The best wireless chargers: get some juice, no cords attached


We live in the times of cord-cutting – everything from data transfers to audio playback has a wireless option and, in recent years, even wireless battery charging has become commercially available. Many flagship smartphones, from Google's Nexus line to Samsung's Galaxy S6 and newer, have the feature built-in, while others can get it with an aftermarket back panel or case attachment.

But, of course, it's not just the phone that needs wireless charging capabilities – you also need a wireless charger mat, stand, or puck in order to make use of the feature. So what are the benefits? Well, set up a charging mat at your workdesk and just build the habit of casually placing your phone on it when you are setting it down. This will instantly ensure that your handset will be juiced up at all times.

Any drawbacks? There are a couple – most phones are pretty slow to charge wirelessly. Samsung's Galaxy and Note lines do support “Fast Wireless Charging”, but it's still not as quick as plugging them in with a proprietary charger. There's also a lot of heat dissipation when you are charging your phone on a mat. So, it's a commodity, but definitely not a tech that's ready to replace the main method of getting juice – the good old cable.

With all that said, let's look at some chargers!

Contents

Qi
Stands
Mats
2-in-1 Powerbanks
Car chargers
PMA


Qi


The war between the Wireless Power Consortium and the Power Matters Alliance seems to be over and the former is the clear winner — its “Qi” standard is pretty much everywhere, saturating markets and powering mats in public cafes. PMA does have a few power players backing it up, however, such as AT&T and Starbucks, so it's not completely out of the game. If your smartphone is not issued by AT&T, it's very probable that it works on the Qi standard, which means that the following chargers are for you. Fun fact on the side – Samsung's phones work on both Qi and PMA standards.

Stands

Use your phone while it's charging

Stands allow you to easily view content on your phone's screen while it's charging. If you want to watch YouTube clips or be able to view email notifications at a glance and without interrupting the wireless charging process, this should be your go-to choice. 

Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesAmazon$43.99

Made by Samsung to support its Galaxy flagship devices, these wireless chargers still support any phone that works on the Qi standard. However, it's "Fast Charge" feature will only work with Samsung's handsets. It has a circular, no-slip rubber ring on its face to make sure your phone doesn't wiggle out of its position, and comes with its own wall adapter. If you use a non-Samsung plug that provides less than 2A of power, you may damage the wireless pad, so careful there.

Aukey Qi Wireless Charger



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$31.99

Slim and stylish, this stand can be easily disassembled and transported. Its long body has 3 coils that make sure your phone will be getting its juice in both portrait and horizontal orientation. A LED light provides you with feedback on the charging process. Due to the power, required by the three coils, the manufacturer recommends a wall plug that provides at least 2 amperes.

Qi-infinity T900 Folding Qi Wireless Charger



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$44.99

This foldable stand can go from horizontal to 90-degree upright stance to accommodate your viewing needs. It's a bit bulky, but it's certainly a quick setup, easily transportable option.

Itian Wireless Charger



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$22.99

A beautifully designed stand for your desk, with rubberized placement markers. Utilizes 3 coils to ensure charging in both landscape and portrait orientation. A dual LED just under the stand's leg provides status information. Due to the power, required by the three coils, the manufacturer recommends a wall plug that provides at least 2 amperes.

Mats

Set it down, pick it up

Charging mats and pucks are the embodiment of everything that is convenient about wireless charging – just place your phone on that one specific spot on your desk when you are not using it and you can be sure you will have a full battery at the end of the day.

Samsung Wireless Charging Pad



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesAmazon$24.91

Samsung's charging puck offers Fast Charge for its Galaxy flagship devices and regular charging speeds for any other Qi-compliant smartphones. Anti-slip rubber rings will keep your device in place and a multi-color LED will let you know when the phone is charging and when it's done. Due to the power, required by the three coils, the manufacturer recommends a wall plug that provides at least 2 amperes.

IXCC Fast Wireless Charger



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$25.99

A slightly slanted pad that will hold your phone up at an angle. It supports Samsung's Wireless Fast Charge technology for Galaxy devices and a sleek-looking light ring, which is easily visible from any angle, gives you information on the charging status. Any other Qi-compliant handsets will charge at normal speeds.

Fonesalesman WoodPuck




Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$24.99

This little fellow seeks to mix form and function and blend in with your furniture while providing power for your smartphones. There's a multi-colored LED to give you feedback on the charging process and it does have a beeper to let you know when the smartphone is misaligned. Maybe not the best choice for working areas where you'd prefer to have non-beeping devices.

EC Technology Ultra-Slim Pad



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$13.99

As the name suggests, this is one of the thinnest pads you will find, measuring at about 0.27 inches (7 mm) – about as thick as an iPhone 6s or a Galaxy S7. A non-slip ring keeps your phone in place and a dual-color LED lets you know what the charger is currently up to.

