How safe are wireless chargers, really?
It’s perfectly safe to be in close proximity to a wireless charger, so you can continue to charge your phone on your nightstand overnight, or on your desk all day at work. When your wireless charger is not connected to a smartphone or a tablet, it emits a harmless signal that searches for a wireless charging receiver coil, like the one in your smartphone. Because the receiver coil (in your smartphone) needs to be in contact with the coil in the charging base, the signal does not extend into the air around it. When your smartphone makes physical contact with the charging base, the signal focuses on the receiver coil in your phone and charging begins. The whole wireless charging process emits less radiation than a phone that is connected to a mobile network.
Will the charger get hot?
All chargers create some heat as they charge. Wall chargers, docks, even portable power banks lose some energy in the form of heat. Wireless chargers are no different. Chargers that have been through extensive efficiency testing will minimize the amount of energy wasted through heat, so it’s worth choosing a reputable brand. Belkin chargers offer additional safety protocols built in to the circuitry – these advanced chipsets will shut down if they detect excessive heat to protect you and your devices.
What certification should I look for?
Look for a Qi certified wireless charging pad to ensure compatibility with your wireless charging smartphone or tablet.
Accreditation that your charger has been developed specifically for your smartphone means it is more likely to work seamlessly, without compromising your smartphone’s features and capabilities. Look for compatibility icons for your specific model of smartphone.
Check for international safety standards to guarantee a charger adheres to legal guidelines on safety. These assure safe levels of emissions and manufacture using non-hazardous materials. The laws are different for each country but key ones to look for include:
- UL Listed
What if my wireless charger gets wet?
Some smartphones claim they are water-resistant or even waterproof, but most wireless chargers will not be. As with all electrical devices that connect to a power outlet, liquid can be very dangerous. Don’t get your wireless charger wet, and make sure your phone is dry before you set it down to charge.
Can I overcharge my smartphone?
Most charging pads will safely trickle charge your phone battery to keep it fully charged at all times, so it’s perfectly safe to leave it on the charging pad or mat overnight or for an extended period of time. Trickle charging refers to when the battery dips below 100% while still on the pad and a small amount of current is supplied to the battery to keep it fully charge at all times.
Chargers with intelligent microchips, also known as smartchips, will only deliver the precise amount of power that your smartphone requires. While they may be capable of delivering more power, this will only be activated for phones or tablets with higher charging capability.
Although your charging pad or base is connected to a wall outlet which can be affected by lightning strikes and other power surges, the wireless charger cannot pass increased voltages on to your smartphone. This makes wireless charging safer for your smartphone than charging directly from a power outlet.
What if an object is sitting on the wireless charger?
A poorly-made charger may not be able to detect if a foreign object – like your keys or a coin – are sitting on the pad under your smartphone. This may cause the charging pad to continue to emit power, not only hurting your device but potentially melting the foreign objects on the pad. That’s why it is important to look for a charger with a foreign object detector which will shut down charging and alert you - usually with an LED light - that something other than a compatible device is in contact with the charger. This will help prevent unsafe charging.
What kind of warranty do I need?
Qi certification guarantees compatibility with smartphones and tablets engineered with the Qi standard. However, it vouches only for the configuration of technology, and not for the quality of materials used, the overall lifespan of the product, or even the safety of the user. When choosing a wireless charger, ensure you choose one with a good warranty to protect your smartphone and yourself.