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Phone Cases And Wireless Charging: What You Need To Know

Now that Apple and Samsung (among others) are using the same wireless charging standard in their phones, more people are ready to join in on the wireless power fun. (That’s probably why you’re reading!) Setting a phone down on a charging pad is straightforward enough, the more important question: which phone cases will block wireless charging?

The need-to-know basics

  • Qi is the most popular wireless charging standard being used.
  • You want to look for chargers that are Qi-certified, rather than chargers that might use tricky language like compatible with Qi charging.
  • Sticking to Qi-certified chargers will provide the best performance and safest wireless charging experience.
  • Having a case on your phone will not block wireless charging–by default.

A quick debrief on wireless chargers

Wireless, inductive, charging works by connecting the coil built into compatible phones and a electromagnetic coil in the charging pad.

  • More coils = a larger target area to set the phone down
  • More coils ≠ stronger charging
  • Inductive (wireless) charging works with cases less than 7mm thick.
  • Wireless charging can work through different materials–silicon, leather, plastic, wood, etc.

Will my case work with wireless charging?

There are too many cases out there to name specifics, but, with the above info about charging area and materials for Qi wireless chargers, you can make some safe assumptions about why your phone case might or might not work.

  • Those “unbreakable,” cases may be too thick.
  • Fancy gold-plated or metal cases could block the signal.
  • Adding a metal plate on the back of a basic case for a magnetic car mount will also probably block the signal.
  • Putting Popsockets or ring holders on the back of the phone could make the distance too far.
  • Wallet cases with cards on the back may make the case too thick.

Pro Tip 1: Wireless charging won’t automatically damage credit cards in wallet cases, but it can. You should remove the cards to avoid issues.

Pro Tip 2: Foreign object detection is used in Qi chargers to avoid heating up accidentally. Chips in credit cards and other parts of cases can trigger this FOD.

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LG Pay, Competitor To Samsung Pay, May Be Delayed In U.S.

LG

LG is preparing to launch LG Pay – its competitor to Samsung Pay (and other digital wallets) in the U.S. However, we uncovered some intel that indicates that we might have to wait a lot longer than expected…

It’s been heavily rumored and reported that LG Pay would make its U.S. debut by June, but new job listings for a Manager of Mobile Service Operation and Customer Service position, among others on the digital wallet team seem to indicate the actual launch is still much further out.

lg pay

One of the key nuggets in the Service Operation and Customer Service job posting, which went live on May 29th 2018, is that this person will be responsible for “LG Pay testing and operation before launch.” This person will also need to “Develop, update and manage EULA [end user license agreement]” which does not seem to suggest the launch of LG Pay any time soon.

There are also now listings for a Senior Manager of LG Pay Business Development/Partnerships, and a Marketing Manager. Both of these positions’ descriptions point towards there still being lots of groundwork that needs to be done before LG phones in the U.S. get their own first-party payment system.

While a June launch looks June looks nearly impossible with these key foundational components not yet in place, LG Pay is certainly still coming to the U.S. market. At this point, it’s just a matter of when.

But, if it takes too much longer there’s a big question of whether it will even matter – as many people may have already started using other digital wallets.

LG launched the payment service in South Korea in 2017 and it uses a similar technology to Samsung Pay called Magnetic Secure Transmission, which allows wider compatibility with credit card swiping terminals.

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The USB Cable Guide: Do You Need Type-C, Micro USB, Or Lightning?

usb cables

Here’s a super quick guide to help figure out which type of USB cable you need to charge your mobile device. The three most common connection types for phones and tablets are USB Type-C, Micro USB, and Lightning.

If you use an Apple iPhone or iPad, you want a Lightning cable. Simple as that.

USB Type-C and Micro USB are a little trickier to determine because, at a glance, they’re both small and look pretty similar. Micro USB had been the default connector type for Android devices and other electronics, but USB Type-C is beginning to slowly take its place to become the new standard.

different cable connectors

One way to tell the two apart is that the Type-C connector doesn’t have a top or bottom. It’s an oval, so it doesn’t matter which orientation way you plug it in. Conversely, the Micro USB connector does have a specific way it needs to be plugged in because it’s flat on the bottom and angled on the top.

Devices with USB Type-C

There’s no hard and fast rule for whether your device will use USB Type-C. It could have been used for a device manufactured from 2015 onward. But, here are a few of the most popular devices that need a USB Type-C charging cable:  

  • Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S9, Note 8, A7, A5, A3
  • Google’s Pixel, Pixel 2, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P
  • LG’s V20, V30, G6, G7
  • The Essential Phone
  • Nintendo Switch

Motorola, Xiaomi, HTC, Huawei, and OnePlus each have USB Type-C devices as well.

If you don’t see your device listed here AND it’s more than a year or two old, there’s a good chance you need a Micro USB cable.