Compliance not Price

When buying wireless charging, always look for Qi certification, says Matt Pluckrose.

Since Apple introduced wireless compatibility (Qi) to its latest phones the market has been awash with transmitters, stands, chargers, power banks, lamps and converters.

All wireless mobile phone chargers for the consumer market are based on the Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) standard. Many suppliers and factories adhere strictly to the Qi standard but sadly not all. There are many low quality, counterfeit products that are potentially dangerous.

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) is addressing this challenge with a certification programme for wireless charging products built to the Qi standard. The WPC tests specific properties, each of which can involve multiple test procedures.

Only products that have passed these tests can use the Qi logo and are considered ‘Qi certified’ and safe. Be cautious of claims of ‘Qicompliant’, ‘Qicompatible’, ‘Qi enabled’ or ‘works with Qi’, as these may indicate a product has not undergone Qi certification testing.

Misleading claims

Testing in independent labs on uncertified products found temperatures reaching up to 205°F if there was a metal foreign object, such as a coin, placed between a charger (transmitter) and smartphone (receiver). The resulting temperature could cause third degree burns.

The temperature of smartphone batteries will normally increase while charging, but wireless charging accessories should not cause additional heating. An uncertified smartphone cover may not prevent heat building in the metal back of the phone. Over time, elevated temperature will degrade and shorten the battery life.

Qi logo

Manufacturers who comply normally legally print the Qi logo on all products and packaging. A lack of a Qi logo on the product or its packaging could indicate that the wireless charging product is uncertified. Only Qi certified products can legally use the Qi logo.

Choosing the right gadget is always tricky and should not be based on price alone. When looking at wireless charging there is great opportunity to impress your clients and ensure compliance when you look for a Qi certified device. Don’tget focused on the cheaper cost or it may come back to haunt your client.

Matt Pluckrose is managing director of Desktop Ideas.

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