Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge models include two technologies that are supposed to make charging your device less of a hassle – Fast Charging and both the Qi and PMA wireless charging standards. That’s great! But Samsung’s new ad out yesterday that attempts to subtly throws shade at Apple (the phone alarm in one scene is clearly an iOS tone) and other device makers without built-in wireless charging might be a little too much.
Case in point:
This woman struggled to plug her phone into a charging dock. The room was clearly illuminated, yet she attacked the dock from two different positions to no avail. Um, sure.
And then you have this guy with his rat’s nest of cables, just trying to get enough power to make a call:
A little more relatable to all of us, I think, but then you have what many commenters on YouTube pointed out:
Yes, the woman in this scene effortlessly places her S6 Edge on a wireless charging pad, not having to get up or roll onto her side in an effort to plug a tiny connector into the bottom. But wait, there’s clearly a charging cable stringing out from the back of it! How deceptive, you might say. Seems at least a little contradictory, you might say. Like, how does this solve any problem for the business man above trying to get a charge while on the go?
What the advertisement doesn’t mention, though, and perhaps should of, is Fast Charging. According to Samsung and closely corroborated by owners of the phone, the company’s Fast Charging technology is supposed to provide 4 hours of battery life in just 10 minutes of charging. And the fast charging cable, included with the device, is separate from the wireless charger (not included). The combination of the two can, for many, totally negate poor battery life and a need to search for an outlet often.
I guess my point lies in the fact that six years since its debut, wireless charging pads have failed to see the quick adoption that was hoped for. Anecdotally speaking I don’t own one, nor do I know anyone outside of my niche tech circles that does. There are still three wireless charging standards fighting for primacy, Apple has only touched it toes into the water with conducive charging on the Apple Watch, and many deep-pocked technology investors already starting to shift from placing their bets in the current wireless charging standard players to new possibilities like uBeam, which can send power to phones using ultrasonic sound – meaning your device could move about a room while charging, not having to sit idle on a pad.
Not that you’ve asked for my opinion, but for one reason or another many consumers just have not been sold on wireless charging. Perhaps because of how at first sight wireless chargers like Samsung’s feel like a contradiction keeping you tethered while they sell otherwise, or because for many their laptops serve as an extra portable battery pack and that’s just good enough, or something else altogether.
Being tethered and feeling like a slave to the charger is the huge pain point for many, not necessarily the process of plugging a cable into the bottom of a device. If Samsung is trying to sell its smartphones like it seems to be doing with this ad, sell freedom! Sell the four hours of battery life in 10 minutes of charging. That’s great stuff! The rest feels like a stretch, and I wasn’t sold on buying a wireless charging pad and phone that can support it without a separate case. The combination of Fast Charging and the wireless pad is even better, but the wireless pad isn’t interesting by itself.