Wireless charging has almost become the standard configuration of mainstream flagships, and some people even speculate that Apple will completely abandon wired charging in the near future. However, charging through a charging pillow instead of a wired connection does not bring much convenience to users, but at the expense of huge environmental costs.
According to the latest estimates by the OneZero and iFixit teams, the power of wireless charging is much lower than that of wired charging, so that the widespread adoption of this technology may require the construction of dozens of new power plants around the world. Of course, unless the manufacturer finds other ways to compensate for energy consumption.
Although, on the surface, wireless charging has many advantages. For example, as long as the user puts the mobile phone on the charger, it will start charging; the charging port is not worn, and the charger can even be built into the furniture. However, not all energy will be completely transmitted from the wall socket to the mobile phone, and a large part of it will be lost in the form of heat during the wireless charging process.
In order to further measure how much extra power is lost when using wireless charging and wired charging in daily life, the OneZero team used multiple wireless chargers and the standard charging cable that came with the phone to test the Pixel 4, and tested it on the charging adapter and Connect a high-precision power meter between the power outlets to measure power consumption.
According to multiple test results, the average wireless charging uses 47% more power than wired charging. It takes an average of 14.26 watt-hours (Wh) to fully charge a mobile phone using a wired method; while a wireless charger requires an average of 21.01 Wh.
In other words, the convenience of wireless charging sacrifices 47% of energy. In other words, when charging wirelessly, the phone must work harder to generate more heat and absorb more energy to fill the same size battery.
The way the mobile phone is placed on the charger also greatly affects the charging efficiency. The flat Yootech charger I tested was difficult to line up correctly. At first, I planned to align the coils as much as possible to measure power consumption, and then deliberately misplace them to detect the difference.
On the contrary, in a test, I found that the phone was not charging. It seems to be aligned, but when trying to fiddle, the difference between the normally charged position and the completely uncharged position can be measured in millimeters.
If there is no intuitive indicator, it cannot be judged. If you don’t align it carefully, this may cause the phone to consume more energy than necessary when charging, or even more annoying, it may not charge at all.
The first test using the Yootech pad-before I figured out how to align the coils correctly-took up to 25.62 Wh of electricity, which is 80% more energy than a normal cable charge.
Google’s official Pixel Stand performed better, probably due to its supportive design. Since the base of the mobile phone lays flat, the coil can only be misaligned from left to right-circular cushions like Yootech allow misalignment in any direction.
Similarly, the maximum difference in charging is only a few millimeters (as shown in the picture below), but the Pixel Stand can continue to charge even when it is misplaced, although it is slower and consumes more power. In general, the brace design helps to align the coil without too much fiddling, but it still uses an average of 19.8 Wh compared to the cable, an additional 39% in consumption.