Is 7.5W Qi-Charging on the iPhone X/XS and 8's worth the HYPE?
Video Channel: MobileReviewsEh
So the iPhone 8 and X now support 7.5 W Qi-charging. Which is 2.5 W’s higher than before. Which is awesome right?
From all the tests that I did, 7.5W Qi-charging isn’t great. Why? Because the charge times for the 7.5W charger sits here when compared against all the other ways to charge your iPhone.
In the next few minutes, I’ll show you what I discovered when I compared charge rates against:
- A 5W Spigen Qi-Charger
- A regular 5W Apple iPhone Charger
- A 29W MacBook Charger
- A 87W MacBook Pro Charger
- and a slew of other fast chargers
All the details below!
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With 7.5 W charging, Apple turned on that feature in iOS 11.2. When the iPhone X and 8 were announced, they were only capable of being charged using 5W which is the bare minimum is quite slow. Now we’ve known about the 7.5 W charging since launch as well so if you went and bought a Qi-charger that isn’t 7.5 W capable, well, that just sucks. So how much better is the 7.5 W charging over the normal 5 W charger?
To answer this question, I ran several discharge cycles between my favourite 5W Qi-charger, the Spigen F300W and the a 7.5W Anker PowerWave charger. There’s a design feature with these two products that make it stand out over the others. I’ll elaborate after I talk about the charge rate differences.
It took almost 15000 seconds for the Spigen Qi-charger to bring my iPhone X from 10% to 100%. It took this Anker 7.5 W only 10500 seconds. These numbers makes sense to me as the 7.5 W is 150% of 5W. But let that sink in, it took over 4 hours for the Spigen charger to bring my iPhone X to 100% and almost 3 hours for the Anker charger. The only time in my day to day life where I can leave my iPhone in one location for 3-4 hours at a time is when I sleep. For me, it’s almost impossible for me to get a decent charge during the day and I work mostly from home.
So how does 7.5 W charger compare against the standard charger that comes with the iPhone? Well, from my tests, the was almost no difference. There was a 6 min difference between my tests which seems insignificant when you consider that it still takes 3 hours to charge for both chargers. So let that sink in, the $70 dollar, 7.5W charger will charge at the same rate as the charger that comes with the device.
On top of this annoyance is the fact that Qi-wireless charging isn’t as wireless as we all think as your device still needs to be physically touching the charger.
So how does the 7.5 W Qi-charging compare against the fastest way to charge your iPhone which is to use a laptop charger. With the 29W charger, it only takes 2 hours to charge the iPhone X from 10% which is a full hour shorter than the 7.5 W charger. If you’re looking for a better way to charge your iPhone, consider taking the $70 dollars you’d spend on the Qi-charger and buy yourself a 29W MacBook charger. The fast charging feature from 0-50 is handy. Going back to my lunch example, in 30 minutes, I can get approx. 50% charged on my device. So that would bring me close to 60% which would last me past supper for the day.
You’ll need to get a USB-3 to Lightning cable as well and if you’re wondering, the charge time between the Apple cable and ESR cable I used in this video was negligible which is nice. Unlike some of the other lightning cables I’ve used in previous videos. If you think those $10 dollar cables at the gas station are a good deal, watch that video.
So how about the 87W charger. Is it the fastest of the bunch? It isn’t. It’s actually charges at the same rate as the 29W charger despite having more than double the potential wattage. This may seem odd but these higher Wattage chargers are based on the USB-PD specification which allows the device to pull in the maximum power it can handle.
At the end of the day, for Qi-charging to be a decent alternative, it’s needs to be faster. Much much faster because the money you’d spend on a charger would better be spent on getting a higher wattage laptop charger
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