As convenience goes, wireless charging can't be beat. You simply
drop your phone onto the charger and walk away. Gone is the
headache of managing cables that inevitably break or get lost.
Wireless charging has not only improved as a technology, but
it's also been adopted by most major phone makers, including
Samsung, LG, Sony, Motorola, Google, Huawei, as well as Apple. If
your phone supports it, it's time you pair it with a wireless
charging stand or pad, so you can experience the benefit.
We've tested some of the most popular wireless chargers out
there for both Android and iPhone, and picked our favorites from
the bunch. Read on for our findings, and check back periodically
for our latest updates.
Updated 11/24/21 to include our review
of the Otterbox Folding Wireless Power Bank,
a 10,000mAh power bank with two USB ports (one of which is USB-C),
as well as a Qi wireless charging pad in a convenient folding
design, making it a great companion for on-the-go power needs.
Scroll to the bottom of this article to find links for all of our
wireless charger reviews.
wireless charger for Android phones
The best wireless
charger for iPhones
From its attractive fabric finish—made from hemp and recycled
water bottles, no less—to its flexible form factor that lets you
charge your phone upright or prone, to its reasonable price, we
already liked the Nimble Stand. Then we saw its performance! It was
the fastest at charging an iPhone of any of the wireless chargers
we've reviewed, and laudable at charging Android as well. (Read our
combination wireless charger and phone mount
The iOttie iTap 2 Wireless is a clever combination of phone
mount and wireless charger.
In addition to the vent-style mount that we reviewed, it's also
available as a mount that uses the CD slot in your car's stereo or
as a dash mount. All three are priced at $55 and are capable of
wirelessly charging your Qi-enabled smartphone.
The included magnet in the iTap 2 Wireless was strong enough to
hold an iPhone XS Max in place without fear of it falling while
In our tests, its wireless charging performance ranked average
to above average, for iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy S9,
respectively, compared to other wireless chargers we've tested.
What to look for in
a wireless charger
Until recently, there were two different wireless charging
standards that you had to be aware of when purchasing a wireless
charging pad: the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard, and the
Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard.
Powermat has since agreed to join the WPC and embrace the Qi
standard. (We've noted in our individual wireless charger reviews
if it supports the PMA standard, in case you have an older Android
device that only supports PMA.) Now you only have one factor to
consider when choosing a wireless charging pad: Does it support
As technology has evolved, so too has the speed at which a phone
can wirelessly charge. You will need to check the speed at which
your phone can wirelessly charge, which is usually given in terms
of 7.5 watts (W), 9W, or even 15W.
Sometimes software plays a part in the speed. For example, an
iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X running iOS 11.2 or later charges at 7.5W,
while any of the same iPhones running iOS 11.1 charges at 5W.
The packaging for most wireless chargers will indicate its
speed. Look for the wattage speed on the box or in the
specification listing for a charger, then compare that with the
speed at which your phone can charge.
Do keep in mind that as fast as wireless chargers have become,
the included charger for most phones will be your best bet when
you're in a hurry and need as fast a charge as possible.
How we tested
In order to properly test and measure how long a wireless
charger takes to charge a smartphone from 0 to 100 percent, we
followed the steps below each time we placed a phone on the
charging pad. For the initial round of tests, we used an unlocked
Samsung Galaxy S9.
- We enabled airplane mode on the Galaxy S9 to prevent
notifications or connections from impacting battery life throughout
- To completely drain the battery on the Galaxy S9, we looped a
movie in VLC with screen brightness set to 100 percent until the
phone powered off.
- If a wireless charger included its own power supply, we used
it. If not, we used Samsung's standard wall adapter and an
- The phone was placed on a wireless charging pad, and a timer
was set for four minutes (the minimum time required to bring the
phone back to life across all the pads we tested). After four
minutes, the phone was powered on and unlocked.
- A time-lapse video was recorded of each charging session using
a Wyze Cam, with a photo captured every 60 seconds.
- Charge time was calculated by looking at the video and noting
the time when the always-on-display of the Galaxy S9 would register
- We repeated the test three times for each wireless charger,
then averaged the results.
Testing a wireless charging pad with an iPhone requires a
different procedure than with an Android handset. The iPhone
doesn't have an always-on display feature that constantly shows the
current battery percentage. Because of this we opted to charge our
iPhone X for a period of 60 minutes and measure the achieved
charged level following the steps below:
- We enabled airplane mode on the iPhone X in order to prevent
any unnecessary notifications or connections from impacting battery
life throughout the test.
- Using VLC and a display brightness set to 100%, we completely
drained the battery until the iPhone X powered off.
- If a wireless charger included its own power supply, we used
it. If not, we used Samsung's standard wall adapter and appropriate
- The phone was then placed on a wireless charging pad, and a
timer was set for 7 minutes (the minimum time required to bring the
phone back to life across all the pads we tested).
- At the 7 minute mark, the iPhone would be unlocked and then
placed back on the charging pad. A new timer was set for 60
- After the 60 minute timer expired, the phone was removed from
the pad and the battery percentage was recorded.
- We repeated this process three times for each charging pad and
averaged the results.
For an approximate ballpark of how long it'll take to reach full
charge with an iPhone, you can divide 60 (the number of minutes
used for this test) by the percentage result listed in each review.
So if the result is an average charge of 36 percent in 60 minutes,
the soonest that a full charge will take is roughly 167 minutes, or
2 hours and 47 minutes.
Keep in mind that this is an imprecise estimate: We say
approximate because it's possible for charging to slow down during
a full charge.