Yup, the time for smartphones with wireless charging has come! It seems that regular mobile phones with antennas and keypads were so long ago that people who ever used them must not exist anymore. But, the reality is quite different, as I am one of those people who remember having their first mobile phone that didn’t even have a camera. Yes, all of you young kids out there who can’t imagine a phone without a touchscreen, internet connection and a zillion apps, first phones had nothing similar. Technology moves up so fast that it is possible that by the time I am done with presenting smartphones with the wireless charging features in this article, they will be thought of as outdated. To avoid this happening, I will move right on to the main topic, and say a few words about wireless charging technology in general.
As you may or may not know, there are several standards in wireless technology, but the most common ones that are currently competing for dominance are these two: Qi (pronounced chi) created by Wireless Power Consortium and PMA, which represents a merger between two big wireless charging companies Alliance for Wireless Power and Power Matters Alliance (a new name of formed company is expected later this year). What is interesting is that both standards basically function on the same principle called – magnetic induction, but there are some differences that make it impossible to charge a smartphone which supports one standard with the charger of the other.
The wireless charging industry is becoming bigger and bigger each year, and it is estimated that by 2020 this market will be worth $13.7 billion. Hence, it is no wonder that both companies are doing their best to create a big consumer base, by forming deals with various companies in order to offer more options for people who choose their technology. For example, world famous coffeehouse chain, Starbucks has partnered with Duracell to provide its customers with Powermat wireless charging alongside fantastic coffee. But, Powermats installed in Starbucks coffeehouses offer a slightly different way of wireless charging, because, with a special ring which can be connected to any phone that has Micro USB charging port or iPhone charging port, it enables almost all smartphones to be wirelessly charged, and not just the ones with the built-in PMA standard. Of course, those rings don’t come with your coffee, as you will need to rent them or to buy them if your smartphone doesn’t support PMA technology by itself. Surprised? Well, they need to have some profit from it. Another example is IKEA, which has set a new line of furniture that has integrated wireless chargers of Qi technology. So, with new IKEA nightstand placing your smartphone that supports Qi standard on it will enable charging with any wires and cables around. So – which wireless technology should you choose? Unless you spent way too much time sipping coffee at Starbucks you can opt for Qi standard and buy yourself a nice IKEA wireless charging lamp. Oh, but there is another option – buy a phone that supports both standards. Yes, there are a few phones that support both standards, as you will see them on our list of 6 smartphones with wireless charging below. It should be acknowledged here that although Starbucks and other big companies are supporting PMA standard, Qi is incomparably more popular when it comes to smartphones. Even though this marketing move (alliance with other big companies) sounds like a great move, it is hard to imagine dominance of PMA over Qi, but what is more likely is that we are going to see new smartphones that support both standards, thus offering “everything” to its consumers.
Now, let’s come back to earth for a while. There is absolutely nothing wrong with regular wire chargers, as it can be seen in our article on 6 Smartphones with Quick Charge: Fastest to Recharge from 0 to 100. And if you are so much bothered with wires and cables – think for a while what is bothering you there? Maybe the issue is a bit deeper, and what bothers you the most is not charging, nor wires – it is having a smartphone, a device that has made out of you just another “always available” person. Since, unfortunately, our topic is not a moral debate on the effects of modern technology, I will move on to our list that we have created using articles from various portals such as Android Central, Tom’s Guide, Phone Arena, to name a few. We have included both smartphones that support Qi and PMA standards, and finally, here they are – 6 smartphones that support wireless charging.