Going wireless is the way of the future. As existing wireless technologies mature and costs decline, we are seeing a huge growth in wireless devices and this will continue into the next decade. Let’s just take a moment to quickly acknowledge some of the great wireless technology that is now a regular part of our lives and we’ve already become so used to. A big shout out to two of the big ones in the room – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – which has lead onto things such as wireless speakers, headphones, printers, televisions, keyboards and mice. They’re all so much better without the wires, aren’t they? With that in mind, let’s not take for granted the next great thing in wireless devices: wireless phone chargers!
Wireless phone chargers have only entered the market within the past decade and have seen great advancement within the past few years. There are a few different standards for wireless charging including Qi and PMA. The most common standard on the market at the moment is Qi (pronounced 'Chee'), so we're going to keep our focus around Qi wireless phone chargers. Wireless chargers with a Qi standard are compatible with any phone that is Qi integrated – and the good news is, most modern smartphones are (see our list of Qi integrated phones below).
How do wireless chargers work?
Wireless chargers typically use magnetic induction. A direct current (DC) is supplied to the charging system by a power source (the wall power adapter), which converts into alternating current (AC) as it moves into the transmitting coil. The AC inside the transmitter coil generates an electromagnetic field, which will transfer energy to a receiving coil (within a compatible smartphone) when it is placed on the charger. As AC is induced within the receiving coil, the process reverses, converting the current to DC which charges the power source of the receiving device.
The Qi standard has now begun supporting wireless charging using magnetic resonance. It works similarly to magnetic induction, but allows for some distance between the wireless charger and the phone. While there aren't many chargers on the market that charge this way yet, we can expect to see more of them in the future.
Why use a wireless phone charger?
Durability – Without the constant plugging and unplugging of your device, you’ll see less wear and tear on the socket of your device. Plus, you don’t won’t have to worry about replacing your charging cable when it wears out from constant use; we all know how expensive a quality charging cable can be!
Convenience – Goodbye lost cords and tangled cables! Just drop your phone at the charging station and it’s ready to charge.
Integration – Don’t you hate when you need to borrow a friend’s charger but the charging socket doesn’t fit your phone? The great thing about most wireless chargers is that they’re compatible with a variety of different phones, no matter the size or socket. Many wireless chargers will also charge smart watches, ear buds, and other Qi compatible devices!
Reliability – How often have you woken up in the morning to realize you forgot to plug your phone into your charger and failed to charge it overnight? Inductive charging systems can be operated automatically without dependence on people to plug and unplug, so you're far less likely to encounter that problem again.
How do I choose a wireless phone charger?
While you don't necessarily need to be too particular about what wireless phone charger you choose, here are a couple of things you might want to consider.
Design and style:
Choose a phone charger with a design and style that you like. The two types of Qi wireless phone chargers that you will see are stands and pads. Stands prop your phone up, which allows you to do things such as check messages, answer calls, watch videos and scroll through music without interrupting your charging. Pads keep your phone lying down, so they’re best for when you just want to drop your phone off to charge and leave it. Some chargers functions as both a pad and a stand, so you can position it any way you like.
A wireless phone charger only requires one coil to charge your phone. However, the more coils there are and/or the larger the coil is, the less precise you have to be about how you place your phone on the charger due to wider wireless energy transfer. So while one coil will be sufficient for charging your phone, if you're choosing a charger that has a particularly large pad, opt for multiple charging coils.
What are the top wireless phone chargers?
Although most wireless phone chargers are universal (they should charge up any Qi integrated devices), you may still be unsure which charger is best for you. These are a few of our top recommendations! Of course, this is only a glimpse into our entire range of wireless chargers which you can browse more of here.
Best Value - Xiaomi Mi 20W Fast Wireless Charging Stand
If you don't have a big budget for your wireless phone charger, that's no worries, because Xiaomi's 20W Fast Wireless Charging Stand will cost you less than $50 while offering fantastic value! Plus, it's universally compatible and supports up to 20W fast charging for Apple iPhone, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi smartphones. What's great is that you can place your phone vertically or horizontally, enabling you to continue watching YouTube videos or other media in expanded mode while your phone is charging. It also features double coils, providing more charging current to your phone, regardless of the orientation that it's placed.
