Wireless charging is now popular for smartphones and accessories. What is the best Qi induction charger? Find our selection to never run out of battery on your Android smartphone, your iPhone or your wireless accessories.
Google’s Pixel Stand
Long considered a gadget, inductive wireless charging has slowly but surely made its mark thanks to the development of the Qi standard.
Since the Galaxy S5, it has even been one of the pillars of Samsung’s high-end smartphones. But the real recognition however came with Apple which ended up adopting it, with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Nowadays, it is a staple of flagships which makes it a differentiating element with high-end smartphones. more affordable range. Inductive charging is also appearing on a growing number of accessories such as wireless headphones and e-readers.
At the same time, the standard itself has made good progress, notably improving charging speed. Initially limited to 5W, Qi now goes up to 20W on a handful of phones. Some brands go higher while maintaining Qi compatibility. Apple, for example, reaches 15 W with its MagSafe charger. Of course, wireless charging remains slower than wired fast charging, which now goes up to 120 W. The wireless charger is thus a secondary charger, to be used in addition.
Many references exist on the market today and, if they all use the Qi standard, it can be complicated to find the charger that will offer optimal results for your smartphone. To help you choose, here is our selection of the best induction chargers.
To accompany these chargers rarely delivered with a mains unit, you will need a fast charger. No power outlet handy? No worries with our guide to the best power banks. Fans of the apple brand? Read our selection of the best MagSafe accessories.
“Stand” type induction chargers
Google Pixel Stand 2nd generation: our recommendation
Despite a high price, the first Pixel Stand was one of our favorite induction chargers. It was then replaced by a new version (2nd generation) that accompanied the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
In addition to a revised design and still so sober, this second generation has above all for it a much higher charging power than the original 10 W. It is indeed capable of providing 23 W to Pixel 6 as well as Pixel 7. Other smartphones will only be able to use “only” 15 W. To achieve this result, the stand is actively cooled by a fan.
Last strong point, it is one of the few models delivered with a power supply unit, which makes the bill a little less salty, even if the Pixel Stand 2 remains one of the best charges.
Belkin Boost Up stand: the cheaper alternative
The Belkin Boost Up is a safe bet for stand format chargers, at a low price.
If we really like its design and its format, we must indeed recognize that the Pixel Stand is quite expensive. If you are looking for a more economical stand, turn to the Belkin Boost Up. It is certainly a little less pretty, but it offers more or less the same performance (10 W) at a more reasonable price, with the added bonus of a supplied power supply.
Pad type wireless chargers
Belkin Boost: the classic
If we mainly focused on the “stands” that we find more sympathetic on the desk or the bedside table at first, the pads are generally less expensive and just as efficient. The “default” choice is found at Belkin with the “Boost”, compatible with 15 W, it has a non-slip surface on the top. The coating is soft and prevents scratches.
Unlike the stands, the pads also have the advantage of recharging compatible headphones without any particular convolutions. On the other hand, the latter are a little less practical insofar as it is sometimes necessary to slightly replace the telephone on the pad to be certain that the coils are face to face. Otherwise, we risk ending up with an uncharged smartphone in the morning.
If you are a handyman, a built-in version that works even under a few millimeters of wood exists.
Anker PowerWave: the inexpensive wireless charger
The props Anker could not fail to offer a wireless charger. With its PowerWave Pad, it offers a simple, effective and inexpensive solution since it will cost you less than 18 euros. It is also compatible with 10 W, but to cut costs, Anker does not provide a charger in the box. You will therefore have to use one of yours like that of your current smartphone, or an old block.
If you have an old charger, it may not provide enough power to charge at 10W, so be careful. For the rest, it’s classic: a very soft coating that grips to avoid scratches and to keep the phone firmly in place on the pad. It will charge all Qi phones and accessories except the Apple Watch. It is not MagSafe compatible.
Dual induction chargers
Samsung Duo: two, we make the 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 slots, it can accommodate a phone and an accessory such as AirPods or Galaxy Buds headphones, or a smartwatch (but not the Apple Watch)… or even two smartphones. Note that it comes with a mains unit.
