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.
In what felt like a blink of an eye, the year passed by us. As we look up to the new year looming on the horizon, we can’t help but wonder what the future holds in store for us. What kind of intriguing new tech will 2024 bring us, I wonder?
As I ponder over what we can expect from the upcoming year, I’ve also made a list of expectations that I hope to see fulfilled. Although some might be classified as wishful thinking, I still hope that some of what I want to see from accessories in 2024 actually materializes.
Qi2 wireless charging on Android
While we’ve been raving about MagSafe adapters and accessories for Android, this is a temporary DIY solution until Qi2 becomes a reality. At the start of the year, we didn’t have much to go on apart from some wild guesses and rumors. The WPC had confirmed that Qi2 would eventually replace Qi as the wireless charging standard, but no exact timeline was revealed as to when this could happen.
Thankfully, Qi2 was officially launched in November, meaning we can fully expect to see this magnetic wireless charging feature in 2024’s flagship phones. I myself am beyond excited and can’t wait to see how this will transform the accessories market. Fingers crossed we see Qi2 on the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 9 series!
Faster charging speeds in mainstream flagships
This might feel a little off-tangent, but charging speeds are directly related to accessories and greatly affect the industry. Smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo, and OPPO have all transcended the boundaries of wired charging speeds. Where the top-of-the-line Android phones from these companies support over 120W wired charging speeds, it is embarrassing that Samsung and Google’s phones still don’t charge over 30W to 45W speeds and can’t truly take advantage of the best 100W USB-C chargers.
These abysmal numbers are weak and they really need to change. If 2024 does not bring us mainstream flagship phones that charge at up to 65W at least, then those brands will have failed us spectacularly.
We’re not even talking about wireless charging here, which is another sore topic. If OnePlus can add 80W SUPERVOOC wireless charging to its devices and still sell them for less than Samsung’s upper-tier devices, why can’t Samsung do the same? The tech exists, so we know it’s feasible to pull this off. To brands like Samsung and Google, I say this: do better.
Qi wireless charging gear with MagSafe support
There’s no shortage of excellent wireless charging pads and stands out there. However, there aren’t any MagSafe chargers for Android to speak of. In fact, I don’t think any exist apart from the Mophie Snap+, which comes with a MagSafe adapter ring for Android phones.
Now that MagSafe accessories are all the rage and everyone can use them with adapters, accessory manufacturers need to up their game. Anker, UGREEN, Baseus, ESR, and all the other bigwigs need to start making versatile magnetic wireless chargers and wireless charging power banks that support both iOS and Android devices. This means adding Qi wireless charging and other specs to their newer chargers.
If you think the idea is a little outlandish, let me remind you that Qi2 is almost here. It would be cleverly preemptive of accessory makers to get a headstart on what is clearly going to be the new industry standard for all phones. Let’s face it: magnetic wireless charging is the future.
The end of proprietary smartwatch bands
Samsung, Fossil, Amazfit, Skagen, and a whole bunch of other smartwatch makers all use the universal quick-release watch bands. As more and more wearables strive to follow a unified industry standard, Google went ahead and felt the need to screw it up for everyone.
The Pixel Watch and succeeding Watch 2 use the same proprietary watch band connectors, but it still sucks that we can’t use any quick-release bands with them. Google didn’t even launch an official adapter to help facilitate this process, leaving us at the mercy of unreliable Amazon buys that may or may not fall off at any point in time.
I don’t know why Google felt like being a special snowflake and decided to opt for proprietary connectors for its smartwatches. To add insult to injury, it then decided to make first-party bands insanely pricey. Whatever the reason, I seriously hope the brand fixes this with at least an official adapter that connects quick-release bands to Pixel wearables.
More hybrid chargers and charging solutions
Anker loves to mix things up, combining functions and experimenting with multipurpose accessories. The Anker 511 PowerCore Fusion 5K sets a great example for the rest to follow, and it was one of my top 10 things to come out of 2023. I sincerely hope that more and more charging brands craft hybrid chargers like it going forward.
Power banks are great, but they are also heavy. Oftentimes, we have to choose between carrying a charger and a portable power bank because of how heavy these accessories can be. Hybrid chargers fix this solution by combining charging bricks and battery packs into one neat solution. Throw in wireless charging, and you won’t need to buy three separate chargers anymore.