Wireless charging on smartphones has been around for a while now. The earliest I can remember seeing a phone that featured wireless charging was in 2009 with the Palm Pre. The Palm Pre’s Touchstone wireless charger was definitely one of the handier accessories that I have owned. Once introduced, it was predicted that wireless charging would become a standard feature in smartphones over the next coming years.
However, as we can see here 6 years later, wireless charging is still very much a luxury that we only come across every so often. Although wireless charging is not necessary by any means, I’ve always thought of it as an important feature for a couple of reasons.
Wireless charging is an extremely convenient method of charging a phone. Instead of fumbling around with a cable whenever you need a charge, you simply set your phone down on a mat and you’re good to go. It’s as simple as that. At the same time, if you’re somebody who likes to use your phone while it’s charging then you're, unfortunately, SOL at this point.
I’ve read that a lot of people see wireless charging as a waste of time. If it was simply a matter of convenience, I would probably agree that implementing wireless charging could possibly unnecessarily jack up the price of our already expensive phones. With that being said, I think that wireless charging still provides a secondary, more important function: an back-up option for charging.
I don’t think wireless charging should replace traditional charging; I think it should be used in addition to a charging port.
I don’t know how everyone’s else’s experiences fare when it comes to charging, but no matter what type of charging port I use on my phone I’ve almost always had issues come up here and there for whatever reason. If I was lucky, the issue was with the charger; occasionally, though, the problem would lie within the port itself. If the port was damaged enough, which isn’t really that hard to do with continuous use over several months, there was rarely anything that could be done. The entire phone would have to be replaced. If wireless charging had been there, I could have stuck it out for a little while longer.
Since wireless charging is an included feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge (and included free when you pre-order from Best Buy for the next 4 days), I kind of hope that this will spark more manufacturers to include wireless charging soon. Sure, the concept might not be foolproof, and it might be a little finicky to even get it to work (according to this article on Android Central) but just having the feature available, in my opinion, has very little negative impact for the consumer. I don’t see anything wrong with simply having an alternative solution for any potential charging issues, especially considering how hard it is to fix smartphones lately (see iFixit scores for the HTC One M9, the Samsung Galaxy S6, and the Apple iPhone 6 for recent examples). You might not be able to fix much, but at least this is one thing you won’t have to worry about if your port goes out.
Wireless charging is both valuable and convenient for the user, so I’m not exactly sure why it isn’t considered an important feature yet. As I mentioned before, perhaps the feature being implemented in the Galaxy S6, a phone that already sparked a massive interest and pre-orders among consumers, will help push the feature into other upcoming phones as well.