Wireless Charging Buying Guide: 6 Questions To AskTopic: Chargers Tech Specs
Wireless charging phones have been on the market for several years, but wireless chargers themselves aren’t packaged with new devices.
Which means that if you want the convenience of wireless charging, you have to go out and buy one.
There’s no shortage of choices on the market. So what’s the best one for you? We’re here to help you answer that question.
Pad, mat, or charging stand?
Wireless chargers come in many shapes and sizes. Each has its pros and cons, but what you choose ultimately comes down to how you charge. Most wireless chargers look like little circular or oval pads. They’re stylish and convenient, just lay your phone on top and it charges. Ventev Mobility’s wireless chargepad+ and wireless chargepad duo are great options if you want to charge one or multiple devices, and don’t need to keep an eye on your phone. They’re perfect for a bedside table.
A charging stand holds your phone upright at an angle, so it’s easier to see messages or notifications, or to watch videos while charging. Look for chargers that are adjustable for portrait or landscape mode and offer multiple angles for more flexibility. These are great options for the office, when you want to charge but need to keep an eye on your phone. Ventev Mobility’s wireless chargestand even lets you free the charging puck from the stand for flat-on-the-table charging, offering even more versatility.
If you have an Apple Watch, you may have been disappointed when the company abandoned its plans to build a multi-device charging mat. It was supposed to be one accessory, capable of charging your phone, your watch, and your earbuds in one place. The company decided its prototypes weren’t ready for prime time and walked away. Multi-device charging accessories do exist, however. Ventev Mobility’s wireless watchdock duo uses a novel design to charge your phone and Apple Watch in one fell swoop.
How fast will a wireless charger power up your phone?
Charging speed is important. But it’s really hard to tell which phones charge fastest. The phone makers don’t do comparisons themselves, and sometimes they don’t release key charging specs.
Lucky for you, we test most phones when they come out.
Below you’ll find a handy list of charging speeds. We use wattage as a shorthand for speed. For the most part, the higher the wattage the faster the speed. We also link to the test results for some of the latest phones so that, in the few instances in which wattage isn’t provided, you can get a good ballpark of the time it will take to charge.
- Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+: 10 watts (check out the test results)
- Note: The Galaxy S10 lineup can also provide 9 watts of power to other devices through Wireless PowerShare.
- Pixel 3: 10 watts for chargers certified for the “Made for Google” program; 5 Watts for other chargers
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, Note 8, S9, S9+: 9 watts
- LG V30: 9 watts (check out the test results)
- iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, Xr, Xs, Xs Max:5 watts (check out the test results)
- Samsung Galaxy S6, Note 5: 5 watts
- LG G6, G7 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ: 5 watts
- LG V40: 10 watts
- Galaxy Note 9: 9 watts
If your wireless charger is not capable of charging at a phone’s highest speed, your results will be slower. There are, for example, plenty of inexpensive wireless chargers with maximum speeds of 5 watts, while the fastest phones above charge wirelessly at 10 watts. All of Ventev Mobility’s wireless chargers can provide at least 10 watts of power.
Do you need to charge in the car?
A number of cars now offer wireless charging built in or as an option. But the wireless charging systems are quite often integrated into a place that leaves them out of sight, like down by the cup holder. There’s another option.
If you often use maps or stream music while driving, look for a wireless car charger that clips to your air vents. It keeps your phone at eye level so you can easily follow your route, and it’s easy to slip your phone in and out of the charger’s spring-loaded arms.
Power matters as well. With some wireless car chargers, your phone will lose power if you’re using battery-intensive apps like GPS. Find one like Ventev Mobility’s wireless charging car kit, which delivers 15 watts to charge your phone at its fastest rate.
Do you need to buy a wireless charger from the same maker as your phone?
No. Device makers have adopted existing wireless charging standards instead of creating their own, giving you more options.
The most common wireless charging standard is called Qi (pronounced CHEE). PMA (also known as Airfuel) and Samsung’s Fast Wireless Charging are the two other ways to wireless charge right now.
Find a charger that matches the standard your phone uses, and you’ll be set. If your phone uses Qi, any Qi-certified charger will work (how well it works depends on the speed – see above). You can also find a charger, like ours, that supports all three ways of charging, making it universal.
Does it matter what kind of phone I have?
Yes and no. In the past, we’ve highlighted the fact that there are three major wireless charging standards. Recently, it’s clear that Qi has taken a decisive lead. Almost all new phones, and most accessories, are Qi compatible, and most are compatible with multiple standards. If you have an older phone, take a look through our list of major phones and the standard they support. That said, Ventev Mobility’s wireless chargers are universal. You can’t go wrong, because they can charge any phone.
What happens if I forget my charger?
One of the cool things about wireless charging is how convenient it is. Retailers and coffee shops are even integrating wireless chargers into their furniture and fixtures. If you’re in Boston, pop in your local Starbucks to give yourself, and your phone, a quick jolt.
Buying a wireless charger comes down to just a few quick questions. We gave you answers. There’s a quiz on this tomorrow.