Your phone's battery can have its life cut short thanks to wireless charging

Your phone's battery can have its life cut short thanks to wireless charging
For many consumers, the most important spec of a phone is its battery life. On some level, this makes plenty of sense. After all, it doesn't matter what the resolution is on your phone's display; without a charged up battery, that screen is not going to light up. Same with chipsets. It doesn't matter if your handset is powered by the Snapdragon 855 or the Snapdragon 439. A dead battery is the great equalizer.

While you can discover the capacity of the battery on your phone, one piece of data that isn't easily available is the number of charging cycles that a battery has. And if you take advantage of wireless charging on your phone, the life span of that component could be cut short. The reason why can be found in a new report issued by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The report (via iDrop News) notes that the inductive charging technology that is used on wireless charging pads creates several different sources of heat.

Misaligned wireless charging will generate the most heat and shorten the life of a battery faster


As the report points out, the life span of a battery can be shortened by heat. Or if we might quote the ACS, "It has been well-documented that increased calendar aging occurs in batteries as a function of storage temperature. Temperature can thus significantly influence the state-of-health (SoH) of batteries over their useful lifetime." In other words, heat can shorten the life of a smartphone battery. The higher the temperature, the shorter a battery's life span will be. A chart included in the ACS report indicates that for maximum battery life, the ambient temperature that a smartphone should be exposed to is between 15 degrees and 40 degrees Celsius (59 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit). And enough heat can be generated by inductive charging to reduce the number of charging cycles that your smartphone battery will enjoy.


The researchers compared charging a handset using the usual wired method to a wireless charging pad with coils that were aligned with the ones in the phone, and a wireless charging pad that was not aligned with the phone on purpose. Using the typical wired charging process, the temperature did not exceed 27 degrees Celsius/80.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Aligned wireless charging reached a peak temperature of 30.5 degrees Celsius/86.9 degrees Fahrenheit, but started dropping off during the second half of the charging session. Misaligned wireless charging resulted in a similar peak temperature, but it was hit sooner than aligned inductive charging and held that peak temperature for 70 minutes longer.

So here are some suggestions that you can follow to increase the longevity of your phone's battery while still using the wireless charging feature on your phone. Do not charge it in the heat. That makes sense, of course, and similarly, you should not charge it while running any complex tasks that will tax the processor inside the phone and generate heat. Remove your phone's case before you charge to make sure that the device can cool down, and if possible, make sure the coils on the pad are aligned with those in the phone.

The report doesn't mention the heat generated by one of the most popular new features on high-end premium smartphones today; reverse wireless charging. This debuted last year on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and is available on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 lines. Reverse wireless charging in effect allows you to use the back of your handset as a wireless charging pad to share some of the battery life remaining on your phone. This battery life can be shared with compatible devices such as wireless ear buds and other phones. Apple is reportedly adding this feature to the upcoming 2019 iPhones to be unveiled next month.

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21 Comments

1. Demo-jay

Posts: 58; Member since: Feb 13, 2018

No wonder Apple is having a hard time releasing it’s own charging device...working hard to avoid this probably

4. TheOracle1

Posts: 2221; Member since: May 04, 2015

I've never seen the point in wireless charging for my phones. Battery life is my number one requirement and I won't consider a phone without a big battery that can last, at minimum, a full day. An overnight charge and I'm good to go until the next morning if necessary.

18. manzer

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

What phone are you using? I am a service tech, I do a lot of driving throughout the day. I use my phone for Google maps, I need it charging so I use a wireless magnet charging system. Hate to plug in, then unplug. Miss the days of my Motorola phone. Had a fat battery.

9. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 596; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

No their problem was trying to charge multiple devices no matter where they were placed on pad, the coils had to overlap in weird ways that just didn't work. Sidenote my G6 will overheat while charging on a cable so I'm sure it's life has been more than halved

2. AbhiD

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Wireless charging makes the phone pretty useless, is slow and is detrimental to battery health. Not to mention the space it wastes inside a device. While one can easily use a phone while charging with wired chargers, charge it much much faster, generate much less heat protecting the battery and not waste any space inside. And it's not even "wireless" charging in true sense as of date. One can't even pick up the phone while it's charging. What's wireless about that? LOL, wired chargers ironically offer more flexibility :P Manufacturers better focus on providing 3.5 mm jack in place of wireless charging coils. At least that would be an upgrade in terms of functionality.

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6743; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Ever have a charge port fail on you? I have...but not to worry. I am able to 'pick up and use' my phone while it is resting in its TYLT wireless charger (thanks to my somewhat large hands)...and apple is waiting for samsung to implement newer/better/safer graphene battery tech into their devices... Apple hasn't made a wireless charger yet (yes you are correct), but you may wish to take a step back and rethink your comment as apple has already introduced wireless charging capabilities into their phones...

5. AbhiD

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

I don't care about what Apple introduces or not. Am not even their customer. I am simply critical of wireless charging in general. And USB port failed on you? What exactly were you doing with it other than charge your device? Or do you keep your devices for like 5-6 years?

7. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Trust me, you will love wireless charging once OnePlus implements it in their phones. Kinda like QHD, it was stupid and for bragging rights, until the 7 Pro came with it. I know, and plenty of people on PA know, that your tone would be different if OnePlus phones have wireless charging capabilities.

11. AbhiD

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

LMAO kiddo, i still haven't said anything in support of QHD. Infact i simply bought the vanilla OnePlus 7 instead of Pro. Benefits - better battery life, lesser taxing on processor thanks to 1080p and still plenty sharp. - PS - Getting a Note 10+ and will happily use it on FHD+ mode and without wireless charging. - That 45 watt charger will top it up so fast and crazy, Wireless charging actually seems ancient in front of it.

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2221; Member since: May 04, 2015

Who cares what Oneplus do with wireless charging. I don't need it or want it and I'm sure many people feel the same way.

10. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 596; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Im not sure how you calculate the space the charging coils use to the space the 3.5 jack does but you're wrong and phones heat up to the same degree if not more when you use them while charging (some of my old galaxies did, my ip5s did and my LG G6 does)

12. AbhiD

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Charge a phone with wireless charging on both and see the temperature difference. This whole damn article was about the same thing - that phones heat up much much more on wireless charging. Did you even read it? The more the heat, the more the damage to battery longevity.

15. User123456789

Posts: 843; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

This has been widely seen since Samsung S6 Edge. Users reported that using the Qi, the device could reach much higher temperature compared to usb charging. I remember to read the same about that magnetic charging of Xperia Z series, those dots on left side. That it could damage battery after months.

17. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 596; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Never had one shut down from thermals on the wireless charging. My G6 definitely has on more than one occasion ( I blame the thermal paste)

14. TBomb

Posts: 1406; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I'd rather buy a case and opt-in to wireless charging.

6. User123456789

Posts: 843; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Now you can decrease score of those that dont have it.

8. strawberry

Posts: 95; Member since: Feb 20, 2019

people praise samsung for having wireless charging... now people start to say wireless charging flaws

16. Tomfromsouth

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

When I started using wireless charging for my S7, my battery life plummeted. I used to make it through the day no problem. Within 3 months I couldn't make it to 4pm without a visit to the charger. My recommendation: do not use wireless charging. Your battery longevity will be severely impacted.

20. libra89

Posts: 2272; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I believe this, which is why I never really cared for it. I want my phone to last as long as it can, not have a wireless charger do that for me.

21. stronggeek

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

LOLS! Most of us won't even have the phone that long for it to be a concern. Been doing a mix of fast charging & wireless charging for a while with N0 issues.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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