Apple finally turned on the 7.5W charging feature in iOS 11.2. This means Qi-chargers can now be 2.5 Wʼs higher than before. However, does the extra 2.5 W justify the $30 dollars price difference between an older charger and newer one?
At Mobile Reviews Eh!, we do reviews based on actual usage. We do tests and use the products for days and maybe weeks. When it comes to videos related to charging your iPhones, we actually take the time to charge and discharge our iPhones. If you like what we’re doing with our reviews, please consider buying the products on the links scattered on this article.
7.5W Qi-charger versus 5W Qi-charger
For this section, we ran several discharge cycles between our favourite 5W Qi-charger, the Spigen F300W and the a 7.5W Anker PowerWave charger.
It took almost 4 hours for the Spigen Qi-charger to bring our iPhone X from 10% to 100%. While it took the Anker 7.5 W ~3 hours. These numbers makes sense because the 7.5W is 150% of 5W so it looks like the increase in wattage is linear.
However, the only time in our day to day life where we can leave our Phone in one location for 3-4 hours at a time is when we sleep. For us, itʼs almost impossible to get a decent charge during the day and this is coming from someone who work mostly from home.
For example, we left our iPhone for 30 mins on the PowerWave charger for lunch and it charged it from 6% to 26%. That might get through another 4 hours of heavy usage via photos and videos. But that won’t be enough power to last us till supper. If we relied solely on the charger, weʼd end up becoming that friend whoʼs always asking to borrow somebodyʼs charger when theyʼre out.
Another example of where Qi-charging is inefficient would be in the car. We rarely drive more than 10-15 minutes on any given trip which would result ~10% of our battery being charged. That’s not a lot of battery power so a charger that’s going to cost you over $50 dollars.
7.5W Qi-charger versus standard 5W iPhone charger
For this part of our experiment, there was almost no difference between the 7.5W fast charge and the standard 5W iPhone charger. Our test averaged to a difference of 6 min which is miniscule considering it takes over 3 hours for a 100% charge.
Let that sink in, the $70 dollar, 7.5W charger is no quicker than the charger that comes out of the box.
The lack of difference in charge times doesn’t sit well with us. Qi-charging doesnʼt really offer that much freedom than a hardwire charging as the device still needs to be physically on the charger.
If WiFi was as wireless as Qi-charging, weʼd have to put our devices within 5mm of the router. Or If our cell connection was defined in the same manner, weʼd have to stand next to a telephone pole in order for me to use the cell connection.
The last kick to the groin is the fact that most of these chargers require you to use your device quick charge if it comes with one. That wonʼt matter much for iPhone users but for Android users, that means you have to sacrifice your actual Quick
Charge capability for a slower wireless charging.
The only reason we’re using the Spigen and Anker products is because of the stand feature. We like being able to see the device on our desk and itʼs easier to keep track of when compared to the flat disk designs.
But since this the only good feature of the Qi-chargers for us, we could easily spend $5 dollars on a cheap stand and still get the same general functionality with the same charge rates with the default charger.
7.5W Qi-charger versus a 29W laptop charger
For the 29W and 7.5W comparison. the 29W charger only took two hours to charge the iPhone X from 10%. This is a full hour shorter than the 7.5 W charger.
If youʼre looking for a better way to charge your iPhone, consider taking the $70 dollars youʼd spend on the Qi-charger and buy yourself a 29W MacBook charger. The fast charging feature from 0-50% in 30 minutes is way handier.
Going back to our lunch example, in 30 minutes, you can get approx. 50% charged on the device. This would last past supper for the day. For this to work however, youʼll need to get a USB-3 to Lightning cable as well.
It should also be noted that the charge time between the Apple cable and ESR cable is not that negligible unlike some of the other lightning cables weʼve used in previous articles.
7.5W Qi-charger versus 87w Macbook Pro Retina charger
It is a common knowledge that the higher the wattage, the faster the charge. However, the large wattage of the 87W Macbook Pro Retina charger isn’t the fastest charger in this article. The 87w Macbook Pro Retina charger actually charges at the same rate as the 29W charger. This may seem odd but these higher wattage chargers are based on the USB-PD specification which only allows the plugged-in device to pull in the maximum power it can handle.
SIDE NOTE:There are actually a couple of chargers we didnʼt include in this article, notably an iPad charger and our favourite 3rd Party charger, the 4-Port Anker IQ. They would sit between the 7.5 W charger and the 29W charger. Both alternatives are much faster and cheaper than the 7.5W Anker PowerWave.
7.5W Qi-charger versus Cheaper qi-charger with half the price
For this comparison, we compared the 7.5W Anker Powerwave with the Satechi, Pictek and Belkin.
The major difference between the Qi-chargers are only within 10% of one another.
If you’re being extremely thrifty, don’t get a product that’s marketed towards the Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8’s. You can get away with getting the cheaper chargers.
Android devices have had fast Qi-charging for a while now. The newest chargers in the market will provide between 10-15W of Qi-charging. Sadly, that doesn’t matter to us since the iPhone’s will only take in 7.5W max.
This is evident in the graph above as the Anker product that’s branded for Apple devices doesn’t charge that much slower (or faster) than the other chargers that aren’t branded for the Apple iPhone.
7.5W Qi-charger versus Belkin and Mophie
For the 7.5W Anker Powerwave comparison to the Belkin and Mophie, the three Qi-chargers are actually almost identical in terms of charge speed.
But at least, the Belkin and Mophie product are sold at the Apple store. This might be an upside to some of you. However, the Anker product comes with a USB charger which can be used without the charger. While the Belkin and Mophie products use a custom charger.