Smartphones need to keep topped up with power in today’s fast-paced world. Wireless chargers make this little bit of life admin super easy and reduce the need for fiddly wires and connections. Plus, if you’re in a house with multiple devices from multiple brands, finding a cable with the correct interface can be a real hassle. This isn’t the case with a wireless charger, simply throw on your device and away it goes. But which is the best? Our quick buyer’s guide is here to help you find out.
There are primarily two types of designs of wireless chargers. One is the pad-type, which lays flat on a surface with the smartphone placing on top. The second is the stand-type, which holds the device vertically. Each variation has its benefits. For example, the pad-type is a low profile and simple design, whereas the stand will allow the user to read texts or video chat. Which works best for you is entirely down to personal preference.
If you have any entries in the Apple iPhone 12 range, you have exclusive access to a unique type of portable wireless charging, thanks to MagSafe. This feature allows compatible magnetic accessories to be attached securely to the rear of an iPhone 12, including a wireless battery pack, for boosted power on the move. We’ve included a few MagSafe wireless chargers in our list below.
If you’d like to know more about wireless phone chargers, Qi charging and whether wireless charging is safe, head to the bottom of this article where you’ll find a quick guide.
Here’s our shortlist for the best wireless phone chargers:
• Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave Pad
• Moshi Otto Q Wireless Charger
• Belkin BoostCharge Dual Wireless Charger
• Moshi Lounge Q Wireless Charger
• Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave Alloy Pad
The best MagSafe wireless chargers shortlist:
• Belkin BoostCharge PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charger for Apple MagSafe
• Anker PowerCore Magnetic Wireless Power Bank
• Belkin Magnetic Wireless Power Bank
• Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
The best wireless phones chargers:
Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave Pad
The Anker PowerWave Pad is probably the most popular wireless charger around. Itu2019s a universal charger - when paired with a Samsung adapter, itu2019ll switch modes to fast-charge 10W for charging Samsung smartphones, while itu2019ll go to a fast-charge 5W mode with an Apple adapter for iPhones. Its performance is nippy, with Galaxy smartphones charging fully in an advertised 30-minutes, and itu2019ll even charge through phones cases (up to 5mm thick). Note: While you need to provide the relevant mains adapter, the pad comes with a 4ft USB cable.
Moshi Otto Q Wireless Charger
The Moshi Otto Q is a great 15W charger with universal compatibility. Itu2019s quick to charge, even through protective cases up to 5mm thick. The Otto Q is topped with a non-slip silicone ring, which helps to hold the device in position, and the internal Moshi Q-coil helps to dissipate heat efficiently. The soft-touch fabric finish is also a nice touch for those conscious of their interior design.
Belkin BoostCharge Dual Wireless Charger
The Belkin BoostCharge Dual Wireless Charger does what it looks and sounds like it would do - its charges up to wireless devices. Itu2019s effectively two 15W Qi chargers squeezed into one case, providing both devices with a consistent fast charge. Itu2019s not just for phones, you can charge one phone and some headphones if you like. Handy!
Moshi Lounge Q Wireless Charger
The Moshi Lounge Q has all the functionality and style of the Moshi Otto Q, but with a handy added extra - an adjustable height stand. This nifty piece of engineering allows a smartphone to position vertically. The ideal setup for keeping the phone power up while on a hands-free or video call.
Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave Alloy Pad
The Anker PowerWace Alloy Pad takes all that is good about the standard PowerWave and gives it a little extra jolt. Whereas the standard version is a 10W charger, the alloy pushes up to 15W, allowing for even faster charging. The full 15W is reserved for Google Pixel users, while iPhone users receive a boost to 7.5W. Samsung wireless charging is still capped at 10W - which is plenty fast enough. The Alloy also has a slightly different physical design - its top cover is convex and has a silicon edge to prevent device slippage and the underside is now metal (hence the name Alloy) to better dissipate heat. Plus, it looks pretty neat.
Best MagSafe wireless phones chargers:
Belkin BoostCharge PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charger for Apple MagSafe
If youu2019re Apple through and through, then Belkin has what you need. The BoostCharge PRO 3 will wirelessly charge an iPhone 12, Apple Watch and AirPods. Visually, itu2019s an impressive sight, as the iPhone 12 connects to its charge pad via MagSafe and thus appears to float. The Apple Watch rests just next to the phone on another pad while AirPods can charge via the base. Itu2019s a 15W charger, too, so everything gets powered up very quickly.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic Wireless Power Bank
As with all other products listed in this section, the Anker PowerCore Magnetic Wireless Power Bank attaches to the rear of an iPhone 12 via MagSafe. Itu2019s a nice, compact option that is ideal for commuting and air travel. Its capacity is 5,000mAh, which is more than double that of the official Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, and it comes in at half the cost. It charges at 5W. All-in, we reckon this is a great little find.
Belkin Magnetic Wireless Power Bank
Compatible with the iPhone 12 via MagSafe, this option from Belkin provides a huge amount of portable wireless power. It has a 10,000mAh capacity, which is roughly 2.7 times that of the iPhone 12 Max battery. So, itu2019s got the juice to keep you going for a while. Wirelessly it charges at 7.5W, and plugging in a USB-C to Lightning connection boosts charging power to 18W. Just be aware, itu2019s pretty chunky when itu2019s on the phone.
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
As the name suggests, it uses Appleu2019s magnetic technology to attach a battery pack to an iPhone 12, which will then wirelessly charge the phone. Wirelessly, the MagSafe Battery Pack will provide a modest 5W charging power, while plugging the phone in via the Lightning cable will provide 15W of portable recharging oomph. Plugging the MagSafe Battery Pack into a 20W portable battery will boost the wireless charging to fast charge. The pack has a 1,460mAh capacity - as a comparison, the iPhone 12 Mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh and the iPhone 12 Max has 3,687mAh.
Wireless charging: FAQ
What is Qi charging?
Qi charging is a wireless charging standard that has been adopted by the technology world. The system can wirelessly charge phones, tablets and other compatible devices from a range of distances. The vast majority of products that are advertised as having “wireless charging” are using a system based on the Qi format. If in doubt, you can always check your device’s specifications.
Fun fact: Qi is a Chinese word pronounced “chee” and refers to the spiritual concept of energy and life flow. In the West, we tend to read and pronounce it as though it’s a two-letter acronym: Q and I.
Will a wireless charger charge my AirPods?
Yes, so long as they are AirPods 2 or later. With this generation, Apple added wireless charging to the AirPod case, and it’s compatible with any Qi-certified charging pad. The AirPods can also charge wirelessly without the case.
Many other earphone manufacturers also include some form of wireless charging compatibility, including Samsung, Sony and Skullcandy (plus more that don’t start with an ‘S’).
Is wireless charging safe?
Wireless charging is perfectly safe. Though it sounds like unchecked electricity is being passed from pad to device, in reality, no exchange occurs between the charging pad and the device. The wireless charging process uses electromagnetic principles, which induces the device to charge itself with electrons already present within the device. The process does create a very small electromagnetic field, but it’s so low that it has no adverse effects.
If you’re interested in diving into the physics of Qi wireless and wireless charging, be sure to watch ThioJoeTech’s simple scientific explanation here: