In our view, smartphone cases are essential, and the stronger the case, the better. We have also written about Wireless Qi Chargers and how innovative they are. Allowing us to charge our smartphones in a convenient and unawkward way that is reminiscent of the iPod Docks we used to use, but are so much more impressive from a technological standpoint.
Both of these items are incredibly useful, if not now, essential to our smartphone habits. The problem is there appears to be a conflict between the two. To some, using one may quite literally get in the way of using the other, but what's the truth?
Is this a myth, or is there anything preventing wireless chargers and smartphone cases from coexisting? There are some falsehoods that do need clearing up as well as some practical advice that will be useful for anybody looking to take advantage of wireless charging technology.
Belkin Wireless Charger Website Case Thickness Information
Most wireless charger manufacturers recommend not having a phone case thicker than 3 or 5 mm, which is 0.15 inches to 0.19 inches. One quarter ¼" or 0.25 inch equals 6.35 mm, which is actually pretty thick in the Cell Phone Case world.
Some (mm) Millimeter averages from Wikipedia:
1.0 mm - Diameter of a pinhead
1.5 mm - Length of average Flea
5 mm - Length of average Red Ant
For certain smartphones, the user may need to take the phone out from its case in order to use a wireless charger. Those cases that are on the lighter side almost always pick up a signal, but there are concerns that the thicker cases can struggle. As an example, imagine you were to place your Smartphone inside a closed tin or wrap it in layers of masking tape. Then yes, this would indeed cause the phone to struggle to pick up a signal. It's important to point out, however, that in order for a phone to be charged by a wireless charger, it doesn't necessarily need to be touching it.
Where these items may reflect the convenience of the old iPod docks, they don't actually work the same way. Many of the older charging docks did require the user to remove the phone from any bulky case it was in, but this isn't always the case with wireless chargers. There are plenty of reports of those using wireless chargers without needing to remove their phones from a case. As long as they place the Smartphone on the pad or stand, it works just as well, case or no case.
So, it's hard to say a straight yes or no to this question; it may depend on the phone, the case and the wireless charger. All three are independent variables that each makes a difference to the result. Overall though, smartphones shouldn't need to be taken out of their case to take advantage of something they do not need to touch, just simply be close to.
Essentially wireless chargers work by using electromagnetism. Using electromagnetic induction'', wireless chargers transfer energy wirelessly to nearby batteries that are compatible with the technology. Not all batteries are. Only batteries from certain more modern cell phones work with wireless charging technology. But it's reasonable to assume more and more will as time goes on. More phones are being equipped with batteries that work with this technology than before.
Both Apple and Samsung have committed to it and are making their phones with this technology in mind; however, they have yet to create their own chargers. This means we still need to purchase one from a third-party manufacturer, but luckily there are lots of quality wireless chargers already on the market, and chances are more will appear in time.
Potentially, as we discussed above, the case could be detrimental to usage alongside a wireless charging pad or stand, but not as a general rule. Smartphones are designed to be in cases and stay in them. Wireless charging pads are designed for ease and convenience, so generally shouldn't affect the way they work even if there is a case on the phone. But all cases are different; the average case shouldn't pose a problem. However, some phone cases are incredibly bulky and some unnecessarily so. These could be so thick that they do create a barrier between the wireless charging current and the Smartphone itself.
The good news is that wireless charging technology is always improving, and it's likely to replace traditional charging altogether at some point in the future. Manufacturers know that smartphone users rely on cases for protection, so they will always be striving to make sure the wireless chargers they create can be used on even the thickest smartphone case. This means that a wireless charger and a quality cell phone case are both worthwhile investments; one is unlikely to cancel out the other except in extreme circumstances.
Not at all, if the phone case you are using charges when used alongside the wireless charging technology while in its case, then you can leave it as it is. Taking the Smartphone out of its case in an effort to get it closer'' to the wireless pad shouldn't actually make any difference. Once connected, proximity doesn't affect the quantity of time taken to charge the Smartphone. Of course, if the phone were to be pulled away too far, then it would lose its connection. A case that is thick but working with the charger won't mean the phone gets a lesser charge; it just may cause connection issues for both devices. However, this shouldn't be a problem with the average case.
