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Charge up your iPhone or Android with the best wireless phone chargers


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 splash out on a wireless charger, though, make sure that your phone supports it. Loads of phones do now, from the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 to the LG G6. 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. You also have to check that the wireless phone charger you choose is the right standard for your device. The most popular right now is Qi, under the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), but there is a rival called Powermat, under the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which merged with the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) to form the AirFuel Alliance.

Apple recently 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’s not launching until 2018. If you’re looking for a wireless charger for your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, check out the speed test we ran between three popular options.

There are still plenty of alternatives. Here’s a list of the best wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones.

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 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 Wireless Charging Station ($60)

how does wireless charging work mophie iphone 8 lifestyle press

Mophie’s new Wireless Charging Station isn’t just tastefully minimalist. It’s also practical. The puck-shaped charger’s non-slip TPU coating is rubbery, preventing it from sliding around on slick surfaces. The low profile ensures there’s plenty of headroom for your phone, tablet, or smartwatch. Portable at just 0.45 x 3.82 x 3.82 inches, and light at 4.37 ounces, the Wireless Charging Station can be easily stowed in a handbag, backpack, or suitcase. With its soft-touch coating, there’s no need to worry about the charger accidentally damaging your iPhone — Mophie says it’s designed to prevent scratching.

Mophie’s Wireless Charging Station supports the Qi standard, and it was specifically designed in collaboration with Apple. Mophie said it’s one of the most energy efficient wireless chargers available, and it works best with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. That’s largely due to the charger’s 7.5 watt output, which is higher than average. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X won’t be able to pull the full 7.5 watts until this fall, when Apple releases a software update.

Specs
Power output 7.5W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 0.45″ x 3.82″
Weight 4.37g (124g)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Apple

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.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X won’t support the BoostUp’s maximum charging speed right away — Apple’s planning to release a software feature in the fall that enables fast charging.

Specs
Power output 7.5W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 7.5″ x 1.75″ x 5.5″
Weight N/A
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Apple

RavPower Wireless Fast Charging Pad ($50)

iphone 8 wireless charging pads review ravpower 2

RavPower’s Wireless Fast Charging Pad isn’t just a charger. Thanks to an angled cradle, it doubles as an adjustable desk stand. The Qi-compatible charger 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 protections against short circuits and voltage surges. The RavPower charging pad won’t rapidly charge the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X until this fall, when Apple issues a software update. The stand isn’t included in all bundles — it costs 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 N/A
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Ventev Wireless Chargestand ($60)

Ventev Wireless Chargestand

Simon Hill/Digital Trends

This wireless phone charger caught our eye at IFA in Berlin. It’s a really smart design that can be broken down for portability. The base is solid, non-slip plastic with a cushioned pad for your device. The frame is aluminum and it sports several notches which allow you to slot the actual charging pad in wherever you want. This means you can get that charging sweet spot by adjusting the position of the pad, allowing you to place your phone in portrait or landscape. If you want to travel light, you can pop the square wireless charging pad out and just take it with you.

We’re pleased to find that the Ventev Wireless Chargestand supports the Qi and PMA standards, and it also supports fast wireless charging for devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and S8 Plus. The only slight downside is that it has a fairly hefty power brick that needs to be plugged in, but that’s how you can get up to 15W out, which is significantly more than many wireless phone chargers on the market. It’s also really versatile. Not only can you change the position of the pad, you can also reverse the aluminum frame for a slightly different angle.

Specs
Power output 15W
Standard Qi and PMA
Dimensions Unknown
Weight Unknown
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Ventev

Bezalel Futura X ($50)

Bezalel Futura X Wireless Charger

If you’re after something light and truly portable, then this wireless charging pad from Bezalel should tempt you. It will charge any Qi-compatible device, from an LG G6 to a Galaxy S8, but Bezalel also sells cases to bring wireless charging capability to smartphones like the iPhone 7. The glossy pad is made from premium materials with an aluminum base and an elegant acrylic surface that comes in black or white. It is magnetic, and the cases are designed so your phone naturally slides into the right spot for charging.

For just an extra $10 you can get the stand, which enables you to slot the charging pad in and prop your phone in either landscape or portrait view while it charges. You get a cable with the pad, but you’ll need to supply your own wall charger. For best results use the charger that came with your phone. This version has a maximum output of 5W, but there is a Futura X Turbo for $60 that goes up to 15W output for fast charging devices that support faster speeds. The stylish look makes this stand out from the wireless charging crowd, but we also appreciate the internal cooling system.

