It’s not uncommon for consumers to be toting around portable chargers or looking for the nearest outlet to plug in their dying phones. But a new study suggests that the type of charger you use could be negatively impacting your device’s battery life.
Researchers discovered that consumers who utilized wireless chargers for their smartphones, known as inductive charging, are more likely to lose battery life faster due to the rapid transfer of heat between the device and the charger.
Finding the right charger
Wireless charging options have become vastly popular, as both consumers and manufacturers have become enamored with the freedom that comes with ditching a traditional wired charger.
However, researchers at the University of Warwick say that wireless chargers create a great deal of heat that is generated by both the charger and the device. When phone batteries reach high temperatures, they burn out faster.
With this information, the researchers conducted an experiment that compared wired chargers to wireless chargers, but there was a catch.
One of the keys to using wireless chargers is properly aligning the device onto the charger. If they are out of alignment, even more heat is generated and transmitted between the devices, which will cause the battery to die much faster. So, the researchers tested the outcomes of smartphones charged with traditional wired chargers versus those properly aligned on wireless chargers and those misaligned on wireless chargers.
The researchers utilized all three of the charging methods and did an internal scan of the phones after 50 minutes to see how the different methods affected the phone’s battery life. While wireless changers present tons of convenient factors, whether aligned or misaligned, the phones reached higher temperatures at a faster rate, which ultimately led to shorter battery life.
Higher temperatures, shorter battery life
When aligned or misaligned on a wireless charger, phones reached over 30 degrees Celsius, whereas devices plugged into a wired charge never passed 27 degrees Celsius. The wireless chargers themselves heated up to over 35 degrees Celsius when the phone was misaligned and 33 degrees Celsius when the phone was properly aligned.
The researchers did find that phones tended to cool down about halfway through a charging cycle when on a wireless charger; however, when misaligned, it stayed at the peak temperature for much longer.
The researchers note that work is being done on wireless charging systems to prevent any long-term battery issues, but consumers should know what they’re giving up now for the added convenience.