Qi2 is ready, but what will be the first Android phone to support it?

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Joined: Nov 2016

As CES 2024 kicks off this week, we’re reminded of one of last year’s biggest announcements. The new Qi2 standard was announced last January with support for MagSafe as a universal standard, but we haven’t heard much about support for Qi2 in new Android phones. What will be the first one?

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The Qi2 standard evolves wireless charging not with a focus on speed, but rather on the ease of use and efficiency, the former being the whole reason anyone uses this technology in the first place. Qi2 standardizes the ring of magnets that Apple has been using in its iPhone series for the past few years under the reused branding of MagSafe. The idea has already sort of come to Android by way of cases and other accessories, but there’s a fair bit of inconsistency.

Qi2 was finalized a few months ago, with the first batch of new accessories already on their way to market, and Apple’s iPhone 15 series being the first set of smartphones to officially support Qi2. Apple has also rolled out Qi2 support to older MagSafe iPhones as well.

But there are still no Android phones with Qi2.

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, really, as the standard was just finalized recently. Even if a brand was particularly eager to adopt the next standard, it’d be nearly impossible to release a phone very quickly with Qi2 given the timing. The OnePlus 12 launched without support, and the next real chance is Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series. But, realistically, Qi2 probably won’t be available on those devices either. And, if it were coming, we probably would have heard about it by now given the absolute mountain of leaks that have surfaced in recent weeks.

So, what will be the first new Android phone with Qi2? Really, it’s hard to say for sure. Technically speaking it’s possible that we don’t see any new devices adopt the standard this year, but the popularity of Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem is certainly an incentive to work on support.

Right now, the most likely candidate is Google’s Pixel 9 series. There’s already limited evidence suggesting it could happen, and Google’s October release window is pretty well-timed for adoption.

Technically, Samsung’s next batch of Galaxy foldables would also be well-timed for this, but foldables are already pretty complex, so adding in a brand new standard on short notice seems unlikely too. Motorola’s flagship Edge launched in Spring 2023, so the same timeline is likely in place this year too, which is probably too soon. The Asus Zenfone series could also be a good bet, as the company’s Summer launch window might be enough time, but that’s assuming we get a new Zenfone in the first place. OnePlus’ attitude towards wireless charging doesn’t really instill confidence that the company will be quick to adopt Qi2 either, so I wouldn’t expect anything in a OnePlus Open sequel either.

Back before LG threw in the towel, I absolutely would have expected the company to be the first to adopt Qi2 in an Android phone. It just seems like exactly the sort of play they would have made.

But, really, 2024 is probably not going to be the year of MagSafe on Android. Qi2 is coming, but we’d know by now if it were going to land in any smartphones coming out in the near future. If the new standard is a reason you’re looking to upgrade, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Still, the fact that this is happening at all is still incredibly exciting, and I think it will be worth the wait.

What do you think the first Android phone with Qi2 will be?

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