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No longer the stuff of science fiction, wireless charging has fully arrived, and the best Qi wireless chargers deliver power quickly without the hassle of having to dig up your charging cable and stress the ports on your phone every time you need to juice up.
The best Qi chargers work quickly, so you're not missing the speed of a Lightning or USB-C connection, and may take the form of stands, so you don't have to stop using your phone while you top it off. Like their counterparts in our broader best wireless phone chargers roundup, there's also the aesthetic appeal of dropping your phone onto one of these svelte charging pads, without cluttering up your space with additional cords trailing awkwardly to a power source.
10W Fast Charging
Upright device placement
Supports both portrait and landscape orientations
Can’t charge smartwatches
Fixed size can create problems charging devices with non-standard sizes
Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand takes a different approach from most wireless chargers, which typically require that you lay your smartphone down flat, making it tricky to see what’s on your screen when a notification comes in while you’re sitting at your desk or laying in bed. Instead, Belkin has placed the charging pad upright at about a 60-degree angle so you can prop your smart phone up while it’s charging.
As an added bonus, the stand portion is designed in such a way that not only can you charge your phone in the typical vertical orientation, but you can also lay it sideways, making it a great way to watch videos or work with other widescreen content while it’s charging. It’s compatible with most cases, although the stand design means that you won’t be able to use it to charge smaller things like AirPods, Galaxy Buds, or smartwatches. With full support for both the 7.5-watt and 10-watt standards, however, it’s an excellent choice for Apple and Samsung users who want to charge their phones at their desk.
15W charging for LG devices
Doesn’t include AC adapter
If you prefer to prop up your smartphone while it’s charging, Yootech’s wireless charging stand is a nicely designed and versatile solution that lets you charge a wide variety of phones and even smaller devices at some of the fastest speeds available, with support for up to 15 watts of charging power for LG’s V50 devices and 11 watts for the Google Pixel 4.
Thanks to the two-coil design, Yootech’s charger can handle a wide variety of different phone sizes, and even smaller Qi-enabled accessories like AirPods and Galaxy Buds, which is less common in an upright wireless charger where placement can be a challenge. This also allows you to lay your smartphone sideways across the charger for those times when you want to prop it up to watch your favourite YouTube clips
YooTech also employs one of the more sleep-friendly designs we’ve seen, thanks to its LED that automatically turns off a few seconds after charging begins, so you won’t need to worry about staring at a bright light on your bedside table. It also works just fine with cases up to 4mm thick, so there’s no need to pop your smart phone out while it’s charging.
By their very nature, wireless chargers can create a bit of heat. While this won’t damage your smartphone, the lithium-ion batteries inside prefer to be kept cool, so excessive heat can shorter your battery life. If you normally use a case on your smartphone, removing it while charging can help to prolong your battery—especially if it’s a thicker protective case.
11W Charging for Google Pixel 4
Google Assistant Support
Pixel Smart Screen Features
Slow charging of non-Pixel phones
As the name implies, Google’s Pixel Stand is designed for owners of the company’s Pixel devices, and it offers some cool and unique features if you own one of Google’s latest smartphones. For one, you get the fastest possible 11W charging speeds for the Pixel 4, but it goes beyond that by letting you turn your Pixel into a smart display whenever it’s on the charging dock.
This unlocks a variety of neat features, from simply presenting a digital photo frame to offering access to Google Assistant and Google Home features. This lets you configure your Pixel phone to automatically perform certain tasks as soon as you drop it on the charger, such as enabling Do Not Disturb or triggering a bedtime routine for your Google Home devices.
Unfortunately, the Google Pixel Stand is also one of the most proprietary Qi chargers we’ve seen, since if you don’t have a Google Pixel, you’re limited to the standard Qi 5W base power profile. This means that while it will charge other Qi-enabled devices, it’s going to do so very slowly. It’s also not cheap by wireless charging standards, so you’ll have to decide whether the extra features it offers are worth the cost of entry.
Includes Apple Watch charging dock
Custom spot for charging AirPods
Nice “Ultrasuede” finish
Compatibility problems with AirPods Pro
Doesn’t charge other smartwatches
If you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, you probably own multiple devices that all support wireless charging—a recent-model iPhone, an Apple Watch, and the newest AirPods—and if you’re looking for a single place to charge them all at once, Mophie has you covered with its 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand.
Designed with a premium “ultrasuede” finish, Mophie’s charging pad has a nice aesthetic that should be well suited to your bedside or couch side table, and supports full 7.5-watt charging speeds for the iPhone, plus a built-in charging dock to hold your Apple Watch upright in Nightstand mode and even a cutout for your second-generation AirPods wireless charging case.
Since this is designed expressly with Apple devices in mind, the charging speeds cap out at 7.5 watts, meaning you won’t get faster charging for other Android devices. Unfortunately, it also seems to have issues with charging Apple’s newer AirPods Pro case reliably—not only is the spot designed for the standard AirPods, but the metal hinge in the AirPods Pro case can sometimes trigger the foreign object detection safety feature, which cuts off charging power.
Although smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear technically support the Qi wireless charging standard, their size requires them to use smaller coils that usually don’t line up properly with most Qi chargers, so don’t expect a Qi charger to support your smartwatch unless it notes that it’s specifically designed for it.
