Wireless charging isn’t a new phenomenon. Plenty of smartphones support either — or both — of the wireless charging standards: Qi and PMA. Still, it’s a category that has exploded since Apple introduced Qi-compatible wireless charging for the iPhone 8 and up.
We’ve compared nine popular wireless charging systems to help you pick the best platform for your devices.
Typical price: $25
Mophie Charge Stream Mini
The unique selling point of this wireless charging system is that it’s tiny and easy to throw into your bag for travel purposes. It’s also reasonably affordable for a brand-name wireless charger.
The one catch here is that it’s a 5W charging product only, so expect slower wireless charging. And you might need to shuffle some larger phones around a bit before finding that sweet spot for charging. Still, if you travel a lot and love the convenience of wireless charging, it’s an easy recommendation.
Shop Mophie Charge Stream Mini
Mophie Charge Stream Qi Wireless Vent Mount
Mophie’s Vent Mount is a combination in-car mount with inbuilt Qi charging. This 10W charging product comes with a supplied vent mount and an adhesive-mounted straight dash support.
Like the Charge Stream Pad Mini, it can be tricky to find the right spot to charge some larger phones on this product. At 5W output, it’s also not a great buy if you’re only taking short trips in your car, because it’ll take a while to charge. But if you regularly travel long distances and need a car mount, this could be a suitable option.
Shop Mophie Charge Stream Vent Mount
Mophie wireless charging base
Mophie is well known in the iOS world for its long-running series of battery cases for iPhones. It can charge iPhone devices at up to 7.5 W, but even though it’s stated as being “optimized” for iPhone devices, it uses the Qi standard, so it should be compatable with other devices as well.
However, its charging base is relatively small, so finding the precise placement for your device is vital.
Shop Mophie wireless charging base
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad
While the packaging indicates that this charger is for iPhones, it uses the Qi standard, so most wireless-capable phones should be compatible.
The Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad is a larger pad, so while it will take up a little more space, it’s easy to correctly place larger phones onto it.
Like the Mophie wireless charging base, Belkin prices the Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad at the higher end of quick chargers — though the pad style and the Belkin brand quality ensure good value.
Shop Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad
Wireless charging tips and tricks
- Wireless is slower. Even a “fast” wireless charger will charge your smartphone more slowly than a cabled connection, especially if your phone supports a fast cable charging standard. If you need to juice up your phone fast, plug it into a wall socket.
- Aim for the middle. Most wireless chargers will have a brand or symbol to show where their charging coils are. For most phones, aim to put the middle of the device over that symbol, and you’ll usually hit the sweet spot the first time.
- You can retrofit wireless charging. Have an older device with no wireless compatibility? There are plenty of cases that bundle simple 5W Qi wireless charging as a feature, although these will add some bulk to your existing phone and may require a loop through to your regular charging socket to operate.