How To Add Wireless Charging to the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

2-in-1 charging station

Let’s continue our review and take a look at the appearance and packaging of a 2 in 1 wireless charging station (supports iPhone, Apple Watch) with fast charging function.

iphone, wireless, charging

The charging station is supplied in an original triangular box that repeats the body of the charging station. The box contains basic technical information and information about the functionality of the charging station.

At this stage, we immediately saw similar specifications between this charging station and the 3-in-1 dock. Output voltage when charging iPhone 10W, 7.5W, or 5W, and for charging Apple Watch 2W.

The set is similar: a charging station, instructions in English and a USB Type-C wire (it feels like a wire of higher quality). The wire is thicker and the connector looks neater.

The charging station itself is made of soft-touch plastic and is pleasant to the touch. A nice plus. the smartphone will be held on this station even if you did not put it down very neatly. The rough coating will keep the device from sliding off the charging surface. Also, as in the first case, in this station you can charge the phone both vertically and horizontally. This feature works equally well.

The indication function is also present in this case. The blue LED in the middle of the smartphone platform lights up only when the smartphone or watch is being charged.

Charging Apple Watch is a little different. The watch no longer lies, but hangs on the L-shaped holder. At the same time, the “night light” function also works during charging, but the numbers are slightly smaller than in the horizontal version. To whom this function is important, then consider this moment when buying. Charging is very easy. just hang your Apple Watch by the strap on the charging area of ​​your Smartwatch on the right side. Charging starts automatically, no other action is required! The magnets work great and keep the watch in place. It is not possible to slide off the holder.

In terms of charging speed and characteristics, the charging stations turned out to be identical, so we will not talk a lot about this. But I would like to note another point, that although our first version had a wider functionality (3 in 1), then in this charging (2 in 1), as if errors were taken into account and, in general, the quality of this charging as a product is higher.

In the lower part of the body of the charging station, there is a weighting agent that prevents it from tipping over with the smartphone. On the bottom, on the invisible part of the case, there are ventilation holes to prevent overheating and anti-slip pads. Once again, I would like to note the high quality of workmanship, as well as minimalism in the details of this charging dock. Everything is done competently, tastefully and nothing more.

Apple AirPower Wireless Charging: Is There a Replacement? Read the docking station overview

Apple’s never-released AirPower wireless charging makes users look for alternatives in the form of a universal solution for all their wearable devices from this company. Users can simultaneously have Airpods, AppleWatch, and, of course, an iPhone, which also needs to be charged. AirPower wireless charging “promised” to do it simultaneously while all of the above devices are just lying on its surface.

It seems that there are no alternatives, and you need to wait for the original charging, but the other day information leaked to the network that you should no longer wait for such a device from Apple, because the company, figuratively speaking, “takes its words back” and no longer even promises to release this long-awaited accessory.

How to add wireless charging function to any smartphone?

For a long time I have at my disposal an iPhone 6S Plus, which does not support wireless charging. But at the same time, I can use the wireless charging function. how?

There is a very budget and original solution to equip any smartphone with wireless charging. For example, for iPhone this is a universal induction wireless charging adapter with a Lightning connector, which does not take up much space and can be installed behind the back cover of any phone (or, in my case, under a case). I just plugged the adapter into the charging port and stowed it under the case. This can be done with any iPhone of previous versions 7, 7, 6S, 6S, 6, 6, 5SE, 5S, 5C, 5.

The truth is, the characteristics of such adapters do not shine, namely, the input is 5V as usual, but the output is only 1000 mA (1A), so we did not talk about fast charging of the device. The test involved an iPhone 6S Plus with a universal iPhone adapter that simply can’t charge fast. However, it is foolish to deny the convenience of this function. Even in this form, it is more convenient than looking for a charger for a smartphone every time and sticking one end into a smartphone and the other into an outlet.

The same adapters exist with a USB Type-C connector and micro-USB for Android phones. Thus, any of your smartphones (even an old one) can support wireless charging if you use a universal induction wireless charging adapter, which costs from 200 rubles, and it can even cost less when bundled with charging.

So, if we return to our charging stations, then we realized the following If you have an iPhone of any generation after the 5th (the wireless charging function can be realized through an adapter). And if you also have Apple Watch and Airpods, then the 3-in-1 charging station will not only be an excellent and functional purchase, but also a stylish accessory next to your bed or on your desktop. By the way, this station can infect not only Apple smartphones, but also other manufacturers that support the wireless charging function.