Specs
Power output 5W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 3.7” x 3.7” x 0.27”
Weight 91g (3.2oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Anker PowerPort Qi 10 Wireless Charging Pad ($20)

Anker PowerPort Qi 10 Wireless Charging Pad

The PowerPort Qi 10 is so named because it can output up to 10W, as long as you combine it with a Quick Charge 3.0 rated wall charger, which you’ll have to buy separately. That means it can charge some devices, like the Galaxy S8, faster than a standard wireless charger, Anker says up to 2X faster. It’s a very slim, lightweight design, but there are large feet on the bottom to help it grip.

When you first lay your phone on this charger a series of LEDs light up to show the charging status, but thankfully they turn off again after 10 seconds. It doesn’t make any sound either, so it could work well on the night stand. You do get a 3-foot Micro USB cable with it, but you’ll need your own wall charger to plug it into. The downside with this charger is that it has a single coil, so you really need to find the sweet spot and you’ll want to remove phone cases for best results.

Specs
Power output 10W
Standard Qi
Dimensions 3.4” x 3.4” x 0.3”
Weight 17g (0.6oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Satechi Wireless Charging Pad ($15)

Satechi Wireless Charging Pad

If you’re looking for an alternative to Samsung’s official wireless charging pad that supports faster charging for the newer members of the Galaxy family, including the S8 and S8 Plus, then this could be it. The design is stylish, with a circular metal frame in gold, silver, rose gold, or space gray. The pad itself is shiny black or white, but thankfully there is a rubber cross in the center which protects your phone and prevents it from sliding around. There are also pads on the bottom so it grips the table top.

It works fine with most cases and will charge any Qi device, but fast charging devices like the Galaxy S8 will enjoy 1.4X the usual speed. There’s a LED that lights up blue when the device is charging and turns green when it’s fully charged. We’re not a big fan of LEDs on charging pads, because you don’t want light on the nightstand and it seems superfluous, since your phone already indicates when it’s fully charged, but at least this is a small one. You get a decent Micro USB cable in the box with it, but you’ll have to provide your own charger.

Specs
Power output 2A
Standard Qi
Dimensions 3.94” x 3.94” x 0.31”
Weight 130g (4.75oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? No

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Samsung Wireless Charging Pad ($35)

Samsung Wireless Charging Pad

This circular wireless charging pad from Samsung resembles a flying saucer. If you have a Note 8, or a later Samsung flagship such as the S8, you can use it to quickly charge your device without a cord. It’s capable of fast charging at around 2A, instead of the standard 1A you get from most wireless chargers, making it around 1.4X faster, at least according to Samsung. It’s outfitted with a circular strip of rubber to prevent your phone from sliding off the top, and another one on the bottom to prevent it from sliding around on your desk or bedside table. The LED is, unfortunately, quite bright and it shines blue when charging and green when fully charged. It also flashes when there’s a problem.

Because the pad can charge supported phones faster, there’s a silent fan inside to help keep the temperature down. You’ll also have to use the charger and cable supplied if you want the faster speeds, but you can use this pad with other Qi charging devices for standard speeds. You can get the pad in black or white, and it’s pretty portable. It does the job, but the design is dull, and if you don’t have a Samsung phone that supports fast wireless charging, there’s little reason to pay a premium for this pad.

Specs
Power output 2A
Standard Qi
Dimensions 4” x 4” x 0.81”
Weight 117g (4.12oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon

TYLT VU ($19)

TYLT VU

As far as we know, TYLT was the first manufacturer to offer wireless chargers with this tilted, 45-degree cradle design, which allows you to see your phone more easily than if it were lying flat. The VU is a Qi charger with three coils inside, so you can put your phone on the cradle in portrait or landscape mode and it will still charge. There’s a single LED under the lip of the stand which goes green to indicate that it’s charging.

However, this charger is a bit on the expensive side, the power adapter is ugly and chunky, and some people have found that the pad can produce a lot of heat. The bright, plastic design is available in blue, green, and red, or you can go for black if you want something a bit more subdued. It also has a nice, soft-touch finish. We like the distinctive design, but it will take up a bit more space than a simple pad.

Specs
Power output 5W, 1A
Standard Qi
Dimensions 7.5” x 3.5” x 0.5”
Weight 161g (5.7oz)
Cable included? Yes
AC Adapter included? Yes

Buy it now from:

Amazon



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