With the release of iOS 11.2 betas recently, Apple has included support for fast 7.5W wireless charging, upping the ante when compared to the 5W wireless charging capability offered by the currently shipping iOS 11 builds.
However, while 7.5 watts is a decent jump over 5 watts, some people took to wondering just how much faster their iPhones would charge with the latest iOS 11.2 beta installed. Thankfully, one of those people was Matt Birchler, and he took to doing some testing with his iPhone 8 Plus in order to be able to satiate his curiosity. According to his results, “fast” wireless charging is not a huge upgrade over the existing wireless charging offered with currently available versions of iOS.
Over the 2 hour test, the iPhone 8 Plus went from zero to 47%. It charged at an incredibly consistent 4% per 10 minutes. Previously I got up to 40% with this same charger after 2 hours, which is a 17% improvement in wireless charging speed. While this is indeed an increase, it’s not the sort of increase that’s going to get you from “wireless charging is too slow” to “I love wireless charging!”. If you have 2 hours to change your phone and there is a 7% difference in the change level, I don’t think that’s a huge deal. Especially when you compare 30 minutes on the charger, I saw literally no change in performance, as it took 30 minutes for the phone to reach 11% charge.
The upshot of all this is, of course, that if speed of charging is the most important factor for you, then using a wired solution is most definitely the way to go. That being said, the convenience of charging wirelessly can be a large one depending on the situation, so as always, your mileage may vary and you are best using the solution that most suits you.
Just don’t expect iOS 11.2’s increase in wireless charging capabilities to make charging without a cable be the best option for everyone.
Update: Turns out that Matt used Samsung’s fast wireless charger for this test and not Mophie or Belkin BOOST UP chargers both of which have been certified by Apple for fast wireless charging on iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus. Although this shouldn’t technically effect the result too much as both Apple certified Mophie and Belkin, as well as Samsung’s charger used here, feature 7.5W fast charging. But it’s still something worth noting.
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