Join Namerah Saud Fatmi as she explores the cool, quirky, and sometimes downright odd world of smartphone accessories, gadgets, and other nerdy toys every week.
It is almost time — the Samsung Galaxy S24 release is just one day away. As the world holds its breath and counts down to the launch, everyone and their grandmother have been sharing leaks, passing along rumors, and forming speculations about the upcoming trio of Samsung devices.
The S24 Ultra is bound to be the best Android phone of the year, so I can’t help but speculate about it myself. What I’m wondering the most is what direction Samsung is going to head in this time with changes. Last year’s upgrades were menial, to say the least. We got the exact same chassis, battery, and charging specs, as well as nearly identical gear underneath the hood with iterative upgrades. Judging by this trend, the S24 series probably won’t be any different.
One thing’s for certain, though. Adding the new Qi2 standard to the S24 series would be the best thing that Samsung can do for its flagship lineup. The Galaxy S Series is starting to go stale, and the magnetic wireless charging feature is sure to spice things up.
Samsung hasn’t revealed anything that shook the industry in a minute. When the S Pen was first included inside the Note S series, that was something. When they folded a Galaxy S device in half, that was noteworthy. But now, we basically get the same phone as last year, updated with a few minor tweaks and relaunched in the same body nearly every year.
It’s no secret that Samsung’s design language has gotten annoyingly boring recently. A lot of people are getting tired of the same old rectangular slab without many distinctive features. In fact, colors aside, telling the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra apart is nearly impossible. Based on the leaks we’ve seen so far, it looks like the S24 Ultra isn’t going to be any different, either.
If Samsung doesn’t want to keep disappointing fans, it needs to do something fresh and innovative. Just like Google, the Korean smartphone maker needs to take bold risks. It paid off for the Pixel series, so why not for the Galaxy S series?
This is why Qi2 is the best thing that the brand can do to keep the S24 series exciting and alive. Since no one else in the Android space has done it yet, this would be an industry-leading move and would certainly generate a lot more buzz and interest.
MagSafe accessories have risen in popularity recently. Accessory makers have taken note of the demand for this Apple-exclusive feature and invented ways to port it over to Android phones. However, solutions like MagSafe adapters are imperfect.
For example, take any one of the best MagSafe wireless chargers in the market. It won’t support fast wireless charging profiles for Android brands like Samsung or Google. Trust me, I know this because I’ve searched high and low for one that can. If a phone brand like Samsung brought this feature to its latest Galaxy S lineup, accessory makers would finally start making MagSafe accessories that take Android into account.
Then there’s another problem. Currently, even if you’re a few millimeters off, Qi wireless chargers stop transmitting power if the position of the coils doesn’t match. You end up having to have to shift your device around until it is realigned.
Announced at CES 2023, Qi2 is based on the exact same technology as Apple’s MagSafe. Because it is magnetic, it solves one of the biggest issues with Qi wireless charging today. Magnetism holds the wireless charger in place, making sure the coil is perfectly aligned with your device constantly.
Qi2 doesn’t just make wireless charging convenient, but it also does so efficiently and safely while setting a standard for everyone to follow. The tech uses an energy-efficient method of wireless charging called Magnetic Power Profile and an enhanced version of the Extended Power Profile. On top of that, it gives accessory makers a standard to follow, unifying the industry. If you see a Qi2-certified charger, you’ll already know that it is compatible with your Android phone.
Writing about Qi2 last year, Android Central’s Andrew Myrick said that “we’re on the precipice of a shift in accessories,” and he was on the dot about the matter. Now that Qi2 has been officially released and is ready for consumer use, it’s up to smartphone brands like Samsung to take that first brave leap.
Samsung is big enough to be able to debut a new feature like Qi2 successfully on its top-of-the-line family of phones. Bringing the next generation of Qi wireless charging to the S24 series can usher in a new era of accessories. It would likely push every other Android phone maker in the world to adopt the standard and popularize it even more.
Sure, the first generation of any technology can be a precarious decision on Samsung’s part. Even though Qi2 may be market-ready, unexpected problems could surface.
For example, Samsung faced a similar situation with the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip series. Samsung took that gamble. The first few foldables suffered from issues with the hinge, the display, and the battery. Samsung fumbled along the way, made mistakes, and learned from them. Now, the Z Fold and Z Flip as we know them are no longer plagued by these problems, and Samsung’s foldables are some of the most popular devices in the world.
Based on this, I believe Samsung has the resources and reputation to be able to debut Qi2 in its latest phones and breathe new life into the Galaxy S24 series. That said, the rumor mill has been relatively quiet on that front, and it’s starting to seem unlikely that Qi2 will arrive on the Galaxy S24, which would be unfortunate.
Following its success with foldables, the time is nigh for Samsung to take on another weighty task: making Qi2 mainstream.