The best wireless phone chargers for your iPhone or Android

The best wireless phone chargers for your iPhone or Android

You know what’s missing from all our visions of a futuristic utopia? Wires. You never see anyone fumbling with a cable to plug in an Android phone or iPhone. Everything just magically works. We’re not there yet, but wireless charging technology is improving all the time. Leading the way toward this brave new world are wireless phone chargers. They’re not entirely wireless, because they still have to be plugged into a wall outlet, but they do free you from your nightly plug-in. You can just pop your smartphone on a pad, and know that in the morning it will be good to go.

Before you splurge on a wireless charger, though, make sure that your phone supports it. Loads of phones do now, from the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 to the LG V30. For smartphones that don’t, like the Google Pixel 2, you need to buy a special replacement back or a case that enables wireless charging. There used to be a couple of competing standards, but choosing a wireless phone charger is relatively straightforward now that Qi, backed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), has won out over rival Powermat.

At the iPhone event last year, Apple teased a wireless charging pad of its own, AirPower, which is built with the Qi standard and will allow you to charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Airpod earbuds all at the same time, but it hasn’t been released yet. If you’re looking for a wireless charger for your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, you may want to check out the speed test we ran between three popular options. There are plenty of worthy alternatives, though. Here’s a list of the best wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones.

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Case Mate Power Pad Wireless Charger ($60)

It’s not the most stylish wireless charger we’ve ever used, but Case Mate’s Power Pad is extremely versatile. This rectangular pad comes in black or white and offers Qi wireless charging, including fast charging at 9W for Samsung smartphones or 7.5W for Apple’s iPhones — we tested both and it works as expected. The cable is attached to the pad and plugs into the 18W Quick Charge wall adapter that comes in the box. We got the version with the stand which allows you to prop your phone in portrait or landscape while it charges.

The pad has a nonslip, rectangular, TPU strip to hold your phone securely in place and there’s a simple white LED on the side to indicate that it’s charging correctly. There’s a wee insert so you can adjust the stand position for your phone. Both the pad and stand have feet and seem to be sturdy enough that they won’t slide around. The Power Pad will still charge your phone if it has a slim case on, but thick cases are going to cause a problem — as they do for all wireless chargers. It’s quite an expensive option, but if you want the ability to switch between pad and stand it may suit you. The option to charge in landscape is rare.

Specs
Power Output  9w
Standard  Qi
Dimensions  5.6″ x 2.8″ x 0.4″
Weight  226g (8oz)
Cable Included?  Yes
AC Adaptor Included?  Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon Case-Mate

Native Union Drop Wireless Charger ($60)

Native Union brings its unique sense of style and design to the world of wireless chargers, and we love how the eye-catching look isn’t just for show, as the ridges are grippy rubber, making them perfect for keeping your phone securely in place. The aluminum body has a circular rubber foot underneath too, along with a small LED indicator on the side to show charging status. The cable supplied is one of Native Union’s excellent braided versions with a USB Type-C connector, and at 6.5 feet long it’s easy to move the charger around if you’re not close to an electrical socket.

The charger sends up to 10w of energy through the phone — around three hours from zero to full capacity on an iPhone, according to Native Union — and has happily worked with all but the most rugged cases we’ve tried. It also promises excellent temperature management to maintain fast charging, and to keep things safe. It’s not cheap, but we like the design and appreciate the simplicity. However, it’s the fast charge system that makes us recommend the Drop Wireless Charger.

Specs
Power Output  10w
Standard  Qi
Dimensions  3.5″ x 3.5″
Weight  Unknown
Cable Included?  Yes
AC Adaptor Included?  No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Choetech Aluminum Wireless Charger ($13)

Is it really possible to get a wireless charger for $13? Yes, and what’s more, it’s not entirely bare-bones either, with a really cool little feature that many will welcome. You may know Choetech from its range of cables and other phone accessories. This is its aluminum wireless charger that’s compatible with the Qi system, and therefore the iPhone and various Android devices. The metal body helps keep the temperature down, along with internal heat management tech that ensures it’s safe.

The charger has a cool glowing ring around the edge to show it’s working, which is great during the day, but not always great at night in a dark room. The charger has a light sensor inside that automatically reduces the brightness when darkness falls. It worked well in our test and stopped the charger from being a pain when used next to the bed. The charger comes with a long Micro USB cable, but doesn’t support fast charging. You can’t have everything at this price.

Specs
 Power Output  5w
Standard Qi
Dimensions 3.3″ x 3.3″ x 0.7″
Weight Unknown
Cable Included? Yes
AC Adaptor Included? No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Tronsmart AirAmp Wireless Charger ($24)

Tronsmart AirAmp Wireless Charger
Simon Hill / Digital Trends

One issue that can cause concern with wireless charging is the build-up of heat, but this wireless charging stand from Tronsmart has a built-in fan to keep that temperature down and the charging speed up. It can put out up to 10W, which allows for fast charging of any Qi-compatible device that supports it. There’s a fairly subtle LED at the bottom that goes blue when you connect it and stays on green when a phone is charging. The light, combined with the fan — quiet as it is — make this a wireless charger we prefer to use on the desk rather than the nightstand.