Charging station 3 in 1

Let’s start with a 3-in-1 wireless charging station (Airpods, iPhone, Apple Watch) with fast charging function. Let’s take a closer look and with passion.

The included power cable is not simple, but USB Type-C! And I want to remind you, maybe someone does not know that fast charging is possible only through the USB Type-C protocol. If you buy a charging station or just a fast charging wire with a mirco-USB connector, you will be disappointed later, because the coveted FAST CHARGE (loud inscription on our copy) works only via the USB Type-C protocol. Don’t be fooled!

It is strange that the kit does not include the power adapter required for complete completeness (in our case, at least 5V / 2A). I would like to see it in a set for this money (you will find out the price a little later by following the link in this article). After reading the short instruction in English, it became clear to us that you can use two types of power adapters 5V / 2A and 9V / 2A. Although the charging station is wireless, it still works from the network, so you need to additionally purchase a power adapter or take the one that you use with your smartphone.

By the way, at the bottom of the instructions, we noticed a mention that the power adapter is still included in the package, and it is the first in the list and with a capital letter (Power adapter), but our package did not include it.

The induction coil in our copy is hidden in the charging “saucer” on the left and the smartphone can be placed on it both vertically and horizontally. Imagine: you can watch a video using the charging station as a stand and your smartphone will also be charged. Thanks to the round shape of the stand, it was possible to achieve smooth operation of this function in any position. It turns out that the position of the smartphone on the charging station does not matter. this is a plus of this charging!

Further, on the right, we noticed an interesting “glass” shape for Airpods. The headphones should fit perfectly here! But there is a nuance, here you cannot charge anything other than branded headphones from Apple, although at the bottom of the “glass” there is a “lightning” connector that is universal for most of Apple’s portable equipment. If it was possible to put a second iPhone or iPodTouch. then the product would be more interesting and more versatile, but who knows, maybe this is left for the next version 🙂 It turns out that those who do not have headphones and do not plan to purchase them in the future. they can safely take a 2-in-1 station, which is cheaper and we will consider it in the second part of our review.

When you infect any of your devices, an unobtrusive blue LED is on at the bottom of this station, which reminds you that at the moment some of the devices are not charged to 100%. When the device is fully charged, smart charging (docking station) will turn off and the LED will turn off. It is convenient and the indication is not annoying.

While the Apple Watch is charging at this station, it turns on the “night clock” mode and large green numbers begin to light up at the slightest rustle of you. I do not know how exactly this was done, but even when the watch is on charge, they all follow you exactly according to the sensors available in the device. When you wake up at night to look at your watch, it is already dim and shows a large display on the display: time, date and day of the week. This helps not to rush to get up and sleep a little more (although someone may not be in a hurry, and will allow themselves to take a nap a little longer. it’s not for nothing that the device shows the date and day of the week :)).

As soon as the phone or watch is near the station, it immediately starts charging. There is no delay or pause in anticipation. Everything happens instantly and always works. During the tests, and this is in the docking station 3 in 1 about 10 times, and, running ahead in charging 2 in 1, much more times, there was not a single misfire. In this respect, the station perfectly fulfills its function.

The bottom of the docking station has rubberized feet against slipping on the table surface, and ventilation holes for cooling the device board. During charging, at least some heating of the station, we did not feel.

Also, on the bottom of the device, we found some interesting technical information. As mentioned above, in the instructions, the manufacturer suggests using two types of power adapters together with this charging station 5V / 2A and 9V / 2A (really fast charging will be only in the second case). In addition, information about the output power for different devices is displayed here. For example, for an iPhone, it will be 5W, 7.5W or 10W depending on the power adapter and device (Plus / Max versions of the iPhone are ready to accept more power than versions with a smaller battery). The power output for Airpods is 3W and the power output for Apple Watch is 2W. Basically, the power is calculated in such a way as to take care of the battery of the devices and not harm them.

Behind the charging station is a USB Type-C input connector for connecting to a 220V network. In our test, we used a 5V / 2A adapter. The phone charged in the same way as from the network, not slower or faster, but now is the time to explain why. And also how you can make any smartphone compatible with the wireless charging station.

Let’s sum up

We did not notice much difference between the charging stations (only the functionality in the form of charging Airpods in the 3-in-1 version), although purely by tactile sensations, the 2-in-1 model seems more attractive.