Stackable battery system
Wireless batteries provide power on the go
Bulky power adapter
OtterBox is perhaps best known for its ultra-rugged cases for smartphones and other devices, so it may surprise you to discover that it also produces a wireless charging system, and a pretty cool one at that. Looking like a stack of drink coasters, the OtterSpot features a single Qi-enabled base station upon which you can stack one or more 5,000mAh batteries to recharge for use on the road.
The standard system includes the base and a single battery, along with a four-foot charging cable and wall adapter. The battery fits right on top of the base to charge up wirelessly, and you can drop your smartphone on top of that to charge it up at the same time. In fact, if you purchase additional batteries, the OtterSpot can actually handle charging up to three at a time, plus your smartphone. This makes the OtterSpot a great way to let everyone in your family take power with them on the go, or you can simply drop a few around your home in convenient charging spots and gather them all up to recharge on the base station at night.
Each of the batteries work as individual wireless charging pads by themselves, but also sport a two-way USB-C port so you can recharge them, use them as standalone wireless chargers, or charge up your smartphone over a cable when setting it against the battery pack isn’t practical.
Single-unit charging only
Won’t charge smartwatches
No AC adapter included
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable charging solution that works with all modern phones, Aukey’s Wireless Charger fits the bill. Featuring three charging coils, this rectangular charging pad makes it easy to just drop your smartphone on just about anywhere and get a fast and reliable charge, while a grippy silicone surface prevents even the slipperiest glass-backed iPhones from sliding off.
The Aukey charger supports both 10-watt and 7.5-watt charging, so you’ll be able to charge Samsung and Apple’s latest phones at the fastest speeds, and don’t let the low price fool you with this one—it’s still Qi-certified and includes all of the usual safety features like foreign object detection and temperature control, so you won’t need to worry about your phone overheating.
One thing that’s important to note is that unlike many wider charging pads, however, Aukey only supports single-device charging. The three coils in this case are designed to offer versatility, but they don’t let you drop another device onto the pad at the same time. It also naturally won’t charge smartwatches either, since their charging coils are too small to effectively work with most chargers.
Almost all Qi-certified wireless chargers should include Foreign Object Detection, which is a feature that ensures the charger doesn’t engage when a metallic object (like a coin or a set of keys) is detected on the charging pad, either by itself or in between the pad and your smartphone. Without this feature, the pad would attempt to “charge” the object, causing it to heat up to the point where it could cause severe burns if you try to pick it up.
Elegant and unobtrusive design
Doubles as a picture frame
Large encased devices may not fit
Won’t charge AirPods or Galaxy Buds
If you’re looking for a cool and unique way to charge your smartphone that’s almost guaranteed to blend in with your decor, Twelve South’s PowerPic may very well be worth its higher asking price. On the surface, it looks like a contemporary 5x7 picture frame that you’d pick up at any home decor store, but it actually hides a wireless charger inside that can be used to juice up just about any smartphone simply by placing it into the frame.
The frame is made from solid and attractive New Zealand Pine, while the backing incorporates a 10-watt Qi-certified charger behind whatever photo you choose to insert in front of it. So when you’re not charging your smartphone, it’s simply a way to show off your favourite picture. To be clear, this isn’t a digital photo frame, merely a place to put a standard print photo.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t include an AC power adapter, so you’ll have to supply your own, which is a bit disappointing considering that it’s definitely more expensive than the average wireless charger. The frame also limits the size of the devices you can charge, although at 6.5 inches it’s big enough to handle most of the largest smartphones as long as you’re not using an extra-bulky case.
If you want the best Qi charger for your phone, Belkin's Boost Up is a great, versatile choice. On the other hand, if you're an Android stalwart, Yootech's offering is a perfect fit, and is also capable of charging smaller devices.
Jesse Hollington has been testing and reviewing smartphones and smartphone accessories for over ten years, including both wired and wireless chargers since the concept first came along. With a collection of Apple devices, Jesse has a Qi-enabled charger in just about every corner of his home, and even a couple in his bag, letting him drop his iPhone, AirPods, or Apple Watch to charge just about anywhere he happens to be.
Qi Certification - The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) manages the Qi standard and offers certification for all wireless chargers that claim to adhere to this standard. Qi-certified chargers have been tested and are guaranteed to include important safety features like Foreign Object Detection and temperature regulation. You can rest assured that all of the chargers we’ve included on this list are Qi-certified, but if you’re shopping around and want to make sure, you can look any model up in the WPC’s Qi Product Database.
Case-Friendly - One of the main reasons to use a wireless charger is for convenience, so if you have to remove your case every time you drop it on the charger, you’re kind of defeating the purpose. Most wireless chargers are case-compatible up to a point, but if you’re using a thicker case, you’ll want to check the specs that make sure it’s okay. Note that if your case includes any metallic components, however, there’s a good chance it won’t work with any wireless charger.
Speed - Every Qi charger should be able to handle 5W charging, but many higher-end smartphones can charge faster at higher power levels. The Qi standard supports up to 10 watts, but if you have a Google Pixel or LG smartphone, you’ll need a charger that specifically supports their proprietary charging standards if you want to get maximum charging speeds.