It's comparable to when you plug your phone in to charge from a traditional socket. The only way it stops is if the connection is severed for any reason. While it is connected, it is charging the same as it ever would. Presuming all cables, devices and sockets are in working order, of course.
Yes, one that is too thick isn't recommended. The thickness is likely to affect the quality of the charge. It either works, or it doesn't with a case in our experience. If the phone works on a charging pad or station, then it will next depend on the strength of the wireless charger and the thickness of the case. This means the Smartphone can take advantage of the technology without a case. It won't charge faster or retain its charge for a more extended period of time, as we said before it either works or it doesn't.
There is, of course, evidence that some materials are better conductors than others. Where it's possible (from a scientific point of view) that a metal case is more likely to conduct electricity than a rubber one, neither is likely to affect the actual quality of the charge, just the likelihood that it's compatible based on the thickness of the case.
There's actually more evidence to assume a phone in a metal case is less likely to benefit from wireless charging technology. Smartphone manufacturers are now making phones that don't have a metal sheeting on their backs to allow the battery within easier access to wireless charging technology. This is excellent news for those who already have a case they like. Based on this, we would advise avoiding metal cases.
At the time of writing, there is no individual charger that is more equipped or adept at charging smartphones in cases than any other. The technology is improving all the time, meaning so is the strength of the signal that the chargers emit, meaning as time moves on less and less proximity between the phone and charger will be needed.
Wireless charging pads may be of more use to cell phones in thick cases than the ones that come as stands. The stands tend to work the same way, but they may rely on the Smartphone remaining upright or in some other position. A phone that's in a bulky case may not fit into this slot, meaning the user will need to remove it from its case every time prior to use.
This won't need to happen on many models but could become tiresome on the ones that do. Think back to iPod/iPhone docks, most of these only worked when our cell phones were removed from their cases. This doesn't sound like much of an issue, but needing to do it time after time can become annoying.
Pads don't tend to have this issue. They are often circular and lie flat, horizontally across a surface with the cell phone lying on top of them. As there is rarely anything other than a couple of centimeters between that and the phone itself, it shouldn't have much trouble charging in its case, providing its no bulkier than this, of course.
The story of the Smartphone is so amazing and interesting it would be hard to make this entire narrative up. It is so intricately entwined in the ingenuity of humanity and the necessity to continue to discover and grow as a species. There is always hope!
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The ultimate mission of cellular data has always been to be on par with Wi-Fi. 4G has come close in many ways, but let’s be honest; we know there are things we can do at home on our computers or tablets that we cannot do on our cell phones. When we are at home, we think nothing of streaming.
Depending on your internet provider and plan, if you have modern Wi-Fi, you may have no data allowance or cap, so some can go to town and binge as many Netflix shows as we like.
However, this abundance of data has not yet crossed over into our mobile lives. Many of us are on data plans, and it is always possible to use up all of our data before we know it. Streaming through our phones is one way we risk doing this, which is why most people are still relatively conservative in their mobile streaming habits, but this is becoming harder to do.
Before the holidays, we wrote a blog post called “How Can You Hear Something That’s Not In Your Ear?” The blog's title was inspired by my father-in-law asking me that very same question while we were on a family holiday. As a prolific writer and self-confessed workaholic, I was busy writing my latest article while listening to the Killer's latest album through my Bone Conduction headphones.
Due to Bone Conduction headphones sending the music directly into my inner ear, I was able to enjoy it while I concentrated on my work, but without shutting out my surroundings. I was on a family vacation; after all, one which included dogs and small children all running around together.
It was sensible to keep an eye (and both ears) on them just in case I was needed to do a spot of parenting. Fortunately for me, my Bone Conduction headphones allow this due to their design. Other headphones may have blocked out the sound entirely.
I live in remote Alaska where there is barley 3G and don’t see us getting to 4G, let alone 5G anytime soon. For most of my life, I lived in a large city with cutting edge technology and the benefits of living with 4G.
The 5G promise is very exciting for many reasons we list below but do we need a 5G Phone in rural Alaska? The answer is no because there is no connection and if you live in a rural area the answer is more than likely the same for you.
Nome Alaska is 143 miles from the Arctic Circle and you can see Russia on a clear day from Wales which is in the Nome census area and Nort of Nome. If you measure on Google Maps Lavrentiya Russia is 179 miles from Nome Alaska.