At the end of the review, we propose to see the functionality of the charging stations in short videos:

They are very slow

The wireless transmission of electric current is based on the concept of electromagnetic induction. If “on the fingers”, then there are two coils of wire, placed at a certain distance from each other. One of them is supplied with a current of a certain magnitude. An electromagnetic field arises between them, and a voltage arises on the second skein. The charge went.

Of course, all of the above has a number of conventions. Power is one of them.

If you turn over modern wireless charging and look at the output voltage and amperage values, you get a power of 5-10 watts. For the most powerful smartphone chargers, this value reaches 20 watts.

But these are not the same watts that are written on a traditional “wired” power supply. In reality, wireless charging has a significantly lower efficiency.

  • Wired charging efficiency is 95. 98%
  • Wireless charging efficiency is less than 80%

That is, the difference in charging speed, at best, differs by 20%. In reality, wireless Qi-chargers replenish the battery capacity two or even three times slower.

They cannot be made powerful

Rather, it is technically possible. No one prevents manufacturers from releasing a charger with a power of 100, 200 or 800 watts, like in a microwave oven. Here are just the influence of that very microwave on everything organic, perhaps, you know.

Yes, the frequency range of these emissions differs, but when the power of wireless charging increases 10-15 times, to charge your smartphone you will have to put it in a special box or leave the room further away.

It is difficult to speed up the charging process for several reasons at once:

How To Add Wireless Charging to the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

  • no one will give a certificate of conformity to companies producing powerful chargers for the sole reason that they are harmful to human health
  • for the release of powerful chargers, they will have to be supplied with weighty transformers, the weight of which reaches 1.5. 3 kg. Can you imagine such an “elegant package” with a new iPhone and powerful charger? Me not.
  • too powerful electromagnetic radiation will “boil the brains” not only of the owner, but also of the smartphone itself

The saddest thing is that even on the official Apple website there is a postscript: during wireless charging, the iPhone may heat up a little. This is at a power of 5 watts. You yourself understand what will happen to the device when using more power.

Qi charging is terribly impractical

For being able to charge your iPhone wirelessly, you’re giving yourself new problems. From now on, you need the most horizontal surface possible. And if, while charging, you received a dozen messages or a couple of colleagues persistently called, returning to the charger, you may find that the iPhone moved off the platform without being charged.

Again, this was not invented by me. Apple itself warns of this. And there are a lot of similar user stories.

Oh yes, the charger can be connected to the magnetic mount. Of course you can, but just do not forget that there are several elements in the iPhone that are not too tolerant of permanent magnetization. For example, compass and camera optical stabilization system.

As a result, one day GPS positioning can go crazy, and your favorite mapping service will lead you into the wilderness. But this will happen, of course, not immediately.

Why wireless charging doesn’t make sense

The idea of ​​wireless transmission of electricity came to the mind of scientists at the end of the nineteenth century. It is scary to imagine what prospects the new technology opened up for humanity.

125 years have passed since the great discovery of Nikola Tesla, but “things are still there”. Rather, some steps towards the wireless future have already been taken, but at their core they are pitiful and helpless.

The Qi wireless charging standard has appeared in both the iPhone X and the iPhone 8/8 Plus. Samsung has applied a similar one for several years BEFORE. LG, ZTE, Nokia and a handful of Chinese have their own Qi solutions.

But if we ignore the five-minute delight and shouts of “Wow, no wires!”, Put the euphoria “on the shelf” and think about the expediency of the technology itself in its current form, you begin to understand that Qi is nothing more than an attempt to squeeze out an additional pair from the consumer. three hundred rubles.

They don’t save time

“It’s more convenient and faster without wires,”. seriously?

How much time do you spend connecting your Lightning Lanyard to your iPhone? I think two seconds.

With wireless charging, it takes one second. Okay, using the Qi standard, I save a maximum of 2 seconds on setting up the smartphone for charging, but at the same time I spend tens of minutes due to their low efficiency.

In the long term, they are extremely unprofitable for small businesses.

Let’s say, in the near future, charger manufacturers will revolutionize and release a Qi-charger with a capacity of 60 watts without drawbacks.

Let’s say that you are the owner of a cozy cafe and you keep up with technological trends. Taking care of the visitors, you bought a hundred expensive chargers and placed a couple at each table.

Suppose, on the most “fishy” days, about a hundred people sit in a fully filled cafe. Every second person decided to recharge their smartphone. People are delighted, and you dutifully pay for three additional kilowatts of consumed energy.

This is just a visual example that can be scaled to infinity.

