Features Fast Charge technology (works only with compatible devices) and a sleek design. Devices can be charged upright or flat. Rubber nubs underneath keep the unit from sliding around and a compact design makes it easy to place the pad almost anywhere. It's also very easy to set up.
Pricey, and the LED lights are very bright, making it a poor choice for bedroom use.
The wireless charger is affordable, small, and lightweight, making it a great travel option. The slim design is attractive and the unit works as advertised. It also has safety features such as protection from overheating and surge protection and comes backed by an 18-month warranty.
Does not support Fast Charge and the LED lights are very bright.
The inexpensive charging pad is compact and lightweight but stable enough to support your phone. LED indicator lights are not overly bright and the unit can charge even with a phone case on. It also supports Fast Charge mode with the separately sold wall plug and features an 18-month warranty period.
Placement of phone may take a few tries to enable charging.
The well-priced wireless charger is easy to use thanks to universal compatibility and the fact that phones can be charged even with cases on. It's small and features a no-slip top to secure phones. A standby mode protects devices from overcharging and LED indicator lights are soft enough for bedroom use.
Does not feature a Fast Charge option.
The sleek design is paired with subtle LED lighting that's not too bright. The unit is thin but stays in place and provides reliable charging. There's no need to fiddle with phone placement – charging-mode is easy to enable. The charger also has safety features like surge protection.
Charging is slow and there's no support for Fast Charge.
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For work or for pleasure, we are on our devices 24/7. And while some of the latest phone models can survive a swim and sync our voices with animated emojis, their batteries still can’t always make it through a busy day.
A wireless phone charger can be a lifesaver in that situation. With a charger in hand, you have peace of mind when you head out in the morning, because you know that no matter how often you use your phone, you’ll be able to charge it without worrying about plugging and unplugging it numerous times.
Because your phone is such a big part of your life, your wireless charger needs to be reliable and safe. At BestReviews, we analyze customer feedback and personally buy and test hundreds of products to present you with unbiased product reviews. We never accept promotional products or “free samples,” either, because we want to become familiar with the actual products you’d encounter as a shopper.
To help you make an informed purchase, we outlined what to consider before buying a wireless charger in the shopping guide that follows. If you’re interested in purchasing a wireless charger, we recommend the items above.
As the name suggests, a wireless charger is a portable device (it typically looks like a pad) that you plug into the wall. It allows you to charge your phone by simply placing it on top of the charger. Unlike a regular phone charger, wireless pads don’t require you to plug a USB or Lightning cable into your phone’s respective port.
The lack of additional cords grants you unhindered access to your phone in case of a call. Just plug in the pad, set your phone on it throughout the day while you work, and never worry about forgetting to plug in again, and again, and again.
You might consider buying a wireless charger for any of the following reasons.
You are prone to forgetting your other charger at home.
You are constantly on your phone at work, and you want to be able to charge quickly and easily without having to plug in and out every time you use your device.
You want to share a charger with someone who has a different type of phone than you do.
You want to create a space for charging devices in your home that can be used by your whole family.
If you plan to use your wireless charger by your bedside, get a sleep-friendly model to make sure its lights don’t impact your sleep.
Wireless charging may seem like a futuristic technology given its ability to transfer power through the air, but it’s actually been around since the late 19th century. Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor, created the “Tesla coil” in 1891, and it was the first system able to wirelessly transmit electricity through electromagnetic force and resonance.
Similarly, a wireless charger uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy from one object to another through electromagnetic induction. What this means is that the energy can be sent and converted to storable and usable power on an electrical device, such as your phone.
Most smartphone wireless chargers transfer energy between two copper coils, so the phone and the inductive charging pad must be extremely close together. For this reason, some chargers use magnets to line up your device to the receiving pad to ensure proper connection.
Wireless charging is being developed for large-scale use in some industries, such as the automotive and health sectors. But the chargers available to consumers today are those designed for small electronic devices, including phones, tablets, tech accessories, and in some cases, laptops.
The first wireless chargers for phones became available about six years ago, and many of today’s models work with multiple phone models and brands. But not all devices will work with wireless chargers.
In the early years of the technology’s arrival on the smartphone market, there were separate competing wireless charging standards which used somewhat different inductive and resonance-charging specifications. The A4WP (Alliance for Wireless Power), the PMA (Power Matters Alliance), and the WPC (Wireless Power Consortium) each held a list of member companies and organizations which saw their respective charging standard as the future of the industry’s technology in the space, and they debated their dominance.
You don’t need to buy a wireless charger from the same company as your phone. For example, the wireless charger from Samsung is perfectly compatible with an iPhone X.
Often, competition in the market determines a clear winner based on demand, efficiency, cost, and quality, which other manufacturers will later rally around and begin to utilize in their technology.
In the case of the wireless charging industry, the WPC’s wireless charging standard, Qi (pronounced “chee”), was the clear winner, and it has been adopted as the accepted standard in most devices today.
Qi’s success has been mostly due to the sheer volume of supporters, which had more than 296 member organizations and companies backing it, including the mobile and telecom powerhouses Apple, Google, and Verizon.
Additionally, the technological capabilities associated with Qi are far more powerful than its competitors in the space, as it allows for inductive (via pads) and short-distance charging that is more efficient than others. As such, it has been adopted by the world’s leading smartphone OEMs and is the most prominent wireless charging standard.
Only phones that have the Qi-standard will be able to utilize wireless chargers. While most phones today make use of Qi within their devices, phones that are five years or older are typically incompatible with wireless chargers.
While smartphone manufacturers often cite statistics that their own wireless chargers are far superior than others, most are typically slower or offer relatively the same charging speed as a traditional charger on the same phone.
Of course, there are clear winners in the space that offer fast wireless charging, with Samsung leading the race with its wireless charging pad.
With low-budget models, it might take you a couple tries to connect your device with the charging system. An indicator light will alert you when your phone is properly aligned.
The price of wireless chargers has decreased since they hit the market earlier this decade, making it a great time to try one out. The most affordable wireless chargers start around $10, and you can get one of the best on the market for about $36. You’ll pay more for warranties, faster speeds, sleeker designs, and a wider range of compatibility.
Because the technology behind a wireless charger is more complex than your average charger or portable charger, they are a bit more delicate. As long as you treat it with care while traveling, the charger should last several years. Many companies also offer warranties in case your model does malfunction.
Q. My wireless charging pad and phone heat up when I use them. Is that safe?
A. Yes, a bit of heat is expected. If it hurts to touch, then that’s a different story. To prevent any mishaps, opt for a wireless charger with a surge protector and intelligent induction that prevents overcharging by entering standby mode.
Q. Do I have to take off my phone case for the wireless charger to connect to my device?
A. Not usually. Most chargers are unhindered by even the toughest of OtterBoxes.
Q. Can I use my phone while it’s charging?
A. Yes. You can answer a call or text without ever unplugging.
Q. Can I update my phone to be compatible with wireless chargers?
A. Unfortunately, no, as it is a hardware-based technology. You can, however, buy a case or phone adapter that plugs into your USB port to make your device compatible with a wireless charger.
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