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23rd of March 2018

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iPhone wireless phone charging comes at a cost: your battery

Bad news for wireless charging.Bad news for wireless charging.Image: Chesnot/Getty Images2016%2f10%2f18%2f6f%2f2016101865slbw.6b8ca.6b5d9By Sasha Lekach2018-03-12 22:36:05 UTC

Wireless cellphone charging on the iPhone X and 8 sounded too good to be true. We knew there had to be a catch. 

And here it is, as ZDNet contributor Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed out Monday: The battery gets run down much faster with the wireless method, as compared to cable charging. It's more wear and tear on the battery, and eventually it won't stay charged for as long as it once did.

What a bummer.

Kingsley-Hughes determined — based on Apple's claim that an iPhone battery is "designed to retain up to 80 percent of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles" — that his phone would hit 500 charges in about a year and a half. Most phones are expected to keep a charge at 80 percent for two or three years of use. 

In about six months, he's already hit 135 charging cycles. He looked at his charging behavior and realized that since switching over to a wireless charging plate about six months ago, he was eating up his charges at an alarming rate. Now instead of the cord bearing the brunt of power duties, his battery is constantly working to charge. It's a losing battle. 

Other phone users on Android devices have their suspicions about heavy battery wear on the devices with inductive charging.

While some charging tools may automatically turn off when the phone is juiced up to prevent over-charging, it's still a heavy burden on the battery despite the helpful feature.

Even with phones, it's hard to cut the cord. And as wireless charging gets more and more popular and the capability is built into more phones, it's important to know that the convenience comes at a cost.

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