After Apple unexpectedly canceled its AirPower wireless charging mat, some iPhone and AirPod owners were left to wonder: Well, where can I get my wireless charging fix now?
Thankfully, Apple didn’t bet the farm on its own wireless charging standard — its latest crop of mobile devices, along with some phones and gadgets from other companies, are compatible with a wide array of other wireless chargers already on the market.
Using a standard known as Qi, these wireless chargers use small electromagnetic fields to transfer energy from one device to another. Ever use an inductive stovetop to cook a meal? The same principles apply. The stovetop’s surface — which stays cool while your pan gets scorching hot — emits a powerful electromagnetic field, the energy of which is converted into heat by the metal in your induction-friendly cookware. On smartphones and other devices, the emitted energy is converted into battery power thanks to an induction coil in your device.
Wireless chargers aren’t exactly a necessity. But they’re a convenient way to power your mobile devices, especially if you want to avoid carrying multiple chargers for different devices. They’re also a good option if you despise the look of wires draped over your nightstands and coffee tables.
Still, not all wireless chargers are created equal. Here are a few worth considering for the best experience:
Anker’s wireless charger is perfect for the road ahead
Car mounts are great, showcasing the best use case for wireless charging (they also beat keeping a bulky GPS gadget on your dashboard.) Anker’s PowerWave wireless car charger is even better, solving the indignity of fumbling for your smartphone’s charging cable when it’s time to get the show on the road. The Anker PowerWave wireless car charger slides onto one of your vehicle’s fan vents and supports charging speeds at up to 10W for compatible smartphones.
Samsung’s convertible charger solves the height limit
Unfortunately, many vertical chargers struggle to wirelessly power Apple’s AirPods due to their short stature. That’s a shame considering how easily vertical chargers solve the issue of reliable placement and continued use while charging. But instead of relegating yourself to less desirable charging pad options, get yourself a charger that can do both.
Samsung has long supported Qi wireless charging in its smartphones, and has more than a few wireless charging pads and docks to choose from. The best part about Samsung’s Fast Charge Wireless Charger isn’t its triple-coil design (for more reliable wireless charging) but its ability to go from vertical to horizontal, charging anything from your Samsung Galaxy S10+ to your new AirPods with wireless charging case.
Belkin charges your Apple gear in style
Apple’s cancelled AirPower may have been a beautifully designed wireless charging mat, but it’s not the end-all-be-all when it comes to stylish docks. For those looking for an aesthetically pleasing option, Belkin’s Boost Up charger could be what your iPhone and Apple Watch need. It won’t wirelessly charge your AirPods, but the USB port on the back is the perfect place to stick a super-short Lightning cable for just that purpose.
Google’s charger is smart home-friendly
Not many chargers include smart features, but Google’s Pixel Stand is a wireless charger designed to augment your phone while it gets juiced up. The feature, compatible only with the company’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, turns your device into a mini smart home hub, like Google’s Home Hub.
When docked, your Google Pixel smartphone will display selected photos and an easy-to-read alarm clock when it’s time to get up in the morning. You can also speak to it like a Google Home device, using it to control your smart home devices like lights, outlets, and the Chromecast you’ve got plugged into your TV. Don’t worry, it’ll charge your iPhone just fine as well — though your AirPods are out of luck.
A triple charger to ease your AirPower FOMO
While leather and metal aren’t usually a great combination when it comes to technology, Nomad’s Base Station Hub might be in the running for best-looking wireless charger.
Designed to accommodate an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, it features three integrated induction coils along with a vertically oriented Apple Watch charging dock. No matter the orientation, your iPhone or AirPods will benefit from the 7.5W charging speed. It works with Nomad’s rugged AirPods cases, too.