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Best wireless chargers 2018

Apple’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X are the first from the company to feature wireless charging, but many Android phones have supported the new charging method for a while now. Most use the same Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) charging standard, so wireless chargers will work for both iPhone and Android. Here, we round-up some of the best wireless chargers you can buy.

Which phones feature wireless charging?

Wireless charging for smartphones isn’t a new thing, so you might be surprised to find out how many current phones support it.

Also see our roundup of the best solar chargers[1]. In addition to the three new iPhones we’ve mentioned, Samsung’s phones all the way back to the Galaxy S6 have had built-in Qi, as do Google’s Nexus 4, 5 and 6; several LG phones including the LG G6 (in the US); Motorola Droid phones; several Lumia models; and the BlackBerry Priv and Z30.

Best wireless chargers

There are quite a few wireless chargers out there, so it can be tricky to know which to buy. Some have faster charging capabilities, but not all phones do, so it’s worth checking what your phone supports.

For example, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus currently support up to 5W, but will get an update to support up to 7.5W (like the iPhone X) later this year. Some Samsung phones support up to 15W. Most wireless chargers claim to be “fast” but it’s worth checking on the actual wattage.

Look out for 7.5W or more for the fastest charging. That said, some older or cheaper phones won’t charge any faster at 7.5W than 5W.

But beyond that, they’re all largely similar, so the deciding factor could come down to price. Some might be able to charge multiple devices at once, and some will have additional features such as a stand or car mount.

Apple is working on its own wireless charging pad called AirPower[2], which will be big enough and smart enough to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at once. We expect it’ll come at a high price, and it’s not set to arrive until next year, but if you’ve got an iPhone and are willing to wait we expect it’ll be a popular choice.

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad

Best wireless chargers 2018

The Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad is a really nice-looking option that comes with an LED to let you know when it’s charging and an AC adapter in the box. It was one of the two chargers Apple endorsed during its iPhone launch event.

It uses the latest Qi wireless standard that delivers up to 7.5W to an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

It will charge through most cases – up to 3mm thick.

It is on the pricey side though – there are much cheaper alternatives available.

Mophie Wireless Charging Base

Best wireless chargers 2018

The second charger to be mentioned by Apple during the iPhone event was Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base, which comes in the form of a simple black disk, also with an LED light and AC adapter. It’s the same price as Belkin’s offering, so not the cheapest available but from an Apple-endorsed vendor, and also offers quick-charging speeds with up to 7.5W of power.

Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Dock

Best wireless chargers 2018

Anker’s PowerPort Wireless 5 Dock (GBP18.99 from Amazon) doubles up as a stand, allowing you to more easily use your smartphone as it charges. Although it has a 5W output, Anker claims that it can charge faster than most 5W wireless chargers and can cut 40 minutes off the charging time for an iPhone X (3.5 hours rather than 3.9 hours).

It does not, however, support 7.5W charging like the more expensive wireless chargers reviewed here. Nicely designed, with a blue circular LED at the front to let you know everything is working, the PowerPort 5 is even powerful enough to charge through cases up to 5mm in thickness. Charging is possible with the smartphone in both landscape and portrait mode.

Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Pad

Best wireless chargers 2018

Coming in a pound cheaper at GBP17.99 is a second option from Anker that functions as a standard wireless charging pad rather than a stand.

The beauty of this design is you can throw your phone down at any angle and charging begins. Something we particularly like about the Anker is its design. It has a nice rubberised surface that prevents your phone slipping off, and the LED that lets you know charging is in operation is small enough that it won’t distract you at night.

It’s a bit faster than the dock, and as with that device promises to shave precious minutes (30, to be exact) off the charging time when compared to other wireless pads with the same 5W output. Anker claims you can charge an iPhone X in 3.2 hours, whereas other chargers will require 3.5 hours. It will also charge through cases up to 5mm in thickness.

Choetech Wireless Charger

Best wireless chargers 2018

The cheapest charger in this round-up comes from Choetech, which offers a really simple 5W Qi charger pad for around GBP10 on Amazon.

It has non-slip grips on the top and bottom to make sure your phone and the pad itself stays in place on your bedside table or on your desk, and there’s a small LED on the front to indicate that the phone is charging successfully.

Anker Wireless Charging Pad

Best wireless chargers 2018

Also a really affordable option, the 5W Anker Wireless Charging Pad has a nice design with LEDs all the way round to allow you to check whether your phone is charging at a glance. It’s clear to see why this is a bestseller on Amazon, with a good price tag, practical design and fast charging capabilities too.

WoodPuck: Bamboo Edition Qi Wireless Charger

Best wireless chargers 2018

If you’re looking for something that looks less like tech, you might like the WoodPuck: Bamboo Edition charger. It’s a really simple design, made with bamboo rather than a plastic to help it blend in more with your home.

It’s available in Cappuccino or Espresso colours, and has an affordable price tag, too. It’s rated at 5W charging power.

Samsung Fast Charging Wireless Stand

Best wireless chargers 2018

The Samsung Wireless Charging Stand will work with more than just Samsung devices, so don’t let that put you off if you’re planning to use it to charge an iPhone. Instead of being a charging pad like many of the other products in this round-up, you’ll get a stand that allows you to prop up the phone in a viewing position while it charges, perhaps on your desk so that you don’t need to pick it up to see notifications.

It’s fast-charge compatible, too – although we couldn’t find definite conformation that it charges at 7.5W rather than 5W.

HyperDrive USB-C Hub and Wireless Charger

Best wireless chargers 2018

The HyperDrive by Sanho is a fully crowdfunded 8-in-1 USB-C Hub with wireless charging. It uses the Qi wireless charging standard and supports 7.5W high speed iPhone 8/X wireless charging (three coils). It also supports 5/10/15W high speed Android wireless charging.

You can lay your phone flat on the charger or in landscape or portrait mode with the convertible phone stand.

The HyperDrive can connect either to a USB-C laptop or mains power, and boasts eight ports: 4K HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, microSD, SD, three USB 3.1, and USB-C Power.

Its Kickstarter price is £159 (plus £20 shipping outside the US), but there are pledges starting at £109 for one HyperDrive[3].

References

  1. ^ Best solar chargers 2018 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ AirPower (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  3. ^ £109 for one HyperDrive (64p3n.fnd.to)

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