IKEA Nordmärke Triple Pad



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
Yes, cord attachedAmazon$125.49

Hey, who said that wireless charging is a lonely business? This large pad from IKEA can accommodate not one but three devices and juice them up simultaneously. Don't worry about what type of wall charger you would need – the device actually comes with its own, non-detachable cord. The wood finish makes it sit pretty with your home furniture or work desk, too.

2-in-1 Powerbanks

Juice up on the go

Word of warning – wireless charging is not very energy-efficient, so a lot of these banks' capacities would go to waste if you use them exclusively without a wire. The best thing about them is that one can have the powerbank plugged in and juicing up, with the phone placed on top of it, also getting charged. That way, both devices are always juiced up – a great option for one who often finds themselves taking surprisingly long trips.

RAVPower wireless 5,000 mAh battery pack



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesAmazon$39.99

This fellow is quite slim and portable, while packing a pretty respectable capacity of 5,000 mAh. It also has a single USB output port to be used as a regular, cable-connected charger. A set if 6 LEDs report battery status and a non-slip material makes sure your phone will stay on the pad.

Incipio GHOST wireless 4,000 mAh battery pack



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$20.28

Slightly smaller in battery capacity, but the GHOST has two USB output ports, so you can juice up three separate devices at once — two via cable and one wirelessly. 4 LEDs will let you know how much juice you've got left.

Fonesalesman QiStone+




Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
NoAmazon$49.99

Another charger, which tries to look inconspicuous among your everyday furniture and house ornaments. The sandy texture is nice, but doesn't help much with slipping, especially on glass phones. The QiStone has a capacity 4,000 mAh and can charge an extra device via its USB output port.

Wireless car chargers

Endless navigation

These are usually rather bulky, but that's understandably so — the mount's base needs to be secure enough to hold the weight of both the phone and the wireless charging module. Here are a couple of our favorites.

TYLT VU wireless charging mount




Lighter plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesAmazon$49.99

A rather bulky, but secure mount that can hold even the gynormous Google Nexus 6. It comes in a few different vibrant colors and offers an extra USB port to charge an extra device, while wirelessly juicing up your primary phone.

Qi-Infinity fast wireless charger



Lighter plug included?Purchase linkPrice
No (recommended item)Amazon$35.99

This one offers fast charging for Samsung's Galaxy flagships and Note phablets. Unfortunately, if you want to make use of it, you will have to buy a quick charge plug, sold seperately for about $13. Otherwise, you can use any regular lighter plug for standard charging. It's a good-looking, fairly compact unit, when it comes to wireless charging car docks. It also offers modules for either suction mount or air vent mount.

PMA

Power matters?

As mentioned, Qi standard is widespread, and there aren't even a lot of Power Matters Alliance chargers to go around. However, Duracell is a partner in the alliance and does build mats (Powermats – as in Power Matters. Eh? Eh?) for the standard. Here's a couple of choices:

Duracell Powermat TravelMat



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesAmazon$20.99

A two-in-one, charging mat and portable battery combined. This stylish box also has a USB output port to provide juice via cord. The battery itself holds quite a bit of charge – 4,200 mAh.

Duracell Powermat + GoPower



Wall plug included?Purchase linkPrice
YesPowermat / Powerbank$12.45

Alternatively, you can get one of the 2-device Powermats and a small, GoPower portable battery pack. The latter can charge wirelessly off the mat, so you can just rest both your phone and the powerbank at the same time. The bank has a capacity of 1,850 mAh – it's not the largest one out there, but portability is its name.

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11 Comments

2. willy.4

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

So hows the replacement working ?

3. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I got 1 Samsung wireless charger free with my note 5, another on activating Samsung pay.

4. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I love my Samsung fast charging pad. It was $44.00 at best buy after price match. Best $44.00 I have spent on my phone.

5. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

Wireless charging is a load of crap. You do not have to plug in your phone but you sit your phone on something that DOES need to be plugged in so how is it wireless? Let me know when I can charge my phone over the air.

6. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

It is useful though, I sit at my desk, pick phone up and down many times. Usually I won't charge it, since I have wireless charger I just put phone on charger and I don't have to worry about charge at night on weekdays.

7. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Some don't need to be plugged in, as can be seen by the portable wireless chargers.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's wireless because the power is transferred without using a wire. It kind of does what it says on the tin.

22. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

The way yall went in on this nincompoop is hilarious!

24. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

This guy is really an idiot.

11. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I have the Samsung stock wireless charger, but it is finicky as hell. It doesn't read the phone often and sometimes it won't at all so I have to unplug the charger and plug it back in to get it to register. Anyone have a suggestion on a better aftermarket charger? I have a Note 5, but I'm Mr impatient so I just bought my wife and I an S7 (until August then back to a Note for me).

23. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

I'd be more informative if the article mentioned whether these chargers support fast charging or not.

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