Wireless charging is one of those budding technologies that really hasn’t taken off yet. Only a very select number of flagship devices feature the ability to wirelessly charge, with even the recent crop of high-end offerings from Sony and HTC giving this feature a skip, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 requires a replacement back cover to take advantage of this.
But if you do have a device that can be charged wirelessly, such as the Nexus 5, Droid Maxx, the Verizon LG G2, or others, here is a roundup of some of the best wireless charging devices available. Let’s take a look!
First up is the official Nexus 5 Wireless Charger. While the Nexus 5 name in the title can be a little misleading, this wireless charger will work with a qi-enabled smartphone or tablet.
The wireless charging platform comes with a built-in magnet, where the charging mechanism is located, to keep your device locked in place. The surface is a glossy plastic, with the rest of the unit featuring a matte finish to it, along with the bottom coming with an anti-slip rubber grip to keep the charger itself in place. It’s a sleek looking device that blends into your desk, instead of sticking out, and the overall space this qi charger uses is impressively small, which could be important if you have a cramped desk, or a small nightstand.
The only real issue with the Nexus 5 wireless charger is the fact that it doesn’t have a charging indicator, so I found myself having to keep checking the phone to make sure that it was charging. Like with most other wireless chargers, the phone is placed flat on the charger, which means that you won’t be able to use the phone while it is charging.
Next on the list is the Nokia Wireless Qi Charger. Once again, while this charger was made for Nokia Windows phones with wireless charging available, it’s also compatible with all qi-enabled Android devices.
The Nokia Qi Wireless Charger features an elongated circular design with a soft touch rubber finish, which is very minimalistic in its look and is also quite compact. It has a decent amount of grip, and while it doesn’t have magnets to hold the phone in place, the device doesn’t slip off. It has a white LED indicator to show when it is charging a device, which is very small and not distracting in any way. The Nokia Qi Wireless Charger is available in numerous color options to match your desk, phone, or just your personal style, including black, red, white, yellow, and cyan.
The Nokia charger uses a proprietary cable that is very slim, which might be a little too short for my liking, but gets the job done overall. What is a little problematic is the massive power brick, that takes up more space than necessary and gets in the way of other plugs and cables if you’re using it with an extension cord or surge protector.
The RAVPower Portable Qi Wireless Charger is a wireless charger with an in-built battery extension pack with a 4,800 mAh unit, which is perfect for when you’re on the move.
The charger is comparatively larger than most, and comes with a soft touch rubber finish, with a power button design on the center to indicate where the charging chip is located. There is an handy LED indicator to show how much of the battery life is left, and another to show when the device is charging. To make full use of the battery pack, there is also an additional USB port to charge any non qi-compliant devices you may have.
While the RAVPower wireless charger may not be as sleek as the others, the added functionality is a huge benefit. To be able to use this charger without needing to always look for a power outlet or cable is a big plus, and the 4,800 mAh unit is certainly big enough to fully charge your device even a couple of times. This wireless charger is available in black or white.
Next is the most expensive charger in the list, but is well worth the price as it serves a dual purpose. Unlike most other wireless charging pads, what makes the TYLT VU unique is that it’s a desktop cradle as well, that sits at a 45 degree angle, allowing you to use the phone, and comfortably watch videos, while the phone is charging.
It’s made with a soft touch rubber at the top, with a sturdy plastic frame for support. It boasts a minimalistic design, but does come with an LED light to show whether the phone is charging or not, which also turns red if the device cannot be charged for some reason. It uses a proprietary power cable, that tucks into the bottom of the charger, and remains out of sight when the cradle is kept on your desk, adding to its sleek look.
The location of the qi charging chip on your smartphone or tablet determines the position in which your device will charge. For example, the Nexus 5 can be charged regardless of whether it’s in landscape or portrait orientation, but the much larger Nexus 7 (2013) will work only when in the landscape position. This obviously not a fault of the charger, and it’s great that tablets can also be charged considering the size of the charger, but is worth a mention.
The TYLT VU is available in multiple color choices, including black, green, red, and blue. It’s definitely on the more expensive side, but its second functionality as a cradle makes it worth its price tag.
Rounding out the list is the CHOE Qi Wireless Charger, which features a very simple design, and is basically a square plastic charging pad with rubber feet on the bottom for grip. Made from a hard plastic, the top of the charging pad has a wireless charging design etched into it, to indicate the best position to place the phone.
In the front is an LED indicator that turns blue when the device is charging, and it also has a standard USB port. The charging part is definitely on the large side, but this also makes easier to get a connection. Only once you find the best placement to keep your phone does the LED indicator turn blue.
Because of the position of the LED, it might not always be visible, and you do end up having to turn your phone on to check whether the device is charging or not. Another interesting feature is that according to CHOE, the Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013) can notify the charger when its charge is at 100 percent, which enable a lower power mode on the charger, that helps to keep the phone charged to the maximum.
And so there you have it – a roundup of some of the best wireless chargers currently available. What are your thoughts? If you’ve used any of these chargers, what has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments section below.