What is reverse wireless charging and which phones have it?

While most of us plug in to charge our phones, wireless charging is on the up. It transfers energy to the receiving device via electromagnetic induction.

So what is reverse wireless charging? The ability to turn the tables; for a wireless charging-capable phone to act as the charging station and be used to charge another wireless device. Be that another phone, or true wireless headphones.

However, it’s a feature in its infancy, first offered by Huawei in the Mate 20 Pro and the Mate 30 Pro, then by Samsung with the S10 series, followed by the Note 10.

It’s now come to the Galaxy S20 series, too. Samsung calls the feature Wireless PowerShare.

How fast is reverse wireless charging?

First thing’s first, reverse wireless charging isn’t quick. This is a low-power solution that’s for emergency top-ups really – like when your friend has forgotten a cable and is down into ‘danger 5 per cent’ territory. Or for getting some extra juice into those wireless charging headphones (we expect more of these to arrive in the future).

Quick charge technology – when using a cable – has been progressing over the years. At best there’s Oppo’s Super VOOC, which can manage 10V/5A (50W). It’ll charge a 3000mAh battery in about 30 minutes.

Qi wireless charging isn’t as quick, but it’s advancing. Oppo announced 30W, while Huawei has brought 27W to the Mate 30 Pro series – although most other phones will still charge at 10/7.5/5W, thus slower. Typically that’ll mean around 120 minutes to charge a 3,000mAh battery.

Reverse wireless charging doesn’t have a set standard and neither Huawei or Samsung has released the specification. Needless to say, however, it’s slower still. Plus the source device will have a limit on how much energy it can output from its battery before that depletes.

Which phones offer reverse wireless charging?

Huawei Mate 30 Pro / Mate 30

The late 2019 launch from Huawei brings more advanced cameras than we’ve seen in any other phone and, interestingly, its reverse wireless charging is three times (3x) the speed of any other phone at present.

  • Read our Mate 30 review

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

This phone debuted reverse wireless charging. Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro can charge any other Qi wireless device, irrelevant of brand, when the feature is set active and the two devices are paired back-to-back.

  • Read our Mate 20 Pro review

Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro is similar to its Mate cousins, albeit with a quad camera setup that’s gunning to be the best in the business.

  • Read our P30 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10+ / S10e / 5G

Not content with just one phone to offer reverse wireless charging, Samsung has gone with all four models in its S10 range. The real takeaway here, however, is that the Galaxy Buds use wireless charging and so can be topped up from the phone.

  • Read our Galaxy S10+ review
  • Read our Galaxy S10 5G review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 / Note 10+

It’s the one with the S Pen stylus! With a release schedule just behind the S10 models, the Note brings even more up-to-date hardware at the same price point. And, but of course, both models also feature reverse wireless charging.

  • Read our Galaxy Note 10+ review

Which phones can be charged by reverse wireless charging?

If you don’t own a relevant Huawei or Samsung phone from the above options then you currently can’t charge other devices using reverse wireless charging. If a friend or colleague does own one of these phones, however, then there’s no limit on what can be reverse charged – so long as it’s Qi wireless charging compatible.

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