One of the first mobile phones with a wireless charging function was the Palm Pre, launched in 2009. It had a back cover and an optional Touchstone charging dock. Palm Pre ran on a nifty operating system, WebOS, but it was way ahead of its time. Ultimately, Palm smartphones eventually died out due to carrier exclusivity and quality issues.
Then Nokia adopted the Qi charging standard in 2012 with the Nokia Lumia 920. Android phones started supporting wireless charging from 2012 with the Samsung Galaxy S3. Then Apple joined the party in 2017, with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.
In recent years, we’ve seen the arrival of watches that charge wirelessly, some directly on the back of a cell phone, and also wireless charging mounts in headphone cases. Wireless charging is usually slower than wireless charging, not to mention OnePlus and its ultra-fast Warp Charge 50 wireless technology, but it’s very convenient to just place your device on a charging dock and no longer have to fiddle with cables.
Apple MagSafe, the magnetic charger for iPhone
Maximum capacity: 15 watts | Dimensions: 83 x 83 x 18.3 mm | Weight : 45.4 grams | Cable length: 1m
In 2020, Apple released its iPhone 12 with MagSafe technology. This technology supports wireless charging and the alignment of a magnetic ring on the back of phones. The Apple MagSafe charger is the default charger available from Apple.
This is a very basic round charging tablet, with a USB-C end on the cable. Please note that this charger does not include a USB-C power adapter. Therefore, you will need a compatible adapter to power the MagSafe charger. The charger will power all iPhones from iPhone 8 to iPhone 12, but the magnetic alignment is only compatible with iPhone 12 and up.
Apple also offers a rather unique dual MagSafe charger, designed to charge iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously. It is very comfortable to carry, but you have to be careful to hold the iPhone and the charger to separate them, because the latter is very light.
- flawless operation with iPhones;
- powerful magnets to hold it in place.
- does not include mains plug;
Go to the Apple website
Belkin Stand Boost Charge Induction Charger, The Smartphone Stand Charger
Maximum capacity: 15 watts | Dimensions: 125.75 x 102.15 x 102.15 mm | Weight : NC | Cable length: NORTH CAROLINA
Belkin offers several wireless charging options for mobile devices, and one of their most popular models is the Stand Boost Charge Induction Charger. This stand allows you to position your phone at an angle, allowing you to use it on your desk when mounted on the stand.
The problem with the dock charger is that charging connected watches and headphones can be tricky, if not impossible. Belkin also claims that this charger is not compatible with Apple’s iPhone 12 mini.
The Belkin Boost Charge comes with a Quick Charge 3.0 power supply, so it’s ready to go right out of the box. This charger supports enclosures up to 3mm thick.
- charge from two angles;
- two-year warranty.
- Its design can avoid charging watches or headphones / earphones;
- the front LED light can be annoying on a nightstand.
Go to the Belkin website
ESR HaloLock MagSafe Wireless Charging Stand, Designed for iPhone 12
Maximum capacity: 15 watts | Dimensions: NC | Weight : NC | Cable length: 1.5 meter
ESR produces very affordable accessories and one of the best to support MagSafe is the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Wireless Charging Stand. It has four pivot points, so it can be adjusted to your ideal viewing angle. The iPhone 12 is securely attached with magnets, which is one of the reasons why this product is reserved for this model.
You can mount your iPhone in landscape or portrait orientation on the dock, so that you can use your iPhone while it is charging. The ESR HaloLock Wireless Charging Stand is ideal for making video calls or watching media while your iPhone is charging. A USB-C cable is included, but you will need the AC outlet.
- swivel for different configurations
- powerful magnets to hold iPhone in place;
- good quality material.
- just charge the iPhone;
- does not include mains plug.
