Will wireless charging ever get faster than wired charging?

Wireless charging. Who doesn’t like it? Put your phone down on a puck and it charges. It’s been around for a decade, but it’s only been in the last three years or so that it’s been super-common. If you have a wireless charger, you probably notice one thing, though: it’s slow. Depending on the charger you have, it can be very slow. If you’re looking for a quick top-up, a wired charger is always going to be faster. Will that ever change?

Why wireless charging is slower

Wireless charging is fun, but it’s really quite inefficient. A wired charger puts current down a wire (obviously) straight into the phone. There is some loss because the wires are pretty thin, and the longer the cable, the more loss there will be.

That pales in comparison to wireless charging. Wireless charging is really just a simple form of radio broadcasting. A charging coil is powered, creating an electrical field. A coil inside the phone will receive this electricity if it’s inside the field. This is really a very wasteful way to get power from one place to another. Even in the millimeters between coils, there’s a lot of loss.

That loss means less current gets into the battery. Plain and simple, if a wired charger and a wireless charger both use the same amount of current, the current that gets into the battery from the wired charger will be a lot more — sometimes even double. That means it will take twice as much time to charge wirelessly.

How to make wireless charging faster

The easiest way to make sure that there’s more current going into the battery is to start with more current from the wall. That’s the basic premise of the QC standard, which uses software controls to make sure that you can safely send a ton more current into your phone. You’ll find these chargers at Solid Signal, If your phone supports the QC 2.0 or QC 3.0 standard, you’ll find that you can charge a lot more quickly.

But let’s be honest here. Compared to using the same current to charge over a wire, wireless charging is always going to be slower. The only way it would be faster is if it were just flat out designed to be. For example, Wi-Fi 6 is faster than Gigabit Ethernet. Ethernet could be faster if it wanted to. There’s 10 Gig Ethernet, but no one has it in their house. No one wants the faster wired standard, but there are people who want the faster wireless one.

But this really wouldn’t happen with wireless charging because you’re still going to be connecting to a wall plug even with wireless charging. That is, unless they come up with some way to use solar or fuel cells or something to make it “truly” wireless. That’s a long shot, though.

Get the best in wired and wireless charging

You’ll find the best wired and wireless chargers, as well as all the other things you’ll need to live your best digital life, when you shop at Solid Signal.

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.