Samsung are finally addressing one of my biggest pet peeves about smartwatches

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

The Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ might improve one of the most annoying parts of the smartwatch experience: charging them

Although the battery life for most smartwatches is getting longer and longer, the process of actually charging them is still kinda awful. Either you're stuck with a proprietary wired charger that's hard to replace and can't be used for anything else or you're stuck with a smaller, watch-sized wireless charger that's subject to much the same limitations.

Smartwatch charging is also still much slower than smartphone charging. Most Qi-based smartphone chargers only offer 5W of charging and many cap out at 15W. This lags behind the 18W offered by Samsung and Apple’s fast wired charging and the 20W fast wired charging offered by Oppo and OnePlus.

The new PowerShare feature found in the Samsung S10e, S10 and S10+ solves at least one of these issues. A natural extension on the reverse wireless charging found in Huawei's Mate 20 Pro, PowerShare doesn't just allow you to use your phone to charge other phones but also Samsung's Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Buds.

[Related: Everything You Need To Know About Wireless Charging?]

How does it accomplish this? Well, rather than use a single larger set of induction coils as found in the Mate 20 Pro, the S10 and S10 are equipped with two different sets of induction coils. One is for larger devices like smartphones, the other is for smaller device like Samsung's Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds. It's a simple but effective solution.

If you've got your wired charger for your S10 on you, then that's the only charger you'll need for your phone, smartwatch and headphones. The case that one less physical charger is better than one more physical charger isn't hard to make.

What does this mean to consumers? Though this dual-coil approach is unlikely to solve the battery life issue outright, it does feel like a start of a move towards more consistent wireless charging for wearables like smartwatches. Hopefully more brands will look to embrace this kind of coil configuration, not just when it comes to their devices but also their dedicated wireless chargers.

The days of having to carry around a separate charger for your smartwatch might be numbered - and that's a definite win for consumers.

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Fergus Halliday
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