Top 9 Wireless Chargers For Your Smartphone
While wireless charging may not yet be supported by the majority of phones , this cable-free charging method is a handy technology we want to see more of. While uptake has slowed slightly in favour of fast charging, wireless chargers are inarguably neater and much more convenient than having to plug things in. The tech works best when you have more than one — for example, leaving your phone sitting on a charging pad at work means it will always be ready if you need to head out to a meeting or other off-site event throughout the day.
A lot of the time I hear how people don’t like wireless chargers, because they can’t be used while also using the phone. While a valid concern, it’s important to remember that wireless charging doesn’t stop you from using wired charging if you need it. In fact, many wireless chargers either use the same cable as your phone, or have in-built USB ports — or you can just keep your existing charger and cable. While hard to find, we love power banks with build in wireless charging. Often they are no more expensive than a charging pad, (and can be used as one), but also allow use on the go. Let us look at the 9 best wireless chargers available in the market.
Wireless Chargers Buyer Checklist
FAST CHARGING- For those with compatible phones, a fast charge wireless charger is well worth the extra upgrade cost.
THROUGH-CASE CHARGING- All the models tested did so, but check your wireless charger of choice works through a phone case.
INDICATOR LIGHTS- While useful, many indicator lights make wireless chargers undesirable to use on a bedside table at night as they’re too bright.
INCLUDED POWER SUPPLY- Many wireless chargers come with their own power supplies, but more affordable models simply use your existing phone charger.
BUILT-INS- Pad style chargers are handy, but for a more streamlined look, there are products such as lamps, tables and alarm clocks with built in wireless charging.
CHARGER GRIP- Wireless chargers with a grippy surface make it easier to ensure your phone stays in the optimum position, even if bumped.
MULTI DEVICES- For those with more than one wireless charging capable device, there are pads with two or even three charging points.
COMPATIBILITY- Any and all Qi charging pads should work with any phone that has Qi charging capabilities — but double check for any excluded models.
Belkin BOOST UP Wireless Charging Pad
SPECS-15W Fast Charge; connected equipment warranty; included power adaptor; 11.3 x 1.3cm.
Price- Under $60
Belkin is well known for high-quality chargers and cables, and their wireless charging pad is no exception. The unit is on the higher end of the price range at $109 direct from Belkin, but has some key features not seen elsewhere. For a start, it’s fast charge enabled, but up to 15W — which is quicker than many wired chargers. It also comes with a charging adaptor, which is hard wired to the pad itself. Belkin also protects your devices with a $2,500 connected equipment warranty, for some extra peace of mind. In testing, the Belkin unit successfully charged through a phone case — including fast charging. The charger itself is 113mm wide, and 12.7mm thick, with a non slip ring to help keep your smartphone in place. A subtle LED charge indicator won’t disturb you as you sleep. Shop around and you’ll find it online for well under $100.
Laser Wireless Charging Power Bank
SPECS-6,000mAh; 2x USB; 2.4A charging, 5W Qi wireless charging; 15.5 x 7.5 x 1.9cm; 210g.
For those with a wireless charging equipped smartphone, plugging in a power bank with wires is extra frustrating. To help make the most of your technology, the Laser power bank includes Qi wireless charging at 5W (5V, 1A). The unit is rated at 6,000mAh, and during testing, we pulled 5,787mAh via USB, and 5,166mAh using wireless. The unit includes dual USB ports, one of which handles 2.4A, while the other charges at a 1A rate. You can also USB charge and wirelessly charge at the same time. The Laser power bank doesn’t include anything to hold your device in place, but even if your phone is in a case the charger still supplies power. If you do need plug something in to charge, the microUSB port charges at a 1A rate, and has the usual charge and battery level indicators. Included in the pack is a short micro USB cable, and the unit is backed by a one-year warranty. It’s reasonably large at 155mm long, 75mm wide, 19mm thick and weighs 210 grams.
Comsol Qi Wireless Charging Pad
SPECS-5W charging rate; LED indicator; 9.7 x 9.7 x 1.1cm.
COSTING JUST $24.88, and available exclusively from Officeworks, the Comsol Charging pad is quite an affordable option. It uses the Qi (v1.2.2) standard, and is compatible with the array of wireless charging equipped phones out there. The device doesn’t come with a USB charger or cable itself, but accepts the microUSB plug on your existing model. It’s not a fast charger either — taking in up to 2A, but only outputting 5V 1A, or 5W max. In our testing, it happily charged our Nexus phone, including through a case and despite the 5W charge rate, it easily brought it back to full capacity in around four hours. The Comsol charger includes a silicon ring that provides extra grip, and keeps your phone in position even when accidentally jostled. The unit also has a slightly too bright LED indicator to let you know the charge status, and will trickle charge once your phone hits 100%. The Comsol charger is fairly compact — measuring in at 97mm across, and just 11mm thick.
SPECS-Qi 5W wirless charging; 1x 2A USB port; 13 x 13 x 2cm.
