These days a lot of phones come with wireless charging compatibility. This is where you place the phone on a dedicated charging pad and watch the battery fill up “by magic.”

This new technology is very exciting, but it also raises a lot of questions. For example, how does wireless charging fare against wired charging? Is wireless charging just a gimmick, or is it time to throw out those five different USB cables you have around the home?

Let’s take a look at both and where each one shines.

Wired Charging

Wired charging has a lot of positives, despite being the less “flashy” variant of the two. For one, not every phone can use a wireless charger. This is fine if your phone does have it, but if you have a friend over that needs to top up their phone, they might be out of luck. Plus, if you get too attached to wireless charging, you’ll find all your future phone purchases will require wireless functionality, too.

Charger Comparison Wired

Wires are also great for travel. If you’re going on a trip, packing a wireless charger can be a bit of a hassle. For wires, you just wrap it up and stuff it in a bag, and you’re good to go. You can also get plug socket extensions to USB charger cables, so you’re never caught without a place to top up.

If charge speed is a big concern for you, wired charging does turn out to be faster. Android Central ran a few tests using an in-box wired charger vs. some wireless units on sale. The wire fully-charged a phone from 0% in 105 minutes, while both the wireless chargers took a mediocre 150 minutes.

Wireless Charging

So it seems wireless charging has its work cut out for it versus its wired cousin. Wires are faster, more portable, and compatible with more phones; so why bother with a wireless charging dock?

Charger Comparison Wireless

In short, wireless charging is a great convenience. It sacrifices practicality to reduce the fuss of attaching a cable to the phone. If you’re the kind of person who always forgets to charge their phone, you can set up a wireless dock and think of it as the phone’s “home.” Every time you’re not using it, you set the phone down on the charger and let it regain its juice.

You also don’t have to worry about the degradation of charging ports with a wireless dock. If you break the USB cable on a phone, and you can only charge using a wire, you’ll have to get it repaired. By putting a phone on the dock, it puts less stress on the phone than inserting and removing a cable.

And finally, wireless docks just look better. If you’re tired of wires dangling from your plug sockets like an octopus, you can tidy it all up with a wireless charger. They look sleek and modern and fit well on any table or nightstand.

Which Is Best for You?

Charger Comparison Choice

When choosing between the two, you have to ask yourself which is more important: speed or convenience? If you like your devices to charge themselves quickly, stick with wired. If you keep forgetting to charge your phone, getting a wireless charging pad gives your phone a “home” to plug into when you’re done with it.