak came straight from Google. Code fragments from version 8.8 of the Google app alluded to the existence of a “Pixel Stand” that incorporates Assitant technology.
“Your Assistant can use your personal info to make suggestions, answer questions, and take actions for you when your phone is locked and on your Pixel Stand,” read one portion of the excerpt.
Will Google set itself apart by someone fusing wireless charging with its cutting-edge A.I. assistant? This fall has a lot to reveal.