Qualcomm masters wireless charging on smartphones with metal exteriors

Qualcomm has announced that the company has engineered a solution to enable wireless charging on mobile phones that sport metallic exteriors. Utilizing Qualcomm's WiPower technology, the company has made it so should you own a smartphone with a metal casing (and this new tech), you'll also be able to take full advantage of wireless charging.

Steve Pazol, General Manager of Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated, commented on the announcement:

"Building a wireless charging solution into devices with metal exteriors is a significant step for moving the entire industry forward. Today, more device manufacturers are choosing to utilize metal alloys in their product designs to provide greater structural support and, of course, aesthetics. QTIs engineering advancement eliminates a major obstacle facing wireless power and opens up the continued adoption of this desirable feature to a much wider range of consumer electronics and use cases."

Check out the press release below for more details.

Qualcomm Becomes First Company to Enable Wireless Charging for Mobile Devices with Metal Cases

SAN DIEGO, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced it has engineered a solution to allow wireless charging for devices with metal exteriors. The solution, which uses Qualcomm® WiPower™ technology, is designed to be compliant with the Rezence™ standard and becomes the first announced solution to support wireless charging for metal devices, serving as another proof point of Qualcomm Technologies' commitment to innovation in wireless power. The techniques for designing a device to charge through a metal back cover, as well as the full suite of WiPower reference designs, are available today to WiPower licensees.

The ability to charge smartphones and other devices without wires offers unmatched convenience to consumers, and until now, charging a device with a metal exterior has been incompatible with wireless charging technologies.

"Building a wireless charging solution into devices with metal exteriors is a significant step for moving the entire industry forward," said Steve Pazol, General Manager of Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated. "Today, more device manufacturers are choosing to utilize metal alloys in their product designs to provide greater structural support and, of course, aesthetics. QTIs engineering advancement eliminates a major obstacle facing wireless power and opens up the continued adoption of this desirable feature to a much wider range of consumer electronics and use cases."

WiPower, as well as other technologies that meet the Rezence standard, operate at a frequency that is more tolerant of metal objects that come within the charge field. Up to now, this meant one could typically have objects such as keys and coins in the charge field and not affect the charging process. Today, WiPower has added the ability to have the device itself made of metal. This advancement maintains WiPower's existing ability to charge devices requiring up to 22 watts today, at speeds equal to or faster when compared to other wireless charging technologies.

Based on Near Field Magnetic Resonance technology, WiPower enables greater flexibility and convenience in wireless charging, allowing a wide range of compatible consumer-electronic and handset devices to charge without the need for precise alignment or direct physical contact. Additionally, the technology enables simultaneous charging of multiple devices with different power requirements while using Bluetooth Smart to minimize hardware requirements.

As a founding member of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), Qualcomm is actively engaged in the advancement of wireless charging, becoming one of the first member companies to receive Rezence certification on multiple receiver and transmitter designs.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