Go to the Amazon website
Mophie Plus, to charge up to three devices
Maximum capacity: 15 watts | Dimensions: 200 x 126 x 96 mm | Weight : 250 grams | Cable length: 1.5 meter
Mophie is well known for its portable battery solutions, but the company also makes other accessories. After a while with Mophie’s Wireless Charging Stand, we love the ability to charge multiple devices, as well as the flexibility to charge Android or iPhone devices, an Apple Watch, or headphones.
The Mophie Wireless Charging Dock features an angled stand for phones, a flat surface for phones or headphones, and a vertical stand for the Apple Watch, so the stand is optimized for multiple devices. The 15W charger and mains plug are provided.
Two mounts, one horizontal and one slanted, allow for wireless charging, while a USB-A port is located on the back of the accessory so you can charge your third device. An Apple Watch stand is provided, so you can insert the Apple Watch charger and its USB cable.
- various loading places;
- an additional USB-A port for cable charging;
- a dark fabric upholstery;
- Apple Watch stand included.
Go to the Mophie website
OnePlus Warp Charge 50 wireless charger, faster than wired charging
Maximum capacity: 50 watts (depends on the phone) | Dimensions: 118 x 89 x 70 mm | Weight : 180 grams | Cable length: 1.5 meter
OnePlus is known to provide extremely fast wired chargers for its Android smartphones. The brand has expanded this fast charging capability to wireless charging. The OnePlus Warp Charge 50 Wireless Charging Stand is now available.
This charging dock can charge a OnePlus 9 Pro from 1% to 100% in just 43 minutes. It is faster than cable charging for most smartphones. You can also rest your phone on it, horizontally or vertically.
While the OnePlus Warp Charge 50 is optimized for the latest OnePlus phones and will charge them at the fastest speed, it will also charge other Qi-enabled devices at a maximum of 15W. At higher speeds, you will hear the internal fan come on to keep the charging base cool. It is also possible to set the fan to charge at a slower rate if you want a quiet mode of operation.
- super fast charging for OnePlus 9 Pro;
- 15W charging for other Qi devices.
- angle bracket is a bit bulky;
- Headphones and watches cannot be charged.
Go to the OnePlus website
Which is the best option?
Our favorite from the list above is the Mophie Wireless Charging Stand Plus, which charges up to three devices at once, including the Apple Watch. The extra USB-A port is also useful when you have a device that doesn’t support wireless charging. It’s perfect for your nightstand, so all your gadgets are ready for the next day.
Should we seek only the highest power?
Most of these wireless chargers support up to 15W, the highest value for most devices today. However, it’s the device itself that limits speed and capacity, so the charger isn’t usually the limiting factor here. In most cases, a 10W charger is perfectly capable of charging your device.
Wireless charging is slower than wired charging, except in special cases where there is a proprietary solution. For example, the OnePlus Warp Charge 50 charger can charge the battery of a OnePlus 9 Pro faster than many wired connections.
Can I charge my phone wirelessly while on the go?
Yes, there are portable power banks that have built-in wireless charging capability. Mophie and others offer high-capacity portable batteries that include support for Qi charging, so you can take it with you and place your device on the battery to charge.
Wireless charging is slower than wired charging and it can sometimes be difficult to keep a device properly placed on a battery to charge it. For portable charging needs, a wired connection is faster and more reliable.
How to choose?
One of the first things to consider when preparing to buy a wireless charging dock is how many devices you want to charge at the same time. Some bases have the capacity and space to charge multiple devices at the same time. They often have a dedicated space in the charger for helmets and watches. You may also only need to charge a smartphone, and the most basic wireless charging satisfies that need.
After determining how many devices you want to charge, you need to consider your budget. There are some very affordable chargers and some that look better. What should be considered in the price is the desired maximum capacity. The more capacity your wireless charger has, the faster it will charge your device … as long as the latter supports a large capacity.
Fortunately, the technology is the same, Qi, so there is no need to check this function. Among the available options, whether your device is placed horizontally on a shelf or at an angle on a stand can also be a deciding factor.
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