The Best Wireless Chargers and Buying Criteria to Watch For

Wireless Charger Feature

With more and more devices supporting wireless charging, there’s no reason not to consider picking up a wireless charger. A quick Amazon or Google search will yield hundreds of different wireless chargers from a variety of manufacturers. This guide lists the best wireless chargers and the buying criteria you should watch for.

How Does Wireless Charging Work?

Without getting too technical, wireless chargers include an induction coil. When a current is applied to the coil, it creates an electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field is capable of transmitting power over short distances.

Combine this with a device that is capable of receiving that energy and converting it to electricity to be fed into the battery, and you get wireless charging. Now that we have an understanding of how wireless charging works, let’s take a look at some things you should consider when buying a wireless charger.

1. Make Sure It’s Qi-Certified

Samsung and Huawei were some of the first smartphone manufacturers to embrace wireless charging over 10 years ago. Back then, there were a number of different wireless charging protocols. This made finding a wireless charger compatible with your device a headache. Fortunately, that problem does not exist today thanks to Qi (pronounced chee).

Wireless Charger Qi

Qi was developed by the Wireless Power Consortium as an open interface standard for inductive wireless charging. Qi has been widely adopted by manufacturers, with over 500 companies using it, including Apple, Samsung, Google, Xiaomi and Sony.

Qi has taken the mantle as the standard of wireless charging. The Qi wireless charging protocol can be found virtually everywhere, from airports to coffee shops to cars. Since Qi is synonymous with wireless charging, you want to make sure that the wireless charger in your shopping cart is Qi-certified.

This is to ensure compatibility with your device as well as putting your mind at ease. Qi chargers adhere to strict safety standards. This includes the ability to assess thermal levels. If the charger detects too much heat being generated, it will throttle down its power delivery to protect your device’s battery.

2. Choose USB-C Over Micro USB

Wireless charging isn’t exactly wire-free. This is because the wireless charger itself needs to be plugged in to an outlet. You’ll find that some wireless chargers use Micro USB cables and others use USB-C. Much like smartphones, Micro USB is ancient history. USB-C is the standard nowadays – and for good reason.

Wireless Charger Usbc 1

First and foremost, USB-C is the one cable to rule them all. Unless you have a device from Apple, virtually every smartphone available today uses USB-C. This means that you don’t have to fumble around with different cables for different devices. Furthermore, USB-C is capable of delivering more juice compared to Micro USB. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of wireless fast charging, opt for a charger that utilizes USB-C.

3. Higher Wattage, Faster Charging

Power delivery to a phone’s battery is measured in watts. In layman’s terms, the more watts you have going into your device, the faster it will charge.

Wireless Charger Fast

Currently, Qi-certified wireless chargers are capable of delivering 15 watts, provided your device is compatible. In our research, we have found that wireless chargers capable of delivering more than 5 watts call themselves “fast chargers.” There is a difference between a wireless charger delivering 10 watts versus one that delivers 15 watts. Consequently, you’ll want to grab a wireless charger that delivers the most watts if you want to charge up your phone as quickly as possible.

Note: some wireless chargers do not include the power brick that is plugged into your wall socket. You must provide a fast charge power brick for the wireless charging pad to deliver increased wattage.

Before we move on, take note that the higher the watts, the hotter the charging process. Unfortunately, excessive heat can damage your device’s battery. This is why it’s important to select a Qi-certified wireless charger, as they are able to regulate their power delivery to ensure temperatures remain safe.

4. Pad vs. Stand Design

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different wireless chargers. Furthermore, with Qi being a universal charging protocol, you are free to use pretty much any Qi-certified wireless charger with any device. Once you’ve zeroed in on the features you want your wireless charger to have, all that’s left is deciding on the design of the charger itself.

Wireless Charger Stand

The two most common wireless charger types you’ll come across are the pad style and the stand style. Wireless charging pads are exactly what they sound like. Most models are either circular or rectangular, and they lie flat on your table. Simply place your device on the pad, and charging will commence. Stand style wireless chargers are generally reserved for phones, as they prop your phone up at an angle. This enables you to continue viewing it, either vertically or horizontally.

Wireless Charger Pad

Finally, you may also want to consider a wireless charger with an integrated fan. This can help dissipate any excessive heat that may damage your device’s battery. You may also opt for a charger that will charge multiple devices wirelessly at the same time. A very unique one is the MOMAX Airbox Power Bank that will charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, and also acts as a powerbank for other devices.

There are a ton of wireless chargers to choose from. To help you narrow the selection down, we’ve picked out some of your favorites.

Best for iPhone: Apple MagSafe Charger

Price: $39.00

The Apple MagSafe Charger is recommended by Apple to charge the latest iPhone 13. It can be used with older iPhone models and even some Android phones. The MagSafe Charger features Apple’s minimalist aesthetic combined with solid design functionality.

Wireless Charger Magsafe

The MagSafe Charger uses the iPhone’s magnets to properly align the charger in the optimal spot on the phone. This ensures that users will get the fastest charging speeds by removing human error during placement. The biggest downside to this charger is the fact that it’s not truly wireless. Users basically have a magnetic clip attached to the back of their phone, but it is more convenient than hunting around for a lightning cable.

Best Stand-Style Wireless Charger: Anker 313 Wireless Stand Charger

Price: $19.99

Wireless Charger Anker313

The Anker 313 Stand Charger stands out for a couple of reasons. First is its price point. At the time of writing, you can get it for under $20. Along with charging your phone in either landscape or portrait mode and delivering 10 watts of power, this charger is a no-brainer. This is particularly true if you want to conduct video calls or stream video while charging.

Best Wireless Car Charger: Mophie Snap+ Vent Mount

Price: $49

Wireless Charger Mophie

If you don’t have a vehicle that has a Qi-certified wireless charger built in, then this is your next best bet. The Mophie Snap Vent Mount is unobtrusive and looks good in virtually any vehicle. As the name suggests, this Qi-certified charger snaps on to your car’s air vent. It holds your phone in place via strong magnets while delivering a charge. If your phone isn’t magnetic, don’t worry. Mophie includes a magnetic ring that can be attached to any smartphone. Your phone can be positioned vertically or horizontally while charging.

Best Budget Option: Yootech 10W Wireless Charger

Price: $12.99

Wireless Charger Yootech 1

If you’re skeptical about the world of wireless charging, you can dip your toes in without breaking the bank. The Yootech 10W Wireless Charger can be had for $12.99, making it one of the cheapest wireless fast chargers on the market. If you need a little more convincing, the Yootech Wireless Charger has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon from over 100,000 reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is wireless charging safe?

Short answer: yes. Wireless charging may seem like it was ripped straight out of a sci-fi movie, but the truth is that the technology has been around for a while. As long as you stick to Qi-certified wireless chargers, there is little to worry about. Qi-certified chargers must adhere to the strict safety standards defined by the Wireless Power Consortium.

2. Can wireless charging harm my device’s battery?

Excessive heat can damage your device’s battery. One of the byproducts of charging your device, whether wired or wireless, is heat. Qi-certified wireless chargers can detect unsafe levels of heat during the charging process and throttle back the power delivery to cool things down.

Furthermore, when the battery has reached 100% capacity, Qi-certified wireless chargers cease delivering power. All of this means that wireless charging is just as safe as charging your device with a traditional cable. While wireless chargers aren’t as efficient as traditional chargers, meaning there is more energy lost in the conversion process, this doesn’t have an impact on your device or the battery inside of it.

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