We’ll be honest, the headline there is a bit misleading. It should in all truth read “best wireless chargers, etc., etc., available for some Android smartphones.” Also, a tablet – Asus and Google’s classic Nexus 7 2013.
Unfortunately, even if the technology has been around for years now, it’s yet to spread like the cable-free wildfire everyone anticipated. Believe it or not, numerous flagship mobiles these days lack built-in wireless charging functions for various mystifying reasons. Production costs, tricky manufacturing, just good old fashioned laziness, you name it.
HTC, for instance, snubbed the Qi standard on all three latest hero handhelds – the One M7, M8 and M9. Meanwhile, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony recently got with the inductive charging program for the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S5, S4, Note 4, Note 3, Note 2, G4, G3, G Pro 2, Droid Turbo, Maxx and Xperia Z3.
The list of supporting devices is obviously not exhaustive, and there’s one more thing. To actually activate and use the futuristic feature, you’ll typically need dedicated back covers that add to the often extravagant prices of the above mentioned phones.
Plus, the no-wires chargers and charging pads we’ll detail in the following lines. It’s also wise to keep in mind the electromagnetic field that transfers energy between Android gadgets and these ingenious accessories through thin air is produced by plugging the chargers into a traditional electric socket. So, in a way, this isn’t true wireless charging.
Still, it’s deemed convenient by many, and will likely make headway before long, so without further ado, here are the best wireless chargers, charging pads and docks money can buy, ordered from cheapest to costliest:
It doesn’t come with a power AC adapter, it’s not particularly speedy or “versatile”, but it’s really, really small, at 2.5 inches in diameter and 0.5 inches thick, lightweight (6.5 ounces), and energy efficient, courtesy of a Smart IC management system design. No wonder it’s rated at close to four stars based on nearly 1,900 Amazon customer reviews.
Once again, the AC adapter isn’t included, which you’ll find to be a staple of the economical price range, and once more, the compact form factor and ease of transportation feel like the key selling points. That said, you’ll probably look to conceal the petite but unattractive Yootech puck on your office after setting it up, the good news being it’s sufficiently silent and low-key to ultimately go unnoticed.
The marginal price gaps between these entry-level chargers and their very similar capabilities will induce (pun intended) serious headaches when deciding on one to buy. The PowerPort stands out with temperature control and a self-enabling idle mode that eliminates concerns regarding overcharging or energy wasting.
Otherwise, the circular docking station is virtually identical to the two indexed earlier and the next few contenders as far as internals go.
Another tiny, featherweight slab (2.8 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches; 4.9 ounces), with universal Qi compatibility, slip protection, built-in USB connection and excellent Amazon customer feedback. It’s getting harder and harder to choose.
Finally, something special and original. Better, too? That’s up for debate. The manufacturer claims magnets are better and faster than the inductive Qi system, but the case needed to get the Fuel iON to work is… awkward and slippery. And some clients accuse it of not connecting properly. All in all, while the idea is decent, the execution requires further work. Perhaps a higher tariff to secure more adept engineers and testers.
The textbook definition of minimalism, Choetech’s newest charging square is unfortunately only covered by a 12-month warranty. The blue LED indicator is also way too bright, aggressive and annoying, and unless you center your device perfectly on the 4.7 x 2.7 x 0.4-inch pad, this won’t work.
On the plus side, device slips are physically impossible thanks to the bottom rubber surface.
Ah, yes, now we’re talking! You know what they say – with great price comes great… quality. Stylish but also robust, slender yet very powerful, Samsung’s Qi-capable contraption doesn’t squarely go out to Galaxy S6 or Note 4 proprietors.
It works smoothly and effortlessly even when paired with rival handsets, and the built-in LED light is non-intrusive, always there to have your back and very easy to comprehend.
Wondering what on earth could justify a tag almost four times as lavish as our number one budget-friendly option? First and foremost, an inventive design that lets you view your phone at an ideal angle when docked for checking notifications and even watching videos.
Second, the rare ability to juice up through thick, muscular armors and cases. Third, complete silence and a subtle yet resourceful indicator light that merely bothers you when assistance is mandatory. Lastly, you can try all you want, but you won’t find a way to place a phone on the Qi-infinity so as wireless charging to be prevented.
Like arch-rival Samsung, LG doesn’t block users of competing devices from rocking the WCP-300, but it makes the purchase feel impractical. At 30 bucks or so, maybe this would be worth it. It’s extremely good-looking, fairly compact and portable, at 2.74 x 0.46 x 2.74 inches, and it sports an unusually large “active area.” Translation – it doesn’t require a lot of attention when made to work.
But it presents a number of troubling recurring glitches, according to a horde of reviewers on Amazon, as it sometimes halts charging before the phone’s battery is fully loaded and often refuses to sync up to devices it should support no problem.
And it’s all come to this. The most expensive and, yes, best all-around wireless mobile charger. The only true wireless accessory on our list today, capable of easily doubling as a funky power bank. You read that right, the QiStone+ can carry standalone 4,000 mAh stamina, which is itself Qi wireless-compatible.
Sooo, you can charge the QiStone+ sans cables, then wirelessly transfer the energy to a phone of your choice. Or even simultaneously beef up two handhelds, one wirelessly and the other via USB. It’s fast, flexible, has a very unique design and, at the end of the day, it’s not that costly, considering the travel freedom it can facilitate.