Wireless charging is now popular on smartphones and accessories. What is the best wireless charger? Find our selection.
Long considered a gadget (who remembers the Nokia Lumia 920 and its Fatboy charger?), Qi wireless charging has slowly but surely made its way. Since the Galaxy S5, it has been one of the pillars of Samsung’s high-end smartphones. But the real recognition came with Apple, however, which ended up adopting it with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Nowadays, almost all flagships therefore offers Qi charging, as do a growing number of accessories such as wireless headphones.
At the same time, the standard itself has made good progress, notably improving the charging speed. Initially limited to 5W, Qi now rises to 20W on a handful of phones.
However, many references exist today on the market and, if they all use the Qi standard, it can be complicated to find the charger that will offer an optimal result for your smartphone. To help you choose, find our selection of the best induction chargers.
Induction chargers type “stand”
Google Pixel Stand: our recommendation
Launched at the same time as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and obviously compatible with the Pixel 4, the Pixel Stand remains the best wireless charger today. If it works particularly well with the Pixels by transforming the phone into a sort of Mini Google Home, we like it especially for its form factor in “stand” as well as its elegant design and its very soft coating.
It also has the advantage of being compact and can therefore adapt to all kinds of desks or nightstands. It supports wireless charging up to 10W and works with all smartphones compatible with this power. This is the case with most recent phones.
However, like many stands, it is difficult to charge accessories such as headphone boxes True Wireless with. The coil is placed too high. It will be necessary to go through D systems to do so. Not really practical then. He is available less than 80 euros at Fnac, Darty and Boulanger, delivered with its USB C cable and mains unit.
Samsung wireless charger: for more versatility
To charge a pair of AirPods horizontally, or your smartphone vertically, you can turn to this Samsung wireless charger that can go from lying down to up in the blink of an eye. This model offers a power of 9 W and opts for a USB-C connector.
If one prefers the Pixel Stand for its sleeker, more “compact” design and especially its lack of fan, Samsung’s creation is also highly recommendable. It’s even the choice to make if you own a pair of Qi-compatible headphones. You will usually find it for less than 70 euros.
Belkin Boost Up stand: the cheaper alternative
If we like its design and format a lot, we must admit that the Pixel Stand is quite expensive. If you are looking for a more economical stand. Turn to Belkin and its proposed stand at less than 45 euros. It offers more or less the same performance for a good thirty euros less.
Wireless chargers type “pad”
Belkin Boost: the classic
If we have mainly focused on the “stands” that we find nicer on the desk or the nightstand at first, the pads are generally less expensive and just as powerful. The “default” choice is at Belkin with the “Boost”, compatible 10 W and having a non-slip surface on the top. The coating is very soft and prevents scratches.
Unlike the stands, the pads also have the advantage of recharging compatible headphones without particular convolutions. On the other hand, the latter are a little less practical insofar as it is sometimes necessary to replace the phone slightly on the pad to be sure that the coils are facing each other. Otherwise, we risk ending up with an uncharged smartphone in the morning.
If you are a handyman, a built-in version operating even under a few millimeters of wood exists.
Anker PowerWave: the inexpensive wireless charger
Accessory designer Anker could not fail to offer a wireless charger. With its PowerWave Pad, it offers a simple, efficient and inexpensive solution since it will cost you less than 20 euros. It is also 10W compatible, but to cut costs, Anker does not provide a charger in the box. You will therefore have to use one of yours like the one on your current smartphone, or an old block.
If you have an old charger, it may not be providing enough power to charge at 10W, so you have to be careful. For the rest, it’s a classic: a very soft coating that grips to prevent scratches and so that the phone stays in place on the pad. It will charge all phones and Qi accessories except the Apple Watch.
Xiaomi 20 W: the most powerful of the induction chargers
If you are looking for a powerful charger, you can finally turn to the 20W charger from Xiaomi. However, you will not enjoy this power on all smartphones, not many people support it. In reality, there is hardly the Xiaomi Mi 9 that can really benefit from it. That being said, who can do more can do less, and it is not very expensive. Note that there is a fan that turns on from time to time to avoid overheating. To have one next to our bed, it’s slightly audible, without being annoying.