53 Comments
  • This is big news. Hope the next flagship will come with this (nt talking about talkman/cityman)
  • Hope it shuts up the whiners...
  • Nope, they've both polycarbonate with metal rings, like the Lumia 925 and 930 before them.
  • He meant after the 950 and 950 XL. ;)
  • A Surface type phone all metal this Spring would be sweet especially with this new tech.
  • One could dream but that would indeed be perfect. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hopefully MS will incorporate it with the new Lumias
  • I wonder if they will since they support Qi standard over this one.
  • I'd much rather see the Qi wireless standard acquire similar tech, than to see Microsoft switch. Microsoft switching means all of their peripherals switching, which means owners of Lumia devices prior to the switch, are left out in the cold. And considering that working with metal frames is an engineering issue, that both Qi and WiPower have been trying to solve, then it is only matter of time before Qi comes up with their on solution anyway.
  • Will Windowsphone from Microsoft use this before 2017 or before any other innovation made by Qualcomm
  • I don't know, hold on, I'll go as Satya...he's right here............uhm, he's busy with his head in the "Cloud"
  • He's on 'cloud 9'. Not sure if that's a new Azure product or what.
  • No metal for me! One droop and is done, bye bye aesthetic!
  • Yeah, I'm with you. Wanted to buy the 830, but after owning a 925, I guess I'm done with metal framed phones. They're beautiful until the first drop. Ended up getting the 640 and I'm very happy with it.
  • While I don't like my 830 for various reasons, toughness is not one of them. This phone has taken some hard drops and kept going, including falling off the top of a moving vehicle - it was plugged into a portable battery, the charger shattered but the phone was fine.
  • I know this is off topic but i just want to know if i can restore my windows 8.1 settings and app backup after installing Windows 10 via Windows insiders
  • Windows Phone Recovery Tool on a PC
  • Seconded...
  • What? XD they're asking if there is a way to restore back ups (of apps/games data, which u can backup in the settings) they aren't on about rolling back to wp8.1 XD
  • Yes, you can. After WF10 installation during the set up sign up with your MS account and you will be given that choice if a backup exist on the MS servers.
  • Thanks
  • Hmm, no demo? I wonder how big and efficient such a solution would be. Sounds like a lab experiment at this point.
  • Do I understand correctly that this solution is not compatible with Qi, but it is a different standard?
  • That's correct. Not compatible with Qi. There is Qi, PMA, Rezence, and Open Dots for wireless charging standards that are competing. PMA and Rezence are supposed to be merging, but not sure exactly how that would be managed as far as the tech goes. Out of the standards available, I think I'd prefer this new development with Rezence, since I could have one charging pad and charge up to 8 devices "near" it without having to be "centered just right" on it.
  • They will call this the Pretendo Qii-U, for universal.
  • I sure as hell hope the Cityman and Talkman are metal now!!
  • That would be nice.
  • The renders were released as polycarbonate and the source said it looks exactly like it. The chance of it being completely metal is slim. Maybe a metal edge, but that's about it.
  • I would definitely get Cityman/Talkman if they had a metal band around the phone similar to Lumia 930
  • MS is using Qi wireless which is another charging standard than the one Qualcomm is working on...this means no wireless charging in metal cityman or talkman possible... :(
    But maybe with the flagship generation after these... ;)
  • Looks like our work here is done.
  • For fucks sake stop with these scrolling ads. It makes scrolling and navigation atrocious!
  • So I guess wireless charging will become mainstream on Android and those ppl will boast about it like it's the newest thing. Meanwhile, we've been wirelessly charging for years. Side note, looking forward to seeing how MS can take advantage of this as well.
  • Or worse, sometime from now, there'll be news that stated "Apple just invented wireless charging on their new iPhone 6s".
  • No they'll "reinvent" it like they did with their latest macbook :D
  • That cool  
  • I have never liked smartphones with metal bodies.  They are boring and ugly.  One of the big attractions for me has always been the colorful shells used for Lumias.
  • Off topic..any idea about Live Lock Screen BETA?? What happened to it??
  • Forgotten.
  • Better yet what happened to the live lock screen Rudy Hyun was working on? #Forgotten
  • I belive Microsoft is integrating options for lock screen right into Windows 10 Mobile so there would be no need for a separate app. Then again, I hope other developers come out and do something as well
  • nice idea, but yet not Qi compatible, well not compatible with any other current tech :(
  • Then i now support a fully Metal Lumia
  • Probably will wind up in iPhone/Galaxy 7 effectively killing other standards
  • Keep in mind a charging pad can be made that will support multiple standards. It plugs in and is practically stationary so I'm not sure why someone wouldn't do it. Allow a switch that turns on one standard or the other, or if not that complex, then enable more than one at once.
  • Nice! I still prefer polycarbonate unibody phones... :-)
  • Just when you start to think something is impossible...
  • So, I guess Panos will be shipping the first full metal surface phone in the first quarter of 2016 after all. Guess I won't be getting a Lumia 950 or 950XL after all......I'll wait for Surface Pro Mobile 1 (wishful thinking)!
  • I don't have to worry I gave a Nokia Lumia 1520. And a Nokia QI wireless charger which I'm very happy with.
  • I don't like metal phones anyways. My Lumia Icon's metal edge seemed like a great idea until mysterious nicks started appearing all over it. I think I'll stick with polycarbonate.
  • Oh Look, another competing wireless charging standard in the mix, Qi is the most widespread till now with many manufacturer's supporting it. So, unless Qualcomm gives it for free with their SOC's, it is not going to make a dent in the market.
  • What is the appeal of an all metal case? Esthetics? Durability? It can't be usability because my old Tungesten was slippery as heck. And they get cold in the winter.
  • The plastic boys can keep their plastic. Nothing is impossible!