Is the wireless charge harmful to your battery?

After years of waiting and when almost all high-end models already included it, Apple finally decided to incorporate wireless charging into its devices. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X joined the list of devices compatible with the Qi standard, the most widely used by manufacturers of mobile and charging accessories. They had previously tested the Apple Watch, which used a similar technology but not compatible with unofficial chargers.

But as usually happens with everything Apple touches, the controversy is always served. If you were previously criticized for not giving the possibility of using this technology, now you are criticized because that technology is harmful to the battery of our devices. Opinions, tests of all kinds, conjectures … the fact is that the idea that wireless charging is not good is increasingly widespread, and that is not clear at all. We tell you the opinions of the experts.

Against wireless charging

All this has started with a ZDNet article that one of our Telegram chat members has shared with the whole group. In it, in case you do not want to read it in English, the article editor ensures that after several months using wireless charging has verified that the charging cycles of your iPhone have increased more than if you had used the charging via cable. Based on the fact that Apple ensures that the batteries of our devices are designed to last with good performance for about 500 cycles, the author believes that when using wireless charging, the life of our batteries will be reduced by reaching those 500 charging cycles before .

The theory they argue in the article is that "While with the cable charging the iPhone feeds directly from the energy that comes through it, with the wireless charging it does through the battery". It is an affirmation that as soon as I read it generated many doubts. Without having the necessary technical knowledge to be able to decide if that is the case or not, it seems strange to me that this happens, especially when the writer of the article does not explain what that statement is based on, a detail that would have been very important to sustain his hypothesis. On the basis of a purely personal experience, any technical data that supported that statement would have served to give more credibility to your article.

Searching for information on the internet I found a very interesting article in ComputerWorld in which they precisely mention this article of ZDNet, and in which they ensure that After contacting the iFixit experts, the answer they obtained is that the author's results and conclusions are “very unscientific”, ensuring that the degradation of the batteries depends on the use we give them, not on the charging method we use.

What really wears out our battery

This is a very interesting debate and in which not all experts agree 100%, but after reading articles on this topic, we can conclude that the majority agree on two elements as maximum responsible for the degradation of your battery device: charge the battery up to 100% and keep it to the maximum and perform full charge and discharge cycles or vice versa. These two customs that many people usually perform are those that really damage the battery, provided we make normal use. There are other aggressive agents such as high temperatures, humidity, etc., but we count on our use of our device correctly and with certified chargers and cables.

Charge the device up to 100% and keep it with that charge is one of the major attacks that we can make to our battery, you follow the experts. But we should not worry, because the load management systems that the devices have have greatly improved precisely in order to correct this problem. "When a device shows us that it is 100% charged, we really don't know what percentage of charge it actually has.". This is stated by Dan Steingart, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, in an article published in Medium. Device manufacturers establish their load management systems to minimize this problem, seeking the balance between having the battery fully charged and doing the minimum possible damage. How do they get this? That your iPhone is connected to the charger, either through a cable or a wireless base, does not mean it is charging continuously.

The other most damaging aggression for our batteries is to perform complete discharges, from maximum to minimum, or vice versa. Yes, what they used to tell us was the best way to take care of our phone battery now it turns out that it is a very harmful activity that greatly reduces the battery's half-life. This is what Menno Treffers of the Wireless Power Consortium assures, who assures that although the charging cycles are classically those that have defined the average life of a battery, carrying out charging cycles starting at 50% battery makes its life lengthen, even up to four times more than if the cycles are complete. That is to say, if we do not let our iPhone discharge below 50% the battery will last us in optimal conditions for longer.

Wireless charging makes it easy to take care of the battery

Wireless charging is very convenient, although it has problems such as not being able to use the device during recharging or taking longer than wired chargers. There are wireless chargers in many coffee shops and entertainment centers, since you don't have to worry about whether your device is iPhone or Android, if it has a Lightning, microUSB or USB-C connector. In addition, the connector does not spoil when you insert and remove the plug, and it allows you to use waterproof covers and be able to charge the device at the same time. Arriving at night in the room and not having to walk looking for the cable and the hole of the iPhone in the dark is also a detail to consider.

But if we also pay attention to what the experts have mentioned, Wireless charging helps to always have our iPhone with an almost complete charge. You arrive at work and place the iPhone on the base, you take it if you need it, you leave, you arrive at the car and you place it on the base that many models already incorporate, at home you leave it on the side table of the salon, on your coffee table night … If we pay attention to the fact that it is always good to have the battery above 50%, the wireless chargers are ideal for this.

Something very important is to use reliable chargers. If you don't want to spend what an Apple-certified charger costs, such as Belkin or Mophie models, you can always turn to recognized brands such as Xtorm or similar. Something that degrades current batteries a lot is the high temperature. Quality bases control this, but those cheap bases that can be obtained at laughing prices can give you problems. You should not worry because your iPhone is hot when removed from the base, it is normal, the outside temperature may be high but not the internal temperature. Using a brand with recognized quality is always a guarantee that makes it worth spending something more on an accessory that is not going to last for a long time and we will use it daily.

First of all, enjoy your device

Regardless of your preferences and the use you give to your device, the most important thing is to enjoy it. Buying something to be a slave to him is absurd, and walking suffering pending how and when you charge your device is absurd. Putting ourselves in the worst case and that we have to change the battery of our iPhone after two years … Is it really worth having been enslaved by the battery during that time? An official battery change at Apple costs € 89, at an unofficial center much less. Personally I prefer to invest my time and effort in other tasks rather than in suffering from my battery.

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