You get a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box with it which is just long enough to reach desk height, but doesn’t leave much room for maneuver. You’ll have to snag your own power adapter and you’ll want one that supports Quick Charge 3.0 to get the most from this charger. It has padded feet that prevent it from slipping around and an unusual curved back shape, but it’s not the best looking device around — it’s made of black plastic with a big Tronsmart logo. What we do like about it is the low price, safety features, and speed of charging.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 4.64″ x 2.9″ x 2.6″
Weight Unknown
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Anker PowerWave Pad ($46)

Anker PowerWave Pad

The Anker PowerWave Pad can output up to 10W for fast wireless charging of phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, but it can also charge the iPhone X at 7.5W, so you should get top speed out of this pad regardless of your phone. The white disc design is fairly unobtrusive and there’s a decent weight, so it shouldn’t slide around on your desktop. There is an LED indicator and a fan inside, which is great for keeping your phone cool, but is definitely audible at times, so we wouldn’t recommend this pad for the nightstand.

We’re pleased to find that Anker has included, not just a decent 3-foot PowerLine Micro USB cable in the box, but also a Quick Charge 3.0 adapter. That means you have everything you need out of the box. Anker’s build quality is always excellent and this pad is no exception. If you prefer to be able to prop your phone up while it charges Anker does also offer the PowerWave Stand at $50, which is identical in terms of functionality.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 4.3” x 4.3” x 0.7”
Weight 303g (10.7oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon

iOttie iON Wireless Fast Charging Pad Plus ($50+)

iOttie Wireless Fast Charging Pad Plus

This is another versatile wireless charging pad that can output 10W or 7.5W ensuring that you get the top charging speed possible, whether you have an Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, or something else. With an unusual shape and fabric covering that comes in red, gray, or white, this is an attractive device that really stands out from the crowd. There’s an unobtrusive light in the recessed front and plenty of ventilation to keep the temperature down.

There’s a USB-C input and we’re glad to find that iOttie includes a 4-foot USB-C to USB-A cable and a power adapter in the box. Interestingly, there’s also a USB-A port on the back that you can use for wired charging if you have another cable handy. If you charge two phones (wirelessly and wired) at the same time then the speeds will be a bit slower as the capacity is split between them, but the USB-A port can go all the way up to 12W when used alone.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 7″ x 5″ x 4″
Weight 311g (11oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Grovemade Wireless Charging Pad ($80)

Grovemade Wireless Charging Pad

Style isn’t always a strong point for wireless charging pad manufacturers, so we were glad when Grovemade stepped up. Featuring a stainless steel base topped with hand-sanded natural cork that comes in light or dark varieties, these circular wireless charging pads stand out of the crowd. But they should blend in beautifully with your décor. The steel provides some weight and the cork is soft, but also adds some grip to help prevent your phone from sliding around.

The pad comes with a nylon-braided power cable, and there’s a groove on the underside to stow away any excess. You do also get a 120V wall adapter in the box with the pad. Grovemade’s pads are quite expensive and they only output 5W, which means devices capable of faster charging won’t be able to charge at top speed. We think the style makes up for the functional limitation and if you charge your phone overnight, you’re not going to miss the extra speed.

Specs
Power output 5W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 0.875″ x 5.26″
Weight Unknown
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Grovemade

Mophie Charge Stream Pad Plus ($60)

how does wireless charging work mophie iphone 8 lifestyle press

Mophie’s wireless charging pad isn’t just tastefully minimalist. It’s also practical. The puck-shaped charger’s nonslip TPU coating is rubbery, preventing it from sliding around on slick surfaces. The low profile still ensures there’s plenty of room for your phone. Portable at just 0.46 x 3.82 x 3.82 inches, and light at 4.6 ounces, the Charge Stream Pad Plus replaces Mophie’s Wireless Charging Station. The main difference is that the new pad can deliver up to 10W instead of 7.5W. That means it can support fast charging, not just for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, but also for Samsung’s Galaxy phones and most other Android devices.

You get a MicroUSB to USB cable in the box along with a Quick Charge 2.0 adapter. There’s a small LED indicator to let you know when your device is charging. With its soft-touch coating, there’s no need to worry about the charger accidentally damaging your phone — Mophie says it’s designed to prevent scratching.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 0.46″ x 3.82″
Weight 4.8oz (136g)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Verizon

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad ($60)

Belkin’s BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad is tailor-made for on-the-go fast charging. It supports the Qi wireless standard (same as iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X), and it can deliver up to 7.5W of continuous power to any phone, tablet, or smartwatch that’s certified to support fast-charging Qi. It’s even strong enough to charge through cases 3mm thick, which means you don’t have to worry about ripping the case off your device every time you plop it down to charge.

Belkin didn’t cut corners on the charger’s design, either. The BoostUp’s circular charging pad may not be the smallest we’ve seen (7.5 x 1.75 x 5.5), but it detaches from the included AC adapter, making it easy to stuff into a crowded bag. Other nifty touches include an LED status indicator built into the base, and a quick start guide that shows you how to orient your phone or tablet properly on the pad.

Specs
Power output 7.5W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 7.5″ x 1.75″ x 5.5″
Weight 4.2oz (119g)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Apple Amazon

RavPower Wireless Fast Charging Pad ($30)

iphone 8 wireless charging pads review ravpower 2

RavPower’s Wireless Fast Charging Pad is a Qi-compatible charger that works with Android devices, smartwatches, and Apple’s latest iPhones (the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X), and can output up to 10W of power.

The RavPower charger’s other conveniences include a Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0-compatible MicroUSB cable that works with supported devices, and built-in protection against short circuits and voltage surges. From 2018 it will be offered with an angled cradle, which doubles as an adjustable desk stand. But, the stand isn’t included in all bundles — it will cost a little extra.

When we tested out three wireless charging pads head-to-head with the iPhone 8, this pad was the winner. It was the fastest, most portable, and best value option.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 3.54 x 0.62 inches
Weight 4.8oz (136g)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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