Xiaomi Mi 9 and Samsung S10 5G will make you want to use wireless charging

Image Credit: TechRadar

Wireless charging has been a feature on flagship phones for years now. It first debuted on the Nexus 5 back in 2013, and since then manufacturers have toyed with the feature but we've yet to see major innovations in the space.

Whenever we ask the question to manufacturers who don't support wireless charging why the feature isn't included on its latest generation of devices, we're often greeted with the fact not many users think it's worthwhile.

That's then often backed up by research that says customers don't think the technology works fast enough. So what if a company has managed to find a way to make it faster?

That's what both the newly announced Xiaomi Mi 9 and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G are able to do.

25W fast wireless charging has just been announced on both of these phones, and Xiaomi claims it's latest flagship device can go from 0% to 100% in under an hour and a half.

Take last year's Xiaomi Mi 8 and website GTrusted found the phone would charge from zero all the way up to 100% in 110 minutes. So it's a big claimed improvement.

That test was conducted using old Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, but that was a limitation of the charger included in the box. If you bought another charger, the phone was capable of Quick Charge 4.0 tech.

We don't have any stats for how fast it can charge with Quick Charge 4.0 charger, but if you're using the default charger in the box this newer phone is already capable of charging up wirelessly faster than last year's phone was with a cable.

Why use wires?

If that's the case - we haven't had the chance to test out Xiaomi's claim yet - then why wouldn't you just use wireless charging instead?

Samsung also announced last week that its top-end, super expensive Samsung Galaxy S10 5G would be supporting 25W fast wireless charging when it's on sale later in 2019, but it won't be that fast on other devices like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.

This may be the game changer that makes people adopt wireless charging properly. 

Image Credit: Xiaomi

Image Credit: Xiaomi (Image credit: Xiaomi)

It's helpful to just place your phone on a pad and not have to worry about plugging it in, but so far charging speed has meant wireless is more suitable to overnight use rather than quickly pumping your phone up at your desk when you're there for a spare half an hour.

The next hurdle will be wireless chargers supporting 25W tech. Many are already prepped for 25W compatible devices, but if you haven't upgraded your charging pad for a while or you've gone for a cheaper Qi compatible charger you may find it isn't capable of these higher speeds.

As time goes on, and - perhaps more importantly - other devices begin to support 25W, we're sure to see fast-charging wireless tech take over the phone market in the next few years.

What about Apple?

Apple could especially be a driver in the space considering how it has embraced wireless charging since the iPhone 8. 

Rumors at the moment suggest Apple AirPods 2 will support wireless charging and two-way wireless charging - like we've seen on the S10 range and Huawei Mate 20 Pro - may also come to the iPhone 11 family later this year, if rumors are to be believed.

iPhone XS Max

Image Credit: TechRadar

If the company is that dedicated to pushing ahead with wireless charging, it may be that Apple is also ready to embrace 25W fast-charging tech.

This may be the end for phone manufacturers saying wireless charging tech is too slow, but of course cost will be a major driver of whether it's on your next smartphone.

In fact, no other smartphone announced at MWC 2019 so far has come with the technology included. Even the Huawei Mate X - a phone set to cost around $2,600, £2,000, AU$4,770 - doesn't sport the feature.

There's a reason it's debuting on the most expensive of Samsung's new S10 family, but it's a feature Xiaomi has managed to bring to a phone that only costs €449 (about $500, £390, AU$715).

Charging up the entirety of the Xiaomi Mi 9's 3300 battery is no mean feat in an hour and a half, so if Xiaomi can do that on a mid-range priced phone, why can't other flagship makers?

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.