Wireless charging may not be as important as water resistance or a great camera, but to me it’s essential.
I’ve had a good run: since about April, I’ve been consistently using a phone with wireless charging. It started with the LG G6 in late February, continued with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in April, transitioned somewhat awkwardly to the Moto Z2 Play and Z2 Force with an optional Moto Mod, and went right through to the end of summer with the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30. Oh, and the iPhone 8 Plus, too.
Sure, there were some blips in between — the HTC U11, the OnePlus 5, the BlackBerry KEYone — but for the most part, the wireless charging pads next to my bed and in my office have been in near-constant use this year.
Wireless charging is still more of a want than a need, but it’s so, so convenient.
That’s coming to an end with the Pixel 2 series. While the phone is practically overflowing with 2017’s best hardware specs, including water resistance, its metal chassis negates the one thing that I’ve come to take for granted from most flagships today. Wireless charging has insinuated itself into my life in ways I didn’t expect; popping a phone onto a charger for a few minutes to top it up before leaving the house is convenient in ways that hunting for a plug never will be. People can criticize Qi charging’s finicky nature — you must place the phone just right, or else — but it doesn’t take long to find the sweet spot.
Wireless charging hasn’t exactly taken off, even with Apple’s newfound support of the standard. It’s the very definition of a want versus a need, and its benefits aren’t clear until it’s had sufficient time to call attention to itself. When first placing a phone on a wireless charger, you may ask, ‘So what? This ain’t all that.’ And that first time, it may be true. But do it again and again, and then buy a second charging pad for somewhere else in your house, and it quickly becomes indispensable.
That the Pixel 2 doesn’t have wireless charging isn’t enough to quell my affection for it, nor dissuade me from buying the larger Pixel 2 XL when it’s available in Canada, but it goes a long way to make me consider the Galaxy Note 8 as my daily driver in the long-term. And with companies like Starbucks expanding their support for in-store wireless charging, and Ikea doubling down on home furniture with the feature built in, it’ll be interesting to see whether a year from now people actually give a damn.
In the meantime, my Note 8 is propped up on its Convertible, and it’s looking pretty damn good right now.