Inductive chargers for iPhone (MagSafe)
If iPhones use the Qi standard, Apple can’t help but do things its own way. The Apple Watches used proprietary inductive charging, but things got a bit more complicated 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 remains glued to the back of the iPhone and you can, for example, make a phone call while charging your phone. However, we let you judge the effective usefulness of this development since we de facto recover a thread in the leg…
Apple MagSafe Charger: the fastest iPhone charge
Starting with the iPhone 12, the MagSafe charger delivers 15W. The official Apple model just does the bare minimum, but does it well. The charge is indeed fast and the finish impeccable, as always with Apple.
Be careful though, it does not come with the mains unit. Apple recommends its 20W USB-C charger, but you can use another one with a similar wattage without worry. A simple and effective product. Too bad, however, that the cable is a bit short.
MagSafe Dual Charger: Perfect for Travel
The MagSafe Duo was also presented!
If you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, the MagSafe dual charger is particularly interesting. Foldable, it is able to charge your two devices at the same time. Be careful though, it comes without a power supply. To get the most out of it, you will therefore need a charger of at least 27 W and a USB-C to Lightning cable.
Belkin 3-in-1 charging station with MagSafe: ultra complete
iPhone 12, Apple Watch, AirPods… You have them all! Rejoice, now it’s possible to charge it all up in one fell swoop with the Belkin 3-in-1 Charging Station. As its name suggests, it allows you to charge your iPhone in MagSafe, the headphones via a Qi pad and the Watch via its proprietary support.
Unlike some models, the charger comes with the support, a particularly valuable point given the price of the set.
Belkin 2-in-1 MagSafe station: for the iPhone / AirPods combo
If you only have an iPhone and AirPods to charge, Belkin also produces a 2-in-1 version of its docking station. We also appreciate the presence of an AC adapter. It’s simple and brutally effective.
Find all the best MagSafe accessories for iPhone in our comprehensive guide.
Understanding wireless charging
Fast wireless charging: how do I know if my smartphone is compatible?
There is no hard and fast rule as to whether your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging; there is no logo that would always appear on your phone. However, as 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 has offered it on its products, just like Samsung on its recent and less recent Galaxy S. The same goes for Huawei on its premium products. Note that almost all smartphones today are compatible with charging at 7.5 or 10 W. This is why we do not suggest a 5 W charger in this selection of the best wireless chargers.
This table will allow you to get a quick idea of the supported powers. Be careful though, all smartphones of the same brand do not always benefit from the same charging speed.
BrandFast Charge Samsung15 Watts (proprietary) Huawei15 Watts (proprietary) Google23 Watts (proprietary) Apple15 Watts (proprietary) Xiaomi67 Watts (proprietary)
Induction charging, how does it work?
Wireless charging works on the long-known principle of magnetic induction. Basically, 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 hull prevents it from working. Don’t worry, so there is no health risk.
What are the pros and cons of wireless charging?
The main advantage of wireless charging is obviously its convenience. No cable to connect, just put the phone on the station to recharge the batteries and this avoids the passage of having wires lying around. Its main disadvantage is energy loss, which means slower charging than with a cable and higher consumption.
To put it simply, it takes between 3 and 4 hours to fully charge a smartphone. That’s fast enough to charge your device during the day at the office or overnight, but if you’re in a hurry, use a cable instead.
Wireless charging, what are the trusted brands?
There are a plethora of brands offering wireless charging stations. We advise you to avoid small stations of unknown brands, which are not always very scrupulous about standards, especially if you go through imports. Better not to joke when it comes to electrics. We recommend to prefer reputable brands like Samsung, Google, Aukey or even Belkin.
Wireless charging, does it use up my smartphone battery?
You should know that inductive charging heats up the smartphone more than wired charging. Worse still, improper positioning of the smartphone on the charger leads to an even greater temperature rise. To compensate for the offset of the coils in the charger and the smartphone, the charger is forced to increase its power.
It is therefore important to have a quality product. All chargers are not equal on this issue and it is better to favor a model capable of dissipating heat correctly. This will avoid draining your smartphone battery.
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