All you need to know about wireless charging on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X

The Apple AirPower mat, coming in 2018, will charge multiple devices wirelessly

The Apple AirPower mat, coming in 2018, will charge multiple devices wirelessly


There's this guy you might have heard of, Nikola Tesla. An inventor and scientist of legendary status, he established the fundamentals of modern-day supply of electricity, including the way power gets to your home right now. He also explored the potential of wireless energy transfer, dreaming of a world where power is available to all – wirelessly and at no cost. Alas, his ambitious idea did not materialize, but the principles behind Tesla's wireless power distribution system are still in use a century later – in every smartphone that supports wireless charging, for instance. 

And you can now add the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X to the list – all of them support the Qi wireless charging standard for added convenience and style. But at the same time, wireless charging technology comes with its limitations. Allow us to walk you through all you need to know about charging your new iPhone wirelessly.  

What makes wireless charging so cool?


There's a clear benefit to wirelessly charging your iPhone – it is more convenient since you don't have to deal with wires. Just place your phone on a charging pad, be it on a table beside your bed or on the desk at the office, and let technology take care of the rest. As an added bonus, going the wireless route reduces the wear on your phone's Lightning port and its Lightning cable.

Wireless charging is also available in some public spots like restaurants, cafes and airports. True, the number of locations offering the convenience is small, but it is bound to rise now that Apple has the feature on its latest phones. 

Many car manufacturers are also on board with wireless chargers offered on their latest models. These include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Citroen, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Some 2018 models by Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC can also charge the iPhone 8 wirelessly. Though a disclaimer is due here: some vehicles may not be able to fit an iPhone 8 Plus on their charging pad. 


What are the downsides and limitations of wireless charging?


The Mophie wireless charging base works with iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. And it costs $60.

The Mophie wireless charging base works with iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. And it costs $60.

Unfortunately, there's quite a few that need to be mentioned. One is that a wireless charging pad will cost you extra: Belkin and Mophie have ones listed for 60$, while Apple's official AirPower mat is likely to cost even more since it is bigger and can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

Another drawback is that you're pretty much unable use to your iPhone efficiently while it is charging wirelessly. Sure, you can take a peek at an incoming text, but playing a game or watching video while it is resting on its charging pad? That would be tricky. 

On top of that, iPhone cases that are too thick or contain metal elements may interfere with the charging process. Credit cards, RFID tags, and other metallic objects must not be placed between the iPhone and its charging pad. Plus, your iPhone needs to be perfectly centered on its charging pad to absorb the most power. If it slides off, like after an incoming notification causes it to vibrate and move around, the charging process may slow down or stop completely. 

Also keep in mind that a wireless charging pad is not a Lightning cable replacement. It will not let you copy files from your iPhone to a computer. And you probably won't be able to power a charging pad from a computer's USB port. It will need to get its power from a wall adapter.
 

Is wireless charging on the iPhone 8 slow?


Right now, charging the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus wirelessly takes a bit more time than using a stock, 5-watt charger. There's a few minutes' difference. This we observed at the office using a compatible Qi-certified wireless charger.

At some point in the future, a software update will enable wireless charging at up to 7.5 watts, which would be an improvement, though it would get the iPhone nowhere near the 15 watts supported by other phones, such as the Galaxy Note 8. For now, the fastest way to charge an iPhone remains buying a USB-C to Lightning cable and pairing it with a USB-C wall charger with USB Power Delivery support.

To ensure optimal wireless charging, place your iPhone screen-up in the middle of your charging pad

To ensure optimal wireless charging, place your iPhone screen-up in the middle of your charging pad


Can charging an iPhone 8 wirelessly damage its battery?


In theory, yes, it has the potential to do so. Wireless charging generates extra heat, and heat exposure does reduce a battery's lifespan. This is the case with every phone that supports wireless charging. But in practice, charging your new iPhone wirelessly probably won't cause any more harm than using its stock charger. As Apple clarifies, your iPhone 8's software will detect if its battery is too warm, in which case the charging process will pause until the cell cools down.

So, should I charge my iPhone wirelessly?


There's no denying that wireless charging is convenient. You just place your iPhone on your charging pad and let the juice flow; it would be really nice having a wireless charger at the office or on your bedside table. If you're okay with the limitations we outlined above, then don't hesitate to live in the future and go wireless. Plus, you'll have an excuse to buy one of those IKEA lamps with built-in wireless chargers. Just don't abandon your good old wall charger yet. You might still need it during a particularly intense Hearthstone session.

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20 Comments

1. haneetsinghp

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 18, 2017

Thanks for sharing.

12. Brewski

Posts: 660; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Yup, glad I'm all caught up on the state of wireless charging. However, I did not learn anything new as the last 5 phones I've owned since 2013 have had this. Oh well, as iPhoneArena says, "it's not news until Apple has it", amirite?

2. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

Although most phones provide wireless charging, I'll never see the benefit of it over fast corded charging. I can still use my phone while it's plugged in. I can't exactly do that when my phone is laying on a wireless pad. Also, I use a magnetic phone mount for my car so I'd have to take my case off if I wanted to charge wirelessly. Fast corded charging > current "wireless" charging technology

3. Man_Utd

Posts: 154; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I use wireless charging. You're right about corded charging and it has it's benefits. So does wireless charging. For example, there's the convenience factor of dropping it on the wireless charging pad. Also, it reduces the wear-and-tear on the usb port. I've had ports go bad. I use wireless charging more than wired at my house.

5. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

curious why can't you use your phone laying down? So you're saying, you've never use your phone, while its simply laying on a table? lol Haha. that's actually pretty funny and totally unbelievable. Here let me help you. Its not about using the phone while its charging. The benefit is simple. Lets say you are at a coffee shop or in a meeting. If you had a pad, the phone can be charging while its just sitting. After all you probably will be using the phone less at those examples. To be fair, yes when the phone is laying flat it does limit the usibility in certain tasks, but ti doesn't make the phone unusable. My hands get tired of holding a phone up all the time. Its nice that I can web browse, or play puzzle games or draw without holding the phone. Maybe you should try one of those. How about when you sleep? Sure with the Lightning and USB Type C adapters being reversible, you don't have to worry about plugging in the cable wrong. But if you have a pad, well therm at bedtime when you also wont be using your phone, you can simply lay the phone down and you don't have to fumble with looking for a cord in the dark. There are benefits. If you open your mind to the tech and stop trying to find where it doesn't help and find where it does, then you will see the benefit. You've repeat this so many times, and yet you still sound as illogical now as you did then. if its not useful to you, then don't worry. Because there are lots of things in the world that aren't useful to everyone. But that doesn't make them useless.

7. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

What I wrote was an opinion piece...so it applies to me. I do realize that some people don't use cases with metal in the back of them so wireless charging can be definitely beneficial to them. FOR ME though, it's not. I'm not about to take my case off every time I want to charge wirelessly . I got a free wireless charger for my Note 5 and yes I can set my phone on it and have it charge, but it charges much slower than corded. Yes I realize that there's fast wireless charging but for my personal setup, it's not beneficial. I'm definitely open to new tech and what is a better option for my personal use, so don't assume that I'm stuck in my ways and can't accept change. The link below is what I use for my car mount. It works great for my personal setup and in order for this to work, I have to have a metal plate in my phone case which does not work with wireless chargers. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DCSIRG0/ref=twister_B01LQVIACG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

13. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

I don't know about your hands, but I don't have tiny hands that get tired that easily. I hate using my phone when it's on the table because I can't manipulate it with my hands to reach stuff the way i'm used to.

6. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They make charging pads that stand your phone up at any angle.

8. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

I know, but see my response above for my opinion on the matter. The biggest issue with charging wirelessly for my personal use is the car mount that I use. It simply won't work and I find my car mount to be one of the most useful accessories for my phone.

9. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

The Samsung Qi car mount is fantastic and still gives full use of the phone while charging.

10. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

That's a little bulky and pricey in my opinion. Obviously though, we all have different tastes and that's one great thing about the Android world: it appeals to many different people.

14. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Pricey it is...

4. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

"There's a clear benefit to wirelessly charging your iPhone – it is more convenient since you don't have to deal with wires." But that isn't what you were all saying when Samsung first brought wireless charging to smartphones. It was said to be gimmicky and useless. Samsung devices support the 2 most popular wireless charging standards, Wireless Power Consortium (QI) and Power Matters Alliance. https://www.androidauthority.com/pma-vs-wpc-wireless-charging-601871/

11. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Here's all you need to know about wireless charging and the iPhone: contrary to the rhetoric of some superfans, you cannot charge your phone from across the room, but rather it will work exactly like every other phone's wireless charging has for years, just slower.

17. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 341; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

I was one of those naysayers regarding wireless charging but now I love it. Just the convenience of placing phone on a charger without searching for the cable to plug is helpful (especially. In the dark when I wake. Up or half dead to the world), also I have multiple chargers placed around the home. . Other then that and prolonging the life of. Your USB socket, no other benefits really.

18. FeloniusMonk

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 25, 2017

"Another drawback is that you're pretty much unable use to your iPhone efficiently while it is charging wirelessly. Sure, you can take a peek at an incoming text, but playing a game or watching video while it is resting on its charging pad?" I keep seeing this as a negative, but does anyone really play a game with their phone tethered to a charger? I actually do watch videos with the phone on the charger, not because it charges, but because the charging pad tilts it perfectly for watching videos. Also, here's a tip on how to use your phone when using a wireless charger. When a notification comes in or a call comes in, pick up the phone, and respond to it. When you're done, put the phone back down on the wireless charger. This tip is for free. The next one costs $20.

19. FeloniusMonk

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 25, 2017

Okay, I'll give you another tip for free. You have a wireless charger and you want to play a game while charging? I know this is a difficult concept, but please try to keep up. Unplug the wire from your wireless charger. Plug the wire into your phone.

20. RELAXyougeeks

Posts: 24; Member since: Apr 07, 2015

This article is stupid. It would've made sense after Samsung kicked off wireless charging almost 3 years ago. But its especially dumb because there's only one piece of info that I'm interested to know: How long does it take to charge? And this article fails to divulge that. I guess I'll use the Google machine. YOU HAD ONE JOB.

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