This charger will also work with most phone cases. It has a wireless charging distance of up to 4mm which means that as long as your phone case isn't any thicker than this, the charging current will make it through. Additionally, this wireless phone charger features protection for temperature, short circuit, power, foreign object and over voltage.
Best for Samsung Devices - Samsung 3-in-1 Wireless Charger
With Samsung's 3-in-1 Wireless Charger, you can simultaneously charge up to three devices at one time, including your smartphone, earbuds, and Galaxy Smart Watch. Whether you want to charge up one of each or two smartphones and a smart watch - that's no problem! The Galaxy Watch gets a dedicated charging space (keep in mind, this isn't designed for the Galaxy Watch Pro, so if you own one, the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad Duo will be a better option for you) but you're free to use the other two spots however suits you best - including for other non-Samsung Qi compatible devices. This wireless charger features six coils offering reliable charging thanks to an expanded charging coverage area.
Additionally, this wireless charger features LED lights which tells you the charging status of your device with different colors: red for charging, flashing red for charging error, and green for fully charged. When it's time for lights out, you can dim it to not disturb your sleep. You don't have to worry about taking your case off with this charger either as the charge reaches through lightweight cases.
Best for Apple - Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger
If you're an Apple user, this charging dock was made for you! Belkin's 3-in-1 Wireless Charger will charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods faster and all at once with a three-in-one solution. There's a 7.5W wireless charging pad for your iPhone, a magnetic charging module for your Apple Watch, and a 5W pad to wirelessly charge your AirPods. This sleek and stylish charging dock is perfect for your nightstand or home office and will effortlessly fit in with any decor. Additionally, it's compatible with most phone cases. The 7.5W iPhone charging pad will charge through most lightweight cases (up to 3mm thick), so you never need to remove your phone from its case to charge.
This charging dock also features LED lights: a white light confirms active wireless charging, while an amber light indicates an error with charging - this could be due to foreign object detection, misalignment, or other errors. A great choice for Apple users who want to simultaneously charge their devices (the charging pads will charge all Qi compatible devices, however, not just Apple ones)! If you want more of a boost, check out Belkin's newer 3-in-1 Wireless Charger, designed to charge your Apple devices faster thanks to the new magnetic fast charging module for Apple Watch Series 7 (and up) and MagSafe technology for iPhone 12 models (and up).
Best for Travel - Mophie 3-in-1 Wireless Charger
For Apple users who want a compact charger that's not only perfect for travel but also has MagSafe support, check out the Mophie 3-in-1 Wireless Charger. This charger is capable of charging both your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at the same time. Being a MagSafe charger, it offers a couple of benefits compared to a regular charger. These include the strong attachment which uses magnets to align and attach itself to the iPhone, ensuring a solid connection; and the ability to fast charge, providing up to 15W compared to the standard 7.5W.
The Mophie 3-in-1 Charger has a compact foldable design that snaps shut and easily fits into the included travel pouch. Despite it's small package, this wireless charger is actually quite impressive. It offers fast charging capabilities, 3-in-1 design, and foldable form factor making it a great compact/travel wireless charger! Do you have more than two Apple products to charge at once? Check out the Mophie 3-in-1 Wireless Charger! If you don't need the extra charging spot, Momax has a 2-in-1 charger that could be worth considering as well.
Best for Cars - Mi 20W Fast Wireless Car Charger
Wireless chargers are a great addition to the car as they keep you charged up on the go and also perform as a hands-free phone mount! With Xiaomi's 20W Fast Wireless Car Charger, you can effortlessly charge your smartphone, use GPS, listen to music, or take a phone call, all thanks to one nifty device. It boasts up to 20W of fast charging power which can be a life saver when you've got a big day ahead and barely enough battery to get you by - just put your phone on and get a nice boost of power on your drive! It works with any Qi compatible device and with up to 4mm effective sensing distance, will charge with most phone cases.
This charger features an inductive electric clamp that securely holds your phone in place. With a built-in infrared sensor, the arm will automatically expand and lock when the phone is put in. It has a multi-angle free adjustment to fix the phone however suits you best. It also has dual heat dissapation, ensuring your phone doesn't overheat, along with protection for temperature, short circuits, power, overvoltage, and foreign objects.
Check out range of wireless phone chargers
PB Tech carries a variety of Qi standard wireless phone chargers. We've got charging stands, pads, and wireless car chargers too. Start shopping our range of wireless phone chargers below!