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.
Three charging modes support everything from iPhone to Galaxy note to AirPods. Top and bottom are equipped with non-slip rubber ring. Charges through many phone cases.
Adapter not included. Questionable longevity.
Attractive. Soft charging light that won't keep you awake if you charge overnight in your room. Protects against short circuits as well as over and under voltage.
Some reports of pads that stop working after a short time. No Fast Charge.
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It’s hard to believe, but less than a decade ago consumers were forced to use charging cables for any device with a battery — and many of us ended up with big tangled messes of wires as a result. Thankfully, wireless charging is here, and more and more devices are able to charge their batteries simply by sitting on a wireless charging pad or stand.
Wireless chargers offer an affordable, no-hassle way to charge your smartphone or tablet, and they save you from having to remember which devices use which cables. There’s no way around it: wireless charging is the future!
There are a lot of good options on the wireless charger market, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can find the outstanding options — models that can support every device you have and get them charged up in no time flat. That’s what we’re here for, so let’s dig in to everything you need to know to find your ideal wireless charger. And when you’re ready to buy, take a look at some of our favorites.
Before you start comparing different wireless chargers, consider how you’ll use yours. Start by answering these questions.
The minimum standard for wireless charging is 7.5 watts, which can charge most devices in a few hours. However, many wireless chargers support “fast charging,” which is just branding for 10-watt charging. Fast charging means your device will charge more quickly (usually 60 to 90 minutes), but not all devices support it. Start by checking to see if your devices support it, and if they do, make it a must-have feature as you’re picking out a wireless charger.
Wireless chargers come in two form factors: charging pads, where you lay your device down horizontally, and charging stands, where your device is propped up while it charges. If you want to be able to see your device’s screen while it charges to monitor incoming text messages or track the time, for example, you’ll need a charging stand. Charging stands can be a little more expensive, but for many, having at-a-glance access to their phone or tablet screen is well worth it.
If you’re buying a wireless charger for your smartphone, you’ll need to make sure that the one you buy is strong enough to charge your phone even when its case is on. Most wireless chargers are robust enough to work with most phone cases, but if you’ve got a rugged case or one that puts a lot of material between your phone and the charger, it may not work properly. Check user reviews closely to see which models may have problems with bulky cases.
Smart pick for multi-device users
Samsung’s Qi wireless charging pad is one of our favorites because it seamlessly marries form and function. The onboard smart charging tech means that it adapts to your device and charges as quickly as it can handle it (and likewise, it can also charge at slower speeds for older devices). When your device is charged, you’ll see a halo of soft LED light under the charger. If you plan on charging multiple devices, or if you’re in the market for a wireless charger that’s also a conversation piece, this is the one to get.
All wireless chargers do the same thing — wirelessly charge your devices — but many add bonus features to make them even more useful. Here are our favorite features to look out for while you’re shopping.
Multi-device charging: Some wireless chargers can charge multiple devices at once, which is especially handy if you’ve got more than just your smartphone. Make a quick list of all of the devices that you charge regularly (and be sure to include wearable tech and wireless headphones), and then decide if you want a wireless charger that can charge multiple devices at a time.
Charging cables: Here’s one of the hidden secrets of the wireless charger world: very few of them include the charging cables you need. In most cases, you have to provide your own cable that you’ll attach to the wireless charger. Higher-quality units include a charging cable. The bottom line: if you don’t have any charging cables to spare, plan on buying another one, or buy a wireless charger that includes one.
Fast charging: If you’ve got a device that’s compatible with a 10-watt wireless charger (instead of standard 7.5-watt chargers), get a wireless charger with fast charging. Fast charging supplies power to your battery using 10 watts, which can help it charge up to 30% faster.
Most wireless chargers have one or more LED lights that let you know when your phone is successfully charging. That’s handy, but bright lights can be distracting, especially if you use your charger in the bedroom at night. Compare user reviews and pay close attention to how they describe the relative brightness of each model’s status indicator light.
Quality can vary between brands. Many ultra-affordable wireless chargers cut corners, so it’s important to go with a brand you trust. If you’ve never heard of the manufacturer, pay close attention to user reviews and make sure they live up to their claims.
When you first unbox your wireless charger, determine the best fit for your device — that is, where to place your phone in order to establish a wireless charging connection. Some wireless chargers can be temperamental and will stop charging if a device gets jostled or slightly moved from the ideal position.
Most wireless chargers cost between $10 and $20. Models in this price range offer a great value — they’re typically single-unit charging pads with LED lighting and support for fast charging. If you’re just looking for a basic wireless charger, there’s no need to spend more than $20.
Wireless chargers that cost between $20 and $40 offer some pretty healthy upgrades, like support for charging multiple devices simultaneously or high-quality materials. If you’ve got multiple devices to charge wirelessly, and you don’t want to have to deal with a one-at-a-time charger, this is the price range to keep in mind.
Gets almost everything right
This Qi wireless charging pad is definitely one of our MVPs, primarily because it’s so versatile. It’s built with all the right safety features, so you never have to worry about it overheating or damaging your devices. It’s got subtle status indicator lights, so you can keep it on a nightstand and it won’t keep you up at night. But the killer feature is the variety of colors it comes in — most wireless chargers are black. If you’re looking for something a little different to match your décor, this is likely your best option.
Plug your wireless charger into a wall rather than a USB port. Your wireless charger will need to be plugged in somewhere in order to deliver power to your device, and in most cases you have the option of plugging your charger’s USB cable into a computer, or into a power outlet using an adapter. Not all computer USB ports can charge at the highest speeds, so if charging quickly is your goal, play it safe and plug your wireless charger into a power outlet whenever possible.
Check compatibility. Make sure your device is compatible with wireless charging before you buy a wireless charger. Not all devices support wireless charging! If you’re not 100% certain your device can charge wirelessly, search online or check your documentation to be sure.
If you own multiple Apple devices, you might want to consider getting a wireless charging station, which can charge multiple devices wirelessly at the same time. If you’ve got multiple iPhones, an Apple Watch, and AirPods, check out the Yestan Wireless Charger 4-in-1 Wireless Charging Dock. It’s got wireless and wired charging for iPhones, so you can simultaneously charge two at once; it supports wireless charging for AirPods headphones; and it’s even got a stand for the Apple Watch so it can charge and show you the time simultaneously. If you want a charging station that can do all that and charge your Apple Pencil, we recommend Amabana’s 4-in-1 Wireless Charging Station. It’s got a small footprint, but it can simultaneously charge four devices at once: iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple Pencil. There aren’t many wireless charging stands that support this many devices, and at less than $40 it’s an incredible bargain.
Q. Which is faster: wireless charging or charging with a cable?
A. Charging with a cable is the fastest way to charge your device’s battery — for now. In general, wired charging is about 20% to 30% faster than wireless charging, but that’s certain to change as battery technology evolves. Today, wireless charging is almost as fast as wired charging, and it’s definitely more convenient.
Q. How long will it take to charge my phone with a wireless charger?
A. It depends, but usually it takes at least a couple hours to go from a nearly depleted battery to a full charge. Multiple factors impact how long it takes, such as how big your device’s battery is, whether your device supports charging at higher wattages, and how much charge is in the battery to begin with.
Q. Can I use a wireless charger with my iPhone?
A. Yes, so long as it’s an iPhone 8 or later. Apple first launched support for wireless charging on iPhones with the iPhone 8 back in 2017, and it’s been a standard feature on every iPhone released since then. If you’ve got an iPhone 7 or earlier, wireless charging isn’t a built-in feature, although in many cases you can add it with a third-party, Qi-enabled phone case.
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