Double induction chargers
Samsung Duo: two, we make a pair
If you need to charge several devices at the same time, we recommend that you opt for the Samsung Duo charger. With its two locations, it can accommodate a phone and an accessory such as AirPods or Galaxy Buds type headphones, or a smartwatch (but not the Apple Watch) … or even two smartphones. Note that the station incorporates a fan which turns on from time to time. On a desk during the day, it will not interfere, probably a little more at night.
MagSafe on the horizon
If iPhones use the Qi standard, the apple company can’t help but do things its own way. The Apple Watches used proprietary induction charging, but things got a bit tricky with the introduction of MagSafe on the iPhone 12s.
Behind this name hides in fact a classic Qi charging system coupled with a system of magnets. As a result, the charger moves less and you can, for example, make a phone call while charging your phone. However, we let you judge the actual usefulness of this development since we get de facto a thread to the leg …
Apple Magsafe charger: the fastest iPhone charge
If the iPhone 12 now accepts wireless charging up to 15 W, it will however be necessary to go through a compatible MagSafe model to take advantage of this speed. The official Apple model just does the minimum, but does it well. The charge is indeed fast and the finish impeccable.
Be careful though, it does not come with a charger. Apple recommends its 20W USB-C charger, but any USB-C charger capable of outputting 9W / 2.2A should do the trick. A simple and effective product, therefore, a pity that the cable is short.
A MagSafe Duo, foldable and able to also charge an Apple Watch has been announced for 149 dollars, but we do not have a release date yet.
Belkin 3-in-1 Charging Station with Magsafe: Ultra Complete
It’s not yet available as of this writing, but it’s impossible to miss the latest Belkin-signed charging station. The latter is indeed able to charge an iPhone 12 at full speed, an Apple Watch and EarPods at the same time.
She even has the luxury of being rather pretty to look at. There remains a price of 150 dollars which may cool down.
Station Belkin : pour le combo iPhone / Apple Watch
The older version of the Belkin Dock is still valid if you don’t have the latest iPhone. It exists in two versions: with a Lightning connector for your iPhone, or with induction charging. The first model (illustrated above) has the merit of supporting the watch in suspension, for a frankly nice effect. It also has the merit of being less expensive: count around 80 euros.
On the “100% induction” model, the iPhone will therefore charge wirelessly, but the watch will be placed on the edge. It’s a little less sexy, but necessary for wireless charging of your iPhone. It all depends on what you prefer, knowing that this version is significantly more expensive: around 130 euros.
Fast wireless charging: how do I know if my smartphone is compatible?
There is no set rule for whether your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, there is no logo that would always appear on your phone. However, since it is a selling point, manufacturers generally put it forward.
In other words, if your smartphone is compatible, you surely know it. In general, high-end smartphones support it. Since the iPhone 8 and X, Apple offers it on its products, just like Samsung on its recent and older Galaxy S. The same goes for Huawei on its premium products. Note that today smartphones are almost all compatible with charging at 7.5 or 10 W. This is the reason why we do not suggest a 5 W charger in this selection of the best chargers. wireless.
This table will allow you to get a quick idea of the supported powers.
|Samsung||10 Watts (owner)|
|Huawei||15 Watts (owner)|
|10 Watts (owner)|
Induction charging, how does it work?
Wireless charging works on the long-known principle of magnetic induction. Roughly, it consists of passing an electric current through a copper coil creating a magnetic field which propagates to the receiving coil creating a current in the latter which is redistributed to the battery.
The range is particularly low, to the point that a slightly too thick shell prevents it from functioning. Don’t worry, so there is no risk to your health.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of wireless charging?
The main advantage of wireless charging is obviously its practicality. No cable to connect, just put the phone on the station to recharge the batteries and this avoids having wires lying around. Its main disadvantage is the energy loss which implies a slower charge than with a cable.
To put it simply, it takes between 3 and 4 hours to fully charge a smartphone. It’s fast enough to charge your device during the day in the office or overnight, but if you’re in a rush, use the cable instead.
Wireless charging, what brands can you trust?
There are a plethora of brands offering wireless charging stations. We advise you to avoid small stations of unknown brands that are not always very scrupulous about standards, especially if you go through the import. Better not to joke about electrical matters. We recommend choosing reputable brands like Samsung, Google, Aukey or Belkin.