If you've bought a new smartphone in the last few years, there's a good chance that it supports wireless charging. Android smartphones have supported it for almost a decade, while Apple, admittedly late to the party, introduced the first iPhone to support wireless charging to 2017 — it was the iPhone 8— and every new iPhone has supported it since.
Wireless charging is convenient because it allows you to charge your smartphone without the need of a charging cable. You just place it on the charging pad or stand and — boom — it starts charging. There are a couple tradeoffs with wireless charging, however. The main one is that it typically won't charge your smartphone as fast as a wired connection. Also, wireless charging solutions are a little more expensive.
Wireless chargers will work with Android and iPhone
iPhones and Androids both us a wireless charging standard called "Qi" (pronounced "chee"), so all chargers that use that standard (virtually all of the modern ones) can charge both phones. Most Android smartphones can wirelessly accept up to 10-watts of power, while iPhones can wirelessly accept up to 7.5-watts of power. And yes, that means that Androids can wirelessly charge a little faster.
The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can accept up to 15-watts of power over Apple's new MagSafe standard, which is twice as much as over a traditional wireless charger. But MagSafe is, at its core, still a Qi charger, so it can charge older iPhones and Android alike, albeit slower.
The other thing you need to consider before buying a wireless charger is how many devices you need it to charge at once. These days, many wireless earbuds, headphones and smartwatches support wireless charging, and you can buy a wireless charger that can charge several devices at once — but those are also more expensive.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand
The Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand is one of the best wireless chargers for a number of reasons. Its 10-watts of power mean that it's capable of fast charging every non-MagSafe capable phone as fast as it can be wirelessly charged. It can charge a smartphone either vertically and horizontally, which is great for streamers who need to watch videos while they charge. It's also very affordable and comes with the necessary wall adapter, which frustratingly is becoming less and less common.
Nomad Base Station (Apple Watch Edition)
Nomad makes few different versions of the Base Station. The Apple Watch Edition is a little more expensive, but it also adds a floating puck to charge your Apple Watch. On top of that, the Base Station can wirelessly charge two smartphones (or a iPhone and AirPods Pro) at the same time. It's also one of the nicest looking wireless charging pads out there, and one of the very few that does not require you to place your gadgets very precisely over the charger's induction coils, making it extra user friendly.
RavPower Fast Wireless Charger
If you're looking for a traditional wireless charging pad, this one by RavPower is an easy one to recommend. It's capable of fast charging most smartphones. It comes with the necessary wall adapter and charging cable. And it's less than $30.
Apple MagSafe Charger
The MagSafe Charger is specifically designed to work with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. This is because Apple's new iPhones are integrated with a magnet that allows them to magnetically connect to this MagSafe Charger and then charge faster. That's right, this MagSafe Charge can charge the newest iPhones at 15-watts (except for the 12 mini, which maxes out at 12-watts), which is twice the 7.5-watt speed that all other iPhones accept from a wireless charger. The only downside is that the recommended 20-watt USB-C charger is sold separately.
Anker PowerWave Stand Upgraded
Anker has been making some of our favorite wireless chargers for years. The PowerWave Stand Upgraded is neat because it allows you to charge your smartphone vertically (traditionally) or horizontally, in case you want to watch a video on your smartphone as it charges. It also supports up to 10-watts of charging, so it'll charge your iPhone or Android fast. The only downside is that it doesn't include a wall adapter, so you'll have to buy your own.
Google Pixel Stand
If you have a Pixel smartphone from the last few years (Pixel 3 or later), there is a legit advantage to buying the Pixel Stand. It effectively turns your Pixel smartphone into a smart display with Google Assistant while charging; it can display albums from Google Photos or display the weather. It also charges via USB-C and is capable of wireless charging any compatible smartphone.
Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with MagSafe
We're still in the early days of MagSafe, but right now this is one of the few non-Apple MagSafe wireless chargers that can also wirelessly charge your other devices. Specifically, its designed to also wirelessly charge your AirPods and Apple Watch. It's pretty expensive, but it does come with its own charging cable and wall adapter. And if you don't like the white finish, it's also available in black.
This is a 2-in-1 wireless charger and UV-light sanitizer — and yes, it can charge your smartphone and sanitize it at the same time. It has a convenient USB-A charging port on its outside, which allows it to act as a sort of hub to charge another device. Also, the case is large enough to sanitize your other EDC besides your smartphone, such as your keys or wallet.
Apple MagSafe Duo
The MagSafe Duo is Apple's fancy new 2-in-1 wireless charger that has a foldable design. It can charge any iPhone 12 via MagSafe and an Apple Watch at the same time. It's really optimized as a travel charger, as it can fold up into a light and compact formfactor that can be easily packed into a bag. It costs $129, which isn't cheap, especially given that it doesn't come with a wall adapter. To get working to its full potential, Apple recommends pairing it with a 20-watt power USB-C adapter that supports Power Delivery (PD).
Mophie Dual Wireless Charging Pad
Mophie is another big name in wireless charging that makes a wide variety of high-quality wireless charging pads and stands. This is its Dual Wireless Charging pad. It's capable of wireless charging two devices at once. Plus, it has an integrated USB-A port that, if you have an extra charging cable, allows you to charge a third device.