Price- Under $100
For those who don’t need or want built in options, the Ikea Nordmärke is wireless charging in pad form. It’s Qi compatible, with a normal 5W (5V, 1A) charge rate. Rather than using an existing USB charger, it comes with a plug pack style power unit that uses a DC socket. The Nordmärke also includes a USB port, which can output up to 2A for faster charging of wired devices. The pad is built from wood and plastic, and is large enough to make centering your device easy. It’s also available in beech wood colouring, or plain white. The unit charges through a smartphone case without an issue, and measures in at a slightly thicker 20mm, and 130mm wide. While a touch more expensive than some of the competition, and no fast charging, the Nordmärke is an easy to use all in one option. Ikea also has a range of other pad chargers to suit your needs including a triple pad version for charging multiple devices, for $99.
SPECS-5W Qi wireless charging; 1x 2A USB port; 10W LED lamp; 43cm high.
We are of the opinion wireless chargers should be built into just about every bit of furniture possible, and fortunately Ikea agrees. The Riggad is an LED work lamp, with built-in Qi wireless charging pad. The charger sits flush in the wide beech wood base, and charges at a 5W rate, including through normal phone cases. The lap base also has a USB port, rated to a decent 2A charge rate, and both it and the wireless charger can be used at once. The lamp itself won a IF Design Award, and is minimalistic and sleek. It uses a built in 10W LED, with a warm white light that provides 400 lumen of illumination. The bulb is rated for a 25,000 hour life, or over eight years at eight hours a day. The lamp is mounted on a slim triple joint adjustable arm, which can also rotate, for precise positioning, and includes the on/off switch on the shade itself. The lamp measures in at 430mm high.
Samsung Wireless Charger
SPECS-Fast charge; LED indicator; angled charging pad available; 10.2 x 10.2 x 2.1cm; 117g
Price- Under $50
Samsung is one of the leaders when it comes to wireless charging, with a large selection of compatible smartphones. The charger will set you back $89 from retailers such as JB Hi-Fi but can be found for as little as $50 if you shop around online. Unlike most of the other chargers tested, the Samsung charges at a fast rate, accepting 9V input, and output up to 9V at 1A (9W) on compatible phones. The Samsung unit doesn’t come with a USB charger itself, so needs a compatible fast charge model for best effect, and connects via micro USB.
The unit happily charges through a case and will charge almost twice as quickly as a non-fast charge model. It has a built-in LED indicator, which is subdued but perhaps too bright for using beside your bed at night time. The charger measures in at 102mm across, and is 20.8mm thick, while weighing 117 grams. There is also a version available with an angled charging pad that holds the phone in a more upright position.
Comsol Wireless Charging Bank
SPECS-Qi v1.2.2; 2,600mAh capacity; anti-skid suction cups
It's easy enough to run a wireless charger from an existing power bank, but it’s a messy solution. The Comsol Wireless power bank simplifies on-the-go charging by moving everything into one sleek unit. It’s not the largest capacity device at 2,600mAh, but that’s enough to charge most phones once.
The power bank uses anti-skid suction cups to couple itself to your phone, so you can use it in one hand, or throw it in a bag, and still keep charging. The device uses the Qi v1.2.2 standard, and charges at 5V, 1A, or 5W maximum. In testing, the wireless power bank happily charged through a case, but due to the lower efficiencies, only 2,200 mAh actually makes it into the phone. To keep the whole unit compact, the Comsol charger does not have a USB port, so is for wireless charging only. The power bank is itself charged via micro USB, and comes with a short cable. It includes LED indicators that show the charge status, as well as remaining capacity.
SPECS-5W Qi wireless charging; 1x 2A USB port; 46 x 37 x 55.5cm
We're pleased to see Ikea furniture dabbling in the integrated tech space, if not to convince other manufacturers to follow suit. The Selje bedside table (though it could be used anywhere) has a 5W (5V, 1A), wireless charger pad built in, yet only costs $78.99. The table actually uses a Morik wireless charger, which mounts through a 50mm hole, and is also available separately for $39.
The charger isn’t just wireless either — it has a single USB port, which is rated for a handy 2A output. In testing, the Selje table happily charged through a case, and never failed to detect our phone. The charging unit sits flush with the tabletop but is easy to aim for, and handles a little bit of off-center aim.
Like most Ikea furniture, you do need to assemble the Selje, but is fairly basic. Ikea also has another Nordli bedside table with charger ($168), or the Jyssen charger ($49) which can be added to an existing cable hole in a desk.
Laser Qi Wireless Charging Alarm Clock
SPECS-5W Qi wireless charging; Bluetooth speaker; alarm clock; 3.5mm audio jack; 18 x 1.3 x 0.7cm
Wireless charging pads are oh so handy for getting your smartphone juiced up, but don’t do a lot else. To give some extra utility, Laser has embedded one in a multifunction alarm clock and speaker. The unit charges at the typical 5W rate (5V, 1A), and in our testing had no issues with a normal phone case. It even includes three standard (1A) USB ports for wired charging.
The unit has a large digital display, that includes time, date, two different alarms and temperature. As a radio, sound quality is decent for a small device, but it’s not a replacement for a larger speaker. It does what you’d hope a radio does, tuning into FM radio stations, and links to your phone via Bluetooth (and has NFC) or a 3.5mm audio jack.
Shop around and you can pick up the Laser Clock for around $100 from major retailers such as Harvey Norman. The unit measures in at 180mm wide, 13mm deep and 7mm high, and is backed by a one-year warranty.