7 great wireless chargers for your smartphone
Wireless chargers have a rep for being slow, and they aren’t really wireless, so why bother?
Well, times are changing. These days, there are plenty of wireless chargers that will refill your phone’s battery in no time. Plus, if you really, really hate wires, you’ll find some options that are truly wireless (well, at least until the charger’s battery runs out).
Obviously, it’s hard to find the absolute best option for everyone, since not everyone has the same phone, but with these six you’ll likely be satisfied no matter which devices you own. We’ve divided them into categories that overlap somewhat, but they should give you an idea of which ones to look at first.
Satechi is a company that builds accessories, primarily for Apple devices, which not only work well but also look quite nice. The company’s fast wireless charger keeps with Apple’s design philosophy: Simple and beautiful. It comes in four colors: Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold, so it’ll match your iPhone in most cases.
Specs-wise, the Satechi charger can dish out a maximum of 9 watts for Android devices, provided you use a QC 2.0 or a Samsung original adapter and cable.
Though it looks nicer than most other wireless chargers, the Satechi Wireless Charger won’t make you poor as it costs a reasonable $34.99.
Practical: RAVPower 2 Coils wireless charging stand
The RAVPower 2 Coils wireless charging stand is just a simple, black phone stand that also chargers your phone — and it does its job well. It has a non-slippery surface, it’s hard to place the phone in the wrong position (it even has dual coils so you can place your phone horizontally), and it charges your devices fast.
The RAVPower 2 Coils stand (can’t these companies come up with less clunky names?) supports the Qi standard and will charge Qi-enabled, Fast Charge devices at 10 watts, while the iPhone X/8/8 Plus will charge at 7.5 watts.
At $49.99, it’s not the cheapest charger out there, but the added practicality of it being a stand (instead of a charging pad) will make the price difference worthwhile for some users.
Big brand: Samsung
If you own a Samsung phone, there’s a possibility you don’t trust any other manufacturer when it comes to wireless charging your curvy-edged pet. You’re in luck, then, as Samsung actually sells a wireless charger of its own.
We don’t know how good this thing is at charging an iPhone, but when it comes to Samsung phones, it should do a good job, regardless of whether you have an ancient S4 (which only works when combined with Samsung’s wireless charging covers) or a newer device. It’s Qi-enabled, WPC-certified, and available in black and white.
Given that it comes from a premium brand, the price is actually a quite reasonable $39.99.
Cheap: Anker PowerPort Wireless 10
Anker is one of the most reliable brands when it comes to charging accessories, and its PowerPort Wireless 10 charging pad is a no-nonsense choice: It has a 10-watt fast-charge mode, it’s Qi-certified, it’s compact, and it’s pretty cheap at $25.99.
However, if you have an iPhone, know that this charger won’t charge it at the max 7.5-watt power output, so charging times will likely be a little longer than with some of the other chargers mentioned in this article.
Also note that at 3.35 x 3.35 x 0.28 inches, this charger is one of the smallest charging pads out there. This can be a good or a bad thing: It’s good because it saves space, but it can be harder to place the phone on the pad correctly.
Extra large: Ikea Nordmarke
You probably have more than one phone in your household, right? If two or three of those support wireless charging, you might want to look at Ikea’s triple-action wireless charger.
Ikea is known for good, no-nonsense design and this Qi-certified charger is actually one of the nicest we’ve seen. And since it has an additional USB port, it actually enables you to charge four devices at once (three wireless and one wired), which makes it one of the most practical chargers we’ve seen.
There are several downsides to this one, though: It only offers a maximum of 5-watt charging, and it’s quite costly at $59.99. And at 12 inches of length and 5 inches of width, it will take quite a bit of your space, so perhaps it’s not an ideal choice for a work desk.
As wireless as they come: RAVPower portable charger
If you’re truly annoyed by wires, you can take it one step further by getting a portable wireless charger. This still doesn’t completely rid you of wires — you still have to charge the damn thing — but once it’s charged, the portable wireless charger/battery will charge your phone without a wire in sight.
If this is what you need, RAVPower’s portable charger fits the bill. It has a 10,400mAh battery and will do its job fairly quickly. It also comes with a nice, soft pouch that will be very useful when charging on the go and, say, carrying the charger and your phone in a backpack. It costs $65.99, which is a lot more than your typical wireless charger.
As noted in our review, the advantages of this approach are dubious in terms of practicality and the price is pretty steep, but this thing will work when power outlets are absent and it does look pretty cool.
Apple-approved: Mophie wireless charging base
If you own an iDevice and simply must have a wireless charger that Apple deems worthy enough to include in its online store, your best bet is probably the Mophie wireless charging base. It’s Qi-certified, black, simple and rubberized, meaning your iPhone won’t slip off of it very easily. It costs $49.95, which isn’t cheap, but hey, Apple likes it, remember?
Apple also offers Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad in its store, but that one’s even pricier at $59.95. Both chargers are Qi-compatible and will charge your iPhone at 7.5W.
Near future: Apple AirPower
This wireless charger is not actually available yet, but it’s among the most interesting options out there so we just have to include it in this roundup. It’s Apple’s AirPower charging pad that should launch fairly soon — it was originally announced in September, with a release date sometime in 2018. It’s quite possible that we’ll see it launch during Apple’s WWDC event in June.
The AirPower is interesting as it will be able to charge several devices at once, including an Apple Watch, and, of course, due to the simple fact that it’s another Apple-branded gadget you can splurge your money on. It’s rumored to have a maximum charging output of 29 watts — far more than most devices on this list, though exactly how that breaks down among the multiple devices is unclear at this point.