From wired to wireless charging
Apple's iPhone X supports fast-charging via its wired Lightning connector and 7.5W wireless charging through a Qi-compatible pad or dock. (Many new cars also come with a Qi-based wireless charging pad option, which will work with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.)
Apple stores sell both Belkin and Mophie brand wireless charging pads, which it claims represents “the best implementation of the Qi standard.” But those models are also pricey (as much as $60) and you can use any pad or dock that conforms to the Qi-wireless charging specification.
“Fast charging” is basically anything greater than a standard 5W of power transfer. While it remains to be seen what Apple’s upcoming AirPower charging pad will enable in terms of fast charging – 7.5W or 15W (the Qi specification supports both) – currently “fast charging” an iPhone X using 7.5W will bring it to 50% after a half hour. (Fast charging is expected to arrive with iOS 11.2.)
Two things to look for in a wireless charger are an LED light to indicate when the phone is properly aligned to receive a charge and foreign object detection, which ensures foreign metal objects will not heat up if they come in contact with the charging pad or dock.
The IKEA Triple Pad Wireless Charger
While Apple is releasing its own AirPower wireless charger next year that can charge three Qi-enabled devices at once, you can have that same capability today with the Triple Pad from IKEA. (And it’ll likely cost you less.)
In addition to accommodating up to three Qi-certified smartphones or other devices, the Ikea Triple Pad comes with a USB port that can separately charge a fourth device using a cable. This charger, however, is not capable of delivering “fast charging”; it only supplies up to 5W of power, so it’ll be slower than 7.5W chargers that offer about 1.4 times the charging speed.
CHOETECH Qi Certified T511 Qi Wireless Charger Pad
Charging on the cheap should be ChoTech’s motto. The company sells a Qi-certified wireless charger for just $12.99, and it’s 7.5W “fast charge” compatible.
Pleson Wireless Charger Qi Wireless Charging Stand
Pleson’s Qi-enabled charging stand will set you back $20, and it allows you to position your iPhone vertically or horizontally so you can either make a call or watch a movie while it charges.
Anker Wireless Charger Charging Pad
A best seller on Amazon.com, the Anker wireless charging pad features temperature controls so the pad won’t overheat and a “power-efficient” idle mode that shuts it down so it won’t overcharge your battery or waste energy. Its LED indicator light is also intelligent: Red means it's ready to charge, blue indicates it is charging, and both colors together let you know your device is fully charged. Blinking lights mean an unsupported device has been detected. Anker does warn that phone cases should be removed to ensure effective charging. Price: $19.
Yolike Fast Wireless Charger
If wood is your thing, then you might want to check out the Yolike wireless charging stand. No, it’s not really wood, but the synthetic material does mimic the look nicely. In addition, two wireless charging coils allow you to position your iPhone X vertically or horizontally and it supports up to 10W output. On top of that, it sells for only $18.
SurgeDisk Wireless Charger Bamboo Edition
Continuing the wood theme, SurgeDisk has produced a comely charging pad with a real bamboo surface. The company also claims its LED charging indicator will help you sleep as it uses a soft white light and not a red, green or blue LED. Price: $30.
Insignia Wireless Charging Pad
The Insignia wireless charging pad has three features in particular that set it apart; the entire outer edge of the charging puck is an LED light, so it’s easy to see when your phone is properly aligned and charging, and it even indicates if the device can take a fast charge or not; the bottom is vented to allow heat dispersal; and it offers up to 15W of charging power, so you’re future proofed against software upgrades from Apple for faster charging in the future. Price: $30.
Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand
If you like big-name electronics to compliment your Apple device, then the Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand should be on your list. The stand, which is quite stylish, is created by two circles coming together at a 23.5-degree angle. The stand comes in white, black, gold and silver colors. It’s a bit pricier than others at $60 but it’s on sale now for $32.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad
Belkin, a solid name in electronics, claims it worked “closely” with Apple designing its 7.5W Boost Up wireless charger so that it won’t overheat or shutdown prematurely. The charger is compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 or any other Qi-enabled device. A small LED light indicates when it’s wirelessly connected to a device for charging. The biggest drawback? Belkin’s charging puck will set you back $60.
Mophie Wireless Charging Base
The Mophie wireless charging base is also a brand that Apple supports in its online and brick-and-mortar stores. It’s a no frills puck that offers up to 7.5W of charging power and a non-slip coating that protects the iPhone from scratches and provides a stable surface to quickly drop and charge. Price: $60.
The Plux triple pad wireless charger
Plux is a Qi-based wireless charger that’s currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, but the New York-based company says its pad can charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously – just like Apple’s upcoming AirPower product.
The pad offers up to 10 watts of charging power, can be deployed as either a flat pad or a stand and comes in white or black.
Due out in April, it's available now for $69, though that price will got to $178 once it hits the market.
The Funxim dual wireless charger
Another Indiegogo crowdfunded wireless charger is the Funxim Charging Pad.
The pad claims to be able to charge two Qi-enabled devices – such as the iPhone X and Apple Watch – at the same time. (Yes, it also works with Android devices enabled for Qi charging.)
So called 10-watt "fast charging" is supported. And it's only $32.
Mophie charge stream travel kit
The Mophie charge stream travel kit includes the charge stream pad mini, a 2.4A wall charger, a 2.4A car charger, and a 4.9 ft USB-A to Micro-USB cable and it all its into a travel pouch for $49.95. The charge stream pad mini may also be purchased separately for $24.95. The charger, however, only delivers a 5W (slower) charge to any Qi-enabled smartphone and it will charge through lightweight phone cases (up to 3mm thick).
Onyxx water & dust resistant wireless charger & power bank
This Kickstarter project is offering a fast (10 watts), water resistant, wireless charging pad and power bank with Type-C USB cable compatible with Qi wireless charging. Dual USB ports enable two electronic devices to be connected and charged simultaneously. The power bank carries up to a 5,000 mAh charge, which theoretically can fully charge an iPhone twice. If you offer up a minimum pledge or $49, you should expect to receive your charger in September when the first units are planned to ship.