How Does Wireless Charging Work?

The availability of wireless charging options has brought up a common question: How does it work? Here’s how to determine if you can use a wireless charger to power up your smartphone.

Technology trends are moving toward a completely wireless and mobile world, and our device chargers have followed suit. There are many questions about wireless charging: How does wireless charging work? Can I use a wireless charging pad with my smartphone? Do I need a special case for wireless charging? Here, we answer these questions and tell you everything you need to know about wireless charging.

How does wireless charging work?

Wireless charging, also known as inductive charging, is a convenient and fuss-free way to power up your smartphone. Wireless chargers emit an alternating current via a transmitter coil, which then induces a voltage in the receiver coil found in the device. Qi (pronounced “chee”) wireless charging pads are capable of charging smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth® headsets, cameras and portable power packs. Note: You do need one of these pads for wireless charging; a smartphone that says it has wireless charging capability will not charge itself. At least, not yet anyway. But wireless charging is simple: Just plug in the charging pad and place your device on it. That’s it!

How do you know if your smartphone is Qi compatible?

If you have a wireless charger from Verizon, your smartphone must be Qi compatible; all wireless charging accessories sold by Verizon are Qi certified. So how do you know if your phone is Qi compatible? Your device should have a Qi logo on it somewhere, so be sure to check the packaging, the case and the manual. The icon is easy to identify—it looks like a magnifying glass focusing in on the letter ‘i’. The magnifying glass is cleverly in the shape of the letter Q. For example, the Droid Maxx by Motorola and Droid Mini by Motorola are ready for wireless charging right out of the package.

Can you charge a smartphone with a case on it? Do you need a special case?

This answer truly depends on the device. The Droid Maxx by Motorola, for example, can be charged wirelessly with any case on, but other smartphones from Verizon require a special, device-specific wireless charging back cover. The Samsung Galaxy S® 4 is only ready for wireless charging when you add the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Wireless Charging Cover. You can find this information in your device’s manual, at or on the manufacturer website.

How do you set it up?

Once you’ve determined if your device is Qi compatible and whether or not you need a special cover, you’re ready to charge. One of the beauties of wireless charging—and yes, we realize there are many—is how easy it really is. Simply plug in the charging dock and place your device on the charging pad. Then, watch your device juice up. It’s actually that simple.

What do you look for when purchasing a wireless charger?

When you’re researching chargers to ensure you make the right purchase, there are a few things to consider. Do you want something that is discreet? The Verizon Qi Wireless Charging Pad may be compact, but it still packs a lot of charging power. It’s sleek and will stay out of the way, plus its size makes it easy to carry and take with you.

Do you want something that matches your decor? The TYLT VÜ Wireless Charger comes in red, green, blue or black so you can find the charger to match your style, plus it holds your smartphone at an angle so you can easily look at the screen to follow recipes or stream videos while charging.

Do you want something that’s a little more fun? The funky Nokia Wireless Charging Pillow by Fatboy® has a “pillowcase” for your smartphone and is unlike any other wireless charger out there in terms of style.

When your friends see you powering up your devices on your new wireless charger, they’ll probably ask you, “How does wireless charging work?” Now you’ll have the answers.

More stories in this #BatteryLife series:

This content was created by an author contracted by Verizon Wireless to provide helpful information on mobile technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.
DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. 
©2013 Nokia. All rights reserved.
©2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. 
Galaxy S® is a trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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