Best Wireless Charger 2018: 5 of the best Qi pads for iPhone and Android

Best wireless charging pad 2018: These are five top picks if you’re looking to ditch the cable and juice your iPhone or Android device wirelessly.

Even though high-end phones have been able to charge wirelessly for years now, the tech didn’t really go mainstream until Apple stuck it in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X (we’d also expect to see it in the next iPhones, whether that’s iPhone 9, iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11).

The good news is that Apple decided against using some proprietary tech for wirelessly charging its phone, instead using the common Qi standard.

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This is the same standard used by Samsung, LG and the majority of others. It’s also the tech you’ll find in some Starbucks and McDonalds branches.

Before you get your wallet out and purchase a wireless charging pad it’s important to make sure your phone is compatible. If you own an iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus then you’re in luck, and the same goes if you own a Samsung Galaxy S7/S8/S7 Edge/S8 Plus or Note 8. LG also added Qi to some versions of its V30 and G7.

Belkin Boost Up

Pros

  • Fast charging for iPhone
  • Works with cases
  • Simple design

Cons

  • Quite big
  • Expensive
  • Only one position

One of the wireless chargers sold by Apple alongside the iPhone 8/8 Plus/ X, the Belkin Boost Up is a basic 7.5w Qi pad that does its job and not much else.

It’s a lot bigger than Mophie’s effort, which does mean it’s easier to perfectly align your phone but more of an eyesore. We’re not a huge of bright white colour scheme either.

This is a lay-down pad only, so is more suited to a bedside table rather than a desk. It worked with all the cases we tried during testing, but Belkin does say it only works with cases up to 3mm thick.

Mophie Wireless Charging Base

Pros

  • Fast charging for iPhone
  • Works with cases
  • Small

Cons

  • Pricey compared to some of the competition
  • Only one position

Our preferred pad from the two highlighted by Apple, Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base is smaller and sleeker than Belkin’s effort. Design aside though, it’s exactly the same.

It’s a flat pad with no movement that supports the 7.5w ‘fast’ charging speed Apple uses. The smaller base does mean you’ll have to be more precise when you lay your device on, but we’ve found it normally buzzes into life even if you don’t place it perfectly.

The biggest downside of this, as with the Belkin attempt, is the price. It’s just a little too high for what’s on offer.

Samsung Wireless Fast Charger

Pros

  • Fast charging for iPhone and others
  • Works with cases
  • Multiple positions
  • Looks great
  • USB-C

Cons

  • Bulky

Samsung has released a number of wireless pads over the past few years, but this one is our favourite. It’s not only great for Qi-enabled Android phones, but it’s also one of our picks  if you’re looking for an iPhone charger too.

It’ll charge the S9/S9+/Note and iPhone 8/8 Plus/X at full speed, offers both a flat and vertical position and has internal fans to disperse heat. These do make it a little on the big side, but it’s has a smaller footprint than the Belkin.

It also plugs in via a USB-C plug (not included) making it better for travelling as you don’t have to haul around a dedicated AC plug.

It’s still a little on the expensive side, but we’ll forgive that for all its features.

Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Pad

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Works well
  • Simple design

Cons

  • Not 7.5w compatible
  • Single position

Anker makes fantastic phone accessories and unlike most of the other chargers on test this one doesn’t break the bank.

It’s a simple, flat black circular pad that gets the job done without being flashy. It does lack 7.5w charging though, so you’re limited to the slower 5w standard. Still, if you have this by your bed and charge your phone throughout the night then this shouldn’t be an issue.

Considering the price, this could be a good secondary Qi pad for your office or bedroom.

Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Stand

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Works as it should
  • Simple design

Cons

  • Not 7.5w compatible
  • Single position

Similar to the other Anker product featured in this list, this version is a standing charger rather than one that’s flat.

This means it’s great for a desk and for use with Face ID on the iPhone X, as you won’t need to remove the phone from the pad to unlock it.

It’s limited to 5w charging, rather than the faster 7.5w, but Anker does say it should charge faster than other similarly powered chargers. We haven’t noticed this, but your mileage may vary.