The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) is dedicated to developing and promoting new wireless charging standards, especially the Qi standard. It introduced Qi2 to the world in January 2023, which seems a long time ago now.
Manufacturers that expressed support for Qi2 included, among others, Anker, Belkin, and Mophie, as well as the Apple, which added Qi2 support in its iPhone 15 range. But despite the initial plan to have Qi2-enabled devices available to buy before Christmas 2023, no other phone maker launched a Qi2-compatible device.
At the time of writing in January 2024, no Android phones have yet been given Qi2 certification. But we have our suspicions about which models will get it. Before we get to that, we need to explain exactly what is Qi2 wireless charging and how it differs from the first-generation Qi.
What is Qi wireless charging?
Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) is a standard developed by the WPC for inductive electrical power transfer over distances of up to 4cm (1.6 inches). In other words, wireless charging.
If your phone supports Qi charging, all you have to do is get yourself a Qi charging pad of some description. Simply plug that it in and position your compatible phone in the correct spot and it will start to charge.
There’s a common misconception with wireless charging that your phone isn’t physically connected to a power source. While this is technically accurate, it’s important to note that the charging pad itself needs to be connected to a power supply, whether it be a wall plug, power bank or even a laptop. Therefore, it’s only truly wireless when you’re using a charged-up power bank, but even that will need a wire when it needs a recharge.
Chris Martin / Foundry
What’s the difference between Qi and Qi2?
Qi2 introduces two significant changes. First, Qi2 delivers double the charging power, reaching up to 15W, compared to the original Qi’s 7.5W.
While higher wattages have been achieved previously, such as OnePlus flagship devices supporting wireless charging up to 50W or the Galaxy S23 and iPhones back to the iPhone 12 with wireless charging up to 15W, achieving such speeds typically required purchasing proprietary accessories, often branded with the smartphone manufacturer’s logo.
Qi2 is set to become the new standard for both smartphones and chargers, regardless of manufacturer, and will deliver 15W of charging irrespective of the specific combination of charger and device used.
That’s just the start. In future, updates to the standard will allow faster charging at higher wattages. There’s nothing official, though, so we can’t tell you if that’s 50W or even more. Another aspect that is unclear is whether you will need to buy a new charger, or if any Qi2 charger will in future support faster speeds. Our suspicion is that when the Qi2.1 standard appears, a new generation of chargers will also appear.
iOttie’s upcoming Velox Pro is a Qi2 car mount, launching in spring 2024
Second, Qi2 incorporates features inspired by Apple’s MagSafe technology, notably the Magnetic Power Profile (MPP). It enables manufacturers to incorporate magnets into their devices (such as Android phones), which make it far easier and more efficient to wirelessly charge them.
As the magnets accurately align the charging coils in both phone and charger, it means less energy is lost as heat which means your phone (or whatever device it is) doesn’t get so hot when charging. And this, in turn, makes Qi2 considerably better for the long-term health of your smartphone’s battery.
For iPhone users, though, Qi2 isn’t really a significant change, as these capabilities are already provided by MagSafe accessories. However, it’s a big deal for Android devices, because using magnets previously required the purchase of specific accessories such as a case and charger.
Also worth mentioning is that any devices that manufacturers intend to integrate with the Qi2 standard must undergo a thorough verification and certification process. One of the requirements of the WPC – once the process has been successfully passed and the standard has been adopted – is that the Qi2 logo is placed on the device. This will therefore reduce the likelihood of devices falsely advertising themselves as a Qi2-enabled.
While third-party wireless chargers will still be available, it’s less likely that uncertified alternatives will be found on stores like Amazon or AliExpress.
What phones support Qi2?
At the time of writing, the only devices that are Qi2 certified are the iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 series. All models in each series are compatible, so long as they’ve been updated to iOS 17.2.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The WPC boasts nearly 400 members, including most smartphone brands, so it probably comes as no surprise that quite a few flagship Android phones launching in 2024 will feature Qi2 support.
Among these we expect the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24 the Google Pixel 9 series to have Qi2. At this point, however, we have no official information.
Which wireless chargers support Qi2?
Despite announcements from companies such as Anker, Belkin, and Mophie at IFA 2023 regarding Qi2-compatible hardware, certified wireless chargers for purchase are not yet available.
We expect this situation to change in early 2024 as a slew of chargers are being announced at CES from a variety of brands including those already mentioned plus ESR, Nomad and iOttie. There will be a range of chargers, including desktop stands, pads and car mounts.
There are still many unanswered questions about Qi2. We spoke to iOttie to discover the ins and outs of backwards compatibility and more. Here’s what they told us:
Will future Android phones with Qi2 charge on Qi2 MagSafe chargers?
Yes they will, and at the full 15W.
If I add a magnetic ring adapter to my non-Qi2 Android phone, will it work on a Qi2 charger?
It should, yes. But it will charge at only 5W, not 15W. It’s possible that some current Android phones will gain Qi2 certification (but will still require an adapter) but there isn’t much point in buying a Qi2 charger if you don’t already have a Qi2-certified phone.
Will Qi2-certified Android phones charge on an old MagSafe charger?
It’s also unknown at present how a Qi2-certified Android phone would behave on an old MagSafe or MagSafe-compatible charger that does not support Qi2.