Is wireless charging safe?

Wireless charging has been around since 2010, but it seems like all of a sudden it’s everywhere. While premium Androids have had wireless charging for several years, it’s only with the advent of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X that everyone seems to be talking about it. But no one is asking an important question that we’re all thinking…

How can wireless charging be safe?

Wireless charging is basically taking a bunch of electricity and beaming it out into the open air so your phone can receive it and charge. That happens to also be the definition of lightning, if you think about it. Clearly no one wants their phone to be struck by lightning. Yes, most of us agree that wireless charging is safe. So how can that be?

Obviously, it’s a matter of degree.

Lightning strikes are give or take, about 10 billion watts. A phone charger is going to be about 7 watts, depending on the type. You don’t need to know a whole bunch of physics to know that 10 billion watts is bad. Your typical AA battery is capable of 3-4 watts and you don’t worry about touching those.

It’s not really like lightning, it’s more like radio

Wireless charging is actually fairly similar to radio broadcasting. An electric field is created by the charger and if the phone is close enough to that electric field it picks up that current. Radio broadcasting is actually the same thing. That’s right, radio is electricity (so is TV, so is cellular, so is satellite.) And you don’t worry about those kinds of signals hurting you unless you’re a fairly “out there” kind of person.

It’s not the charger you need to worry about, anyway

As users of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 learned a few years ago, batteries get hot when they charge quickly. This is one of those inconvenient things that needs to be addressed when you’re charging a phone. If you try to put too much energy into the phone too quickly, the battery will swell and heat until, well, boom.

Wireless charging also carries a risk of heat. If there is something between the induction coil in the phone and the field generator in the charger, the energy passing between the two can cause a little bit of heat. If you charge wirelessly and you have one of those “wallet” cases you’ve probably noticed that the back gets a little warm when you charge.

Here’s the bottom line

Wireless charging is designed to be safe. Even the fastest wireless chargers don’t pump out enough power for there to be a problem. There are safety checks as the phone is charging that should stop anything really tragic from happening and while yes, it is technically electromagnetic radiation being beamed into the air it’s far less than you’d get from standing next to a typical incandescent light bulb.

Don’t to get into wireless charging.  Don’t worry about the safety concerns. There’s always risk in life but this risk is pretty minimal. There’s a great selection of wireless chargers available now at, and there’s no reason for you to keep fussing with cables. Enjoy!


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.