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Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)

Posted: , by Nick Todorov Nick Todorov

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Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)
Fun fact: the first smartphone to feature wireless charging appeared all the way back in 2009. It was the Palm Pre, one of the most forward-looking phones ever released. Today, smartphones with wireless charging are more common then ever, and if you take a look at the high-end portion of the market, you'll have a hard time finding a phone with no built-in support for this undoubtedly convenient feature.

However, to take advantage of your phone's support for wireless charging, you'll need a wireless charger, and these rarely come bundled with whatever new phone you've purchased. What's more, searching for a "qi wireless charger" on Amazon returns over 5,000 results, and surely, these chargers aren't all made equal.

So, in effort to find the best wireless charger available right now, we tested a whole bunch of them. And the results brought to light quite a few surprises. So before we name the best wireless chargers, allow us to share a few important takeaways:

  • Wireless charging is mostly about convenience, not speed. In many cases, your smartphone will charge faster when plugged to its wired charger.
  • Not all wireless chargers come with their own adapter, so you will either need to use the one that came with your phone or buy a new one that's powerful enough. The iPhone's stock, 5-watt charger does not have the power to drive a wireless charger efficiently. 
  • Although all of today's smartphones use Qi wireless charging, some phones do charge faster thanks to support for newer versions of the Qi standard. 
  • Some chargers are marketed as "for Samsung" or for "iPhone", but they do work with any Qi-capable phone. It's just that these models may be designed to work better with a particular phone brand.
  • Having a thicker case on your phone may result in slower wireless charging. Wireless charging may not work if you have a case with metal elements or one that holds credit cards.
  • Wireless charging speed can be affected by a number of factors, including temperature and how well the phone is aligned with the charger.

Now let's move on to the stuff you came here for.

The best wireless charger for iPhone:
RavPower HyperAir Stand

Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)

RavPower's wireless charging stand may not be the fanciest among the chargers we tested. It isn't necessarily the fastest either. It was, however, the one that struck the best balance between price, functionality, and charging speed. First and foremost, it comes with a powerful wall adapter in the box. Secondly, it has two coils instead of one, allowing your iPhone to stand upright or to be placed horizontally while charging. Thirdly, its design lets you see notifications clearly as your iPhone is charging on your desk.

The best wireless charger for Samsung Galaxy phones:
Samsung Wireless Charger Stand

Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)

It really comes as no surprise that the best wireless charging accessory for Galaxy phones comes from Samsung itself. First and foremost, the Samsung Wireless Charger Stand was the fastest to charge our Galaxy S9 among all the wireless chargers that we tested. It was among the fastest to charge an iPhone 8 too, by the way. And its design provides a clear view of your always-on display. Neat! Its only considerable drawback is that it doesn't come with its own charger, so it has to be used with the one you get with your Galaxy phone, as well as with its USB-C cable.

The rest (and some are really good too):
Mophie Wireless Charging Base

Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)

This one is a great option if you prefer the pad-style wireless chargers. The device is heavy and solidly built, there's a charger included in the set, and the rubbery surface ensures that your phone doesn't move while charging. As far as speed goes, Mophie's wireless charger can charge Galaxies pretty quickly.

RavPower HyperAir Pad and Power Bank

The HyperAir Pad is a decent, low-priced option for a pad-style wireless charger, but it wasn't very fast in our testing. As for RavPower's unique, 10400mAh Power Bank with built-in wireless charging, its worst drawback is that it is very finicky, as wireless charging won't occur unless your phone and the bank's charging pad are perfectly aligned.

Belkin BoostUp series

We tested a total of three Belkin BoostUp wireless charging pads – the Belkin BoostUp for iPhone, the Belkin BoostUp for Samsung Galaxy, and the universal 5W BoostUp wireless charger. All of them proved decent alternatives, but none of them were excellent. In most cases, charging speeds weren't all that impressive, while the universal pad proved too slippery – a glass-backed phone can easily slide off of it.

Zizo wireless charging pad

Best wireless chargers for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones (2018)

Originally, we planned to use the Zizo wireless charging pad as a baseline to compare more expensive chargers against, as it looked like the most generic offering of the bunch. However, it exceeded our expectations by delivering faster wireless charging speed than many of its brand-name rivals in a number of tests. Better yet, it costs just $20! Still, Zizo's charger does not come with a power adapter, the USB cable it is bundled with is only 1 foot (30 cm) long, and the lack of Qi certification means that the device hasn't been tested for compliance with the consortium's safety standards.

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