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How to choose a wireless charger for your iPhone

  Mophie Wireless Charging Station

Apple sells this Mophie charging bag for $ 40, but others charge much cheaper.


Modern iPhones offer great comfort: wireless charging. Just place your phone on a surface or stand on the stage! The battery sucks the juice as if by magic.

OK, but with around 37 million wireless chargers, how do you choose the right one? The best? The affordable?

And with the recent demise of Apple's long-awaited AirPower pad there's a possibility to wirelessly charge your iPhone, Apple Watch ($ 385 at Amazon) and AirPods , ($ 159 on Amazon) all at the same time?

These are all great questions. Here are the answers.

Disclaimer: CNET may receive a revenue share from the sale of the products shown on this page.

Adjust Your Qi

iPhones and AirPods rely on wireless Qi technology (pronounced "chee"). That's great, because it means any Qi-compatible charger should work.

Ah, but how important is it for you to choose a Qi certified certified charger approved by the Wireless Power Consortium? Short answer: pretty important. Using a non-Qi-rated charger may prove incompatible with your device, or worse, the device may be damaged. Read the WPC FAQ page to learn more.

Does Apple Sell Charging Pads?

  airpower-dead "height =" 0 "width =" 370 "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/Giks0oEDhDiNol5taELhfS5JzUY=/370x0/2019/03/29/4208786c-f380-4aa1 -ae93-de91efb07999 / airpower-dead.jpg

RIP, AirPower. We barely knew you.

Captura de pantalla by Jován Pulgarín / CNET

Funny story. When Apple unveiled its first Qi-compatible phones – the iPhone 8 ($ 699 at Apple) and the iPhone X ($ 634 at Amazon) -, the company announced as early as 2017 known AirPower charging cushion. It would not only charge your iPhone, but also your Apple Watch and AirPods.

It should arrive in 2018, but in the meantime, Apple's online store started selling third-party loaders. So far, Apple has not offered its own Qi charger, and as you just learned, the AirPower is officially dead. That's how you'll have third-party solutions now and for the foreseeable future.

Not that there is something wrong with that. You get the same functionality for a lot less money.

Read More: Apple AirPower is dead, but those alternatives are probably better anyway.

How to choose a third-party charger

? Although Qi chargers all have the same basic function, they are not all created equal.

Here's a simple guideline: Buy one with a design that you like and a price you can afford. Most Qi chargers fall into two categories: pads and stands. The latter would be best for a bedside table where you just want to put down your phone before falling asleep. (Just make sure that there are no overly bright charging LEDs that can be annoying to light sleepers.)

Pleson's 19% Qi battery charge has two coils instead of just one to provide good induction guarantee.

19659003] Pleson

If you spend a lot of time at a desk, it makes sense to choose a charging station that will support your phone so that you can see the screen – and unlock the phone with the Face ID more easily.

What features should you look for when using a Qi charger? Start with these:

Grip: A rubber ring embedded in the pad prevents the phone from slipping. Otherwise, the two coils could get out of control by a slight elevation and interfere with the charging process.

Coils: You only need a single charge coil to power your phone. However, some chargers operate on two or three coils. What's the Benefit? A Multicoil charger gives you more space on the pad, so you do not have to be so precise when hanging up the phone.

If you are looking at stands, it is recommended to add extra coils because different phones have different heights and you want to make sure the connection is made properly.

A small circular pad with a coil is fine. If you choose a larger charging mat or a charging stand, you should opt for two or three coils. This popular, Qi-certified Seneo booth, currently at Amazon $ 18, offers two.

  humixx-wireless-loading-pad "height =" 0 "width =" 270 "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/5MFmyKUoKGVPFrX0r3govImTxbA=/270x0/2019/03/29/c611a102 -af53-465e-8c27-5fd2049cc3ae / humixx-wireless-charge-pad.jpg

This generic Charging Mat is Qi Certified – – and $ 11.


Price: If you shop at Apple's online store, you'll find that the cheapest Qi charging bag costs $ 40, while the cheapest charge costs $ 70 for brands like Logitech and Mophie costs. If you're ready to choose a lesser known brand, you save a lot.

For example, there is the above-mentioned Seneo, and I regularly see offers like this Humixx Qi-certified 10-watt charger for $ 10.99. Conclusion: You can get an absolutely good pad or stand in the range of 10 to 20 $; There is no need to spend more.

"Smart" LEDs: Not all charging pads are night-friendly: some use very bright LEDs, which may be slightly annoying. So look for an LED that highlights weakly dimmed LEDs or turns off after a few seconds.

Speed: You will see many charging pads that promise "fast" charging, which refers to how much power the phone can deliver. For iPhones, the "fast" charge is at 7.5 watts. Although there are some Qi chargers that only deliver 5 watts, many now produce at least 10 – more than enough for a quick iPhone charging. If you only charge overnight on your bedside table, a 5-watt pad is more than adequate.

Wall Adapter: As below in "How to Charge the Charger?" Described, not all pads and stands are equipped with wall plugs. You may not need one, but check if it is included.

Can you still use a case?

Yes – assuming it is not metal or several inches thick. Keep in mind that loading Qi is based on magnetic induction, not direct contact. As long as your phone comes within a few millimeters of the pad and no metal interference occurs, it should be rechargeable. That said, there are many variables here, so your mileage can vary. The Qi Charge should work with any leather, silicone, or similar non-metallic case with a thickness of 3mm or less.

Read More: The Best iPhone XR Cases

Read More: The Best iPhone XS and XS Max Cases [19659012] How does the charger get power?

You cut a cable but add another: The charger itself must have power, and this power comes from a cable that is normally plugged into a USB port. Note that some charging pads, especially the cheaper ones, are not equipped with a power plug. This means you need to bring your own chargers or connect the pad to your laptop or other powered port.

Remember, if you're using a 10-watt pad, you'll need a power adapter that can. For example, a two pack of iClever USB wall chargers for $ 12, each capable of generating 12 watts.

  hokonui-qi-power-bank "height =" 0 "width =" 370 "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/660lxSjpkZ0X3jItFJql9VhQT7k=/370x0/2019/04/b620d49a -2b17 -44f6-95d8-a57be81bd6a6 / hokonui-qi-power-bank.jpg

Cut the cord completely with a portable Qi power off bank like this.


You could say that the whole thing about wireless charging is a scam, that it's not wireless at all. Tomate, Tomahto: There's no wire between your phone and the charger, so part is wireless.

And if you want to sever the cable altogether, at least while driving, there are mobile power banks that have Qi charging capabilities. For example: Hokonui's 10,000 mAh Qi portable power bank for $ 33.99.

How do I charge my car?

Some vehicles have built-in Qi-compatible charging pads, which sounds ideal, but is not necessarily the case: most of these pads are at the bottom of the center console.

The ideal place for a phone in a car is near the dashboard or at the top, where it is at eye level. (Actually, this is the ideal location in the glove box or other location where you will not really use it while driving, but this is a lecture for another day.)

To do this, you need a Qi car holder. As with standard brackets, these come in a variety of styles: vent brackets, windshield brackets, etc.

Of course, you'll have to deal with a power cord that leads from the bracket to your car's power port – not the most attractive option. It may actually make more sense to install a conventional bracket. Just plug in a normal charging cable if your phone needs juice.

Can I charge an older iPhone wirelessly?

Yes! Older models do not have the required interior for charging Qi batteries, but you can purchase an external receiver that sticks to the back of the phone. Then just use one of the above mentioned chargers.

Originally published on October 2, 2017.
Update of April 3, 2019: Added new information that indicates changes in the market.

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