Wireless charging means you can charge your physical wireless phone battery. It also prevents damage to your phone’s charging port. Unfortunately, not all phones support wireless charging, but we’ll tell you which iPhone models do.
Why wireless charging?
When you charge your iPhone battery without plugging in a cord, it reduces wear and tear or possible damage to the Lightning port.
For example, if you recharge with a wired connection and your cat jumps onto the bedside table and drops your phone, leaving it hanging, it could damage the port. Ultimately, the less physically attached your iPhone is to the charger, the better.
A wireless charging setup usually consists of a circular tile wider than the width of your iPhone. You simply place your iPhone face up on the pad and the battery begins to charge. You can only charge an Apple Watch wirelessly via the supplied docking station or a compatible third-party solution.
Technically, the power transfer process requires a cord – the power cord that connects the wireless charger to an electrical outlet. Energy flows from the outlet through the cord and into the charger.
When your phone starts to charge, the screen lights up in a circular animation, accompanied by a “charge” message. A small lightning bolt also appears on the battery icon in the status bar. During this time, the charging unit illuminates a single multicolored LED or a ring as a visual indicator of the current state of charge.
IPhones that support wireless charging are based on the Qi open interface standard.
What is Qi?
Pronounced “chee”, Qi is a Chinese word meaning “life energy”. In this case, the word refers to a wireless standard developed and maintained by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). It defines the energy transferred from one device to another without a physical cable.
An induction coil in the wireless charging station continuously receives small amounts of power to stay on standby until it detects the take-up coil located inside your iPhone. It then draws more energy from the wall outlet.
When the two coils come into contact, they create an alternating electromagnetic field. The take-up coil of the iPhone generates a current from this field which is converted into direct current (electric energy) used by the battery of the iPhone. The whole process is called magnetic induction.
According to the WPC, there are over 3,700 Qi certified products. If a product has Qi certificationYou will see the logo on the product and its packaging. The consortium also provides a Database of Qi certified products, so you can find and buy the right one wireless charging station for your iPhone.
iPhones that support wireless charging
IPhone models that support wireless charging have a glass back, which allows the coils of their receiver to connect to the induction coil of the charger.
You can however install a protective cover on your iPhone while enjoying wireless charging. Avoid cases that store items with magnetic strips or RFID chips, such as credit cards, passports, hotel keys, etc., as the charging process could damage their functionality. Remove these items before charging your phone or use another protective cover.
Thick cases and covers can also be a problem. If charging does not start automatically, remove the case and try again.
The following iPhones are compatible with wireless charging:
iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019)
iPhone 11 Pro (2019)
iPhone 11 (2019)
iPhone XR (2018)
iPhone XS Max (2018)
iPhone XS (2018)
iPhone X (2017)
iPhone 8 Plus (2017)
iPhone 8 (2017)
Unless Apple introduces a new charging method, future iPhones should also include wireless charging.
Wireless charging speeds
You may be wondering if wireless charging is faster than wired connection. The iPhone models we listed above support wireless fast charging (iOS 11.2 and newer) and fast wired charging. Wireless charging, however, is much slower than wired connection, since air is less conductive than a wire.
If you need a quick charge before you leave home or the office, a wired connection is the way to go. However, to charge overnight or throughout the day while you work, a wireless charging station may be the best solution.
The current Qi standard supports 5 (basic power profile) to 15 watts (extended power profile). The higher the number, the faster the phone battery recharges. All compatible iPhones supports up to 7.5 watts, although newer handsets support 10 watts.
Does your iPhone support wireless charging?
The easiest way to check if your iPhone supports wireless charging is to look for a physical home button. IPhone X to 11 Pro and newer versions have edge-to-edge screens and don’t have a home button. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the only two models with a home button that also support wireless charging.
Another way to check is to check your iPhone model number. To find your model number on your device, tap Settings> General> About. Then press the part number shown to the right of “Model Number” to reveal it.
The iPhone model numbers capable of wireless charging are below:
iPhone 11 Pro Max: A2160 (Canada, United States), A2217 (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao) and A2215 (other)
iPhone 11 Pro: A2161 (Canada, United States), A2220 (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao) and A2218 (other)
iPhone 11: A2111 (Canada, United States), A2223 (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao) and A2221 (other)
iPhone XS Max: A1921, A2101 and A2102 (Japan); A2103 and A2104 (Mainland China)
iPhone XS: A1920, A2097 and A2098 (Japan); A2099 and A2100 (Mainland China)
iPhone XR: A1984, A2105 and A2106 (Japan); A2107 and A2108 (Mainland China)
iPhone X: A1865, A1901 and A1902 (Japan)
iPhone 8 Plus: A1864, A1897 and A1898 (Japan)
iPhone 8: A1863, A1905 and A1906 (Japan)
There are a few things to keep in mind when using a wireless charger. First of all, your iPhone will not charge wirelessly if it is physically connected to a charger or a USB port. You can only load it from one source or the other.
Second, your iPhone may feel slightly warmer than usual when you charge it wirelessly due to the unused energy that represents heat. This tends to happen when the charger and phone coils are not aligned properly, or if the battery does not collect or store energy completely.
According to Apple, iOS could limit the charge to more than 80% if the battery becomes too hot. If this happens, Apple suggests that you move the phone and charger to a cooler place. When the temperature drops, your iPhone charges normally.
Vibrations can also extend wireless charging time or even prevent your iPhone battery from charging wirelessly. Notifications, texts, and other alerts that use vibrations can move your iPhone while it is resting on the charger and stop power transfer. To avoid this, simply place your iPhone in Do not disturb mode or turn vibration off completely when you charge it.
Finally, placing your phone and charger next to your bed could be problematic if you tend to struggle a lot during your sleep. Place them elsewhere in the room so your iPhone can charge properly and you won’t be distracted by the notification sounds.