They have no normal infrastructure

To rejoice in the presence of wireless charging in a smartphone in 2018 is like rejoicing in the NFC module in the iPhone for a resident of Zimbabwe, Costa Rica and other “224 countries of the world”.

It seems that there is a technology, but its application is very controversial.

If you often have to spend time in the waiting room of an airport or train station, spend a day on buses or spend the night in hotels, you know very well that there are no wireless chargers there. And if they come across, then it is extremely rare.

As a result, all convenience again comes down to using a USB cable and finding a free USB port.

What I used to wirelessly charge iPhone 7

To charge my smartphone wirelessly, I used two devices. In addition to the wireless charging pad itself, I needed a Qi receiver.

  • EFIR Qi Receiver
  • Alfacore Smart Power F70 Wireless Charging Pad

I was looking for options with a minimum delivery time to the south of Ukraine, as well as at a low price.

And what do you think? The idea is working, but I was not satisfied with the efficiency of the bundle and the quality of the accessories themselves.

Qi-receiver from EFIR. I got the impression that similar receivers for wireless charging under different brands are actually produced by only one manufacturer from China.

The thing is, they all look pretty much the same. White plastic plate with Qi-standard coil inside, and markings in the same font indicating compatible iPhones.

The receiver slides into the iPhone’s Lightning connector, wraps around the back, and attaches to your protective case.

It is less than a millimeter thick. It seems a little, but your case will bulge anyway, and some models (especially ultra-thin ones) will not fit at all.

This whole structure, which does not look so scary when assembled, is placed on the wireless charging station.

Alfacore Smart Power F70. This is an inexpensive wireless charging station made from matte black plastic on the top and glossy bottom.

It connects to a power supply unit that is not included in the package, or to a computer using a microUSB to USB cable.

The station has only one diode for indication. It glows blue when the station is ready for use, and green when charging has started.

iPhone for charging is placed from the top with the back panel down. If everything is done correctly, a corresponding indication appears on the screen, and its battery begins to fill up with energy.

But as it turns out, it all just sounds so great.

What are the pros and cons of this charging method?

In the end, I really managed to charge the iPhone 7 this way. and more than once.

Nevertheless, I did not get much pleasure from the process. During the week of testing the ligament, I regularly experienced discomfort and generally barely held out the cherished 7 days of testing.

Pros of this wireless charging:

  • No need to plug in to charge, just put it in and pick it up when you need it. at least in theory
  • You feel like a real geek, it’s just a shame to boast

However, I have not experienced any major benefits from wireless charging in general and using additional Qi receivers.

Cons of this wireless charging:

  • To connect anything to the iPhone via Lightning, you need to turn off the Qi-receiver (if you do not remove the case, it is very difficult to do this)
  • Due to a foreign object, the iPhone case puffs up, it looks disgusting and frankly feels bad in the hand
  • To charge, you need to put the iPhone clearly in the center of the charging station, otherwise there will be no miracle (most likely, this is a feature of this particular station)
  • Using iPhone while charging won’t work
  • In this way, the iPhone charges noticeably slower than with a wire

After finishing testing, I hid the Qi receiver and charging station in the closet and exhaled.

Alas, the experiment was unsuccessful. Such crutches are more likely to interfere.

over, I generally think that the Qi wireless charging technology, which is also used in the new iPhones, is absolutely useless.

I use wireless charging with iPhone 7. Not recommended

Wireless charging can be used not only with iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, but also with iPhone 7 and even older Apple smartphones.

You just need a couple of accessories and a little enthusiasm for this.

As for me, wireless charging is not needed at all

Think about it. As it stands, it doesn’t make much sense to wirelessly charge iPhones and other mobile devices.

You need a platform, you can’t pick up the phone or touch it at all. Charging speed is slow. Etc.

Therefore, in most cases, it is more convenient for me to use a wire.

But I know what needs to be changed to be the other way around.

The future of wireless charging is the use of technology to transfer energy over a real distance (for example, an entire room).

Long before the presentation of the iPhone X and other new Apple smartphones, we hoped that the company would make a breakthrough in this direction, because it is allegedly working on wireless charging from a distance with Energous.

Alas, this did not happen, and there were no new rumors for almost six months. Our expectations are either in vain or the technology is too young to go mainstream.

And while there is no real wireless charging without platforms and tambourines, there is no point in using it. this is my stubborn opinion.

Nikolay Gritsaenko

PhD in ripped jeans. I am writing my doctoral thesis on Mac, I keep my iPhone in my hands, I talk about technology and life.