If you just bought a new phone, speakers, or earbuds, chances are it is missing a charger. What you don’t realize is that this is by design and not by mistake.
Updated on February 17, 2022
Why is my new phone missing its charger out of the box?
This intentional omission of universal chargers can be confusing for consumers who have been using micro USB and lightning for years, but it is the future we should all be welcoming. Many manufacturers, including Apple, no longer include chargers with their phones. The lack of charging hardware pushes consumers to use their new MagSafe chargers. On the other hand, companies such as Samsung are also omitting the inclusion of chargers and earbuds to minimize their environmental impact, stating that (Samsung) “believes the removal of earphones and charger plugs from our in-box device packaging can help address the growing e-waste problem and unnecessary duplication of these items.”
Although the loss of charging cables may be a boon for new phone buyers, the coming of universally compatible cables and wireless charging may finally bridge the gap for conflicting cable types. For the past few years, universal charging existed only as a fantasy for tech consumers. We collect more cables than we own the devices we use for them. Today, there is one port we can finally look forward to – USB-C.
The Fellowship of USB-C – One Port To Rule Them All
Today, we stand at the precipice of finally moving in the direction that Tolkien would be proud of: “one port to rule them all, one outlet to charge them, one cable connecting them all, but in the darkness cannot find them.” If we can bring forth a fellowship that we can all unite with, it may not be possible in politics or the choice of condiments to top one’s pizza, but it is conceivable in the type of port our phones charge. This fellowship is made possible with USB-C.
What are the features of USB-C?
There are significant benefits that you will see with the USB-C connector. One is that it is reversible. Reversible means not having to worry about which side is up on your cable when inserting it into a device or charger. Secondly, the connector is small enough to fit within the ever-shrinking devices coming out every day. Nominal sizing and a reversible connection make it easy to keep them charged up even as the ports become smaller than their predecessors.
Does USB-C Make For Faster Data Transfers?
New phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs utilize USB-C ports to charge their batteries and transfer files. For example, new Apple Macbooks and Intel-based computers use Thunderbolt 3 and 4. As per ThunderBoltTechnology.net, “Thunderbolt 4…delivers 40 Gbps speeds and data, video and power over a single connection”, with “double the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1 10Gbps, and DisplayPort 1.2”. StarTech.com offers PCI Express 3.0 controller cards for custom PCs facilitating “speeds up to 20Gbps and enabling fast access to high-performance devices like NVMe drives and SSDs.” Faster data transfers mean that you’re spending less time moving files and more time consuming and using them.
What devices use USB-C?
Apple equips its Macbooks with Thunderbolt and USB-C ports for transferring data while also functioning as charging ports. Their iPad Pros has similar technology, with consumers hoping that their next iPhones will also use USB-C ports, be it the iPhone 14 or later. On the other hand, Samsung has been using USB-C on their devices for a while, which is available on their “Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Z Flip, Note10, Note10+, Fold, S10e, S10, S10+, Fold, Note9, S9, S9+, Note8, S8, and S8+.”
Does USB-C enable fast-charging my phones and other devices?
Today, most chargers come with 18W-45W of charging power, allowing for even faster-charging speeds than ever before. Per Belkin.com, super-fast charging means that “USB-C PD (power delivery) can charge your device up to 70% faster than standard 5W charging”, which was the standard when USB-A was the norm. Belkin states that with PD-enabled devices, such as the latest Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxies, charging up to 50% battery life will only take 30 mins, but it requires that you use 18W chargers and higher.
What are PD and GaN, Gallium Nitride chargers?
The letters PD mean ‘power delivery.’ The newest charging technologies use GaN. Compared to previous chargers, which use silicon components, these chargers allow for smaller sizes. Per HowToGeek.com, “Gallium nitride is a semiconductor material that rose to prominence in the 1990s through the manufacture of LEDs. GaN was used to create the first white LEDs, blue lasers, and full-color LED displays you could see in daylight. In Blu-ray DVD players, GaN produces the blue light that reads the data from the DVD.” They also state that “GaN chargers are not only more efficient at transferring current, but this also means less energy is lost to heat.” If you remember, back in science class, producing heat in thermochemistry means that the system is losing energy to its environment. In this case, that environment includes the charger itself. Thus, less heat loss means more efficient charging.
What is the future of charging devices?
Wireless (Qi – in Chinese medicine, it is translated as “vital energy”) charging is the future of all our smart devices. Though they are not as fast and efficient as USB-C PD chargers, they are still pretty handy. According to Zagg.com, “The days of rummaging for a charging cable and camping by a wall outlet are over. Charging your smartphone is as easy as placing it on a charging pad.” Most new phones, including the latest iPhone 13 and Galaxy S21, use wireless charging technology, so investing in Qi-enabled chargers will future-proof your charging needs.
Where can I find fast-charging, USB-C PD (power delivery), USB-C chargers, and Wireless Qi chargers?
If you’re looking for a charger for your new Samsung Galaxy S21 and Apple iPhone 13 Max, look no further. We made a list of places where you can find these new styles of chargers.
Fast Charging USB-C Cable Chargers:
- BestBuy – https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?id=pcat17071&st=fast+charger
- Target – https://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=fast+chargers
- Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/s?k=fast+chargers
- Belkin – https://www.belkin.com/us/chargers/c/wall/?q=%3AsortByProductRank%3AFeaturesFilter%3AUSB-C+Power+Delivery
Fast Charging Wireless-Qi Chargers:
- BestBuy – https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?st=wireless+charger&_dyncharset=UTF-8&_dynSessConf=&id=pcat17071&type=page&sc=Global&cp=1&nrp=&sp=&qp=&list=n&af=true&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&keys=keys
- Target – https://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=wireless+chargers
- Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/s?k=wireless+chargers&
- Zagg.com & Mophie – https://www.zagg.com/en_us/wireless
If we can bring forth a fellowship that we can all unite with, it may not be possible in politics or the choice of condiments to top one’s pizza, but it is conceivable in the type of port our phones charge. This fellowship is made possible with USB-C.Tells us which chargers and cables you’ve been using: on discord or Give us a comment below!
USB-C cables and chargers offer an increased power output that was not previously available from earlier USB incarnations. It can charge faster than ever before and may prove to be the change that electronic manufacturers need to make wireless charging viable in the future. Thunderbolt 3 and 4 and USB 3.2 allow for increased data transfer rates co-evolving with new laptops and PCs released every year.
With the industry pushing towards fast wireless charging and speedy wireless data transfers, it could mean that our future devices will automatically and wireless charge and connect to the web without ever being near a charger or a wireless access point; talk about long-distance device relationships.