iPhone X’s Wireless Charging Could Wreck Your Phone’s Battery Life

The iPhone X is displayed at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The iPhone X and iPhone 8’s wireless charging feature has a dark side. While it’s extremely convenient to charge your phone without a cable, it looks like wireless charging drains your battery. ZDNet contributor Adrian Kingsley-Hughes found that when he switched from cable charging to wireless charging the number of recharge cycles on his iPhone increased. This is worrying because, according to Apple’s website, the iPhone’s battery is built to hold up to 80 percent of its original capacity until it reaches 500 complete charge cycles.

As Mashable notes, most iPhones hold 80 percent of their full capacity for about two years, but Kingsley-Hughes says that he’s reached 135 cycles after only about six months of use.

So, why does wireless charging increase your recharge frequency? It’s simple. As Kingsley-Hughes points out when the iPhone is charging via the USB cable, the phone is also using that cord to power itself. The battery loses some juice during this process but not that much. But, during wireless charging, the battery doesn’t get a rest while it’s being loaded with power. So, this constant draining of your battery means that you’ll need to recharge more often.

The wireless charging feature employs magnetic induction to charge your phone which is why it’s also known as inductive charging. On its website, Apple warns users that the phone might get hotter when it’s charging and that if it gets too hot, the phone will automatically restrict the battery from charging above 80 percent to prolong the life of the battery.

It isn’t just Apple users that are complaining about this problem. Android users have also been noticing that wireless charging could be undermining their phone batteries, at least according to posts on this forum at XDA-Developers.

So, it looks like iPhone X and iPhone 8 users may have to make a choice between the convenience of being able to charge their phones wirelessly or the necessity of replacing their battery in a much shorter time. The good news is that the phone’s one-year warranty comes with service coverage for a faulty battery. But if the phone is beyond its warranty, the company offers a battery service for $79, plus $6.95 shipping, which is subject to local tax.