The Best Wireless Chargers
by Bev Bachel
I’m a freelance writer.
Yes, I have a home office, but I also spend a lot of time working in coffee shops. So do many of my neighbors, most of whom are University of Minnesota students or solopreneurs. As a result, we often find ourselves fighting over a limited number of outlets, all of which seem to only to be accessible by crawling under tables or reaching around chairs.
No matter what your work circumstances, most of us find ourselves in need of an outlet for a charger from time-to-time, and often we’re out of luck when one isn’t available.
So I decided to get serious about finding a wireless charger that would get my devices back up and running when my batteries weren’t. After doing some online research and talking with several mobile-phone representatives and tech-savvy friends, here’s what I learned:
1. Wireless chargers are a great way to charge smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, Bluetooth headsets, cameras, and other devices.
2. Most wireless chargers work via a wireless charging pad or stand—simply place your device on the pad or stand and it charges automatically. No cables, no adapters.
3. To be charged wirelessly, devices must be Qi compatible. Pronounced “chee,” Qi is a global standard that enables wireless charging. To see if a device is Qi compatible, look for the Qi logo, which is a magnifying glass focused on the letter ‘i’ or check your user manual. Also check out this list of Qi-enabled wireless charging smartphones. (Note: Some phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and newer Apple iPhones can be made Qi-enabled via a Qi-receiving battery shell or case.)
4. A wireless charging device that works for one device may not work for another.
After doing my own in-store and online shopping, here are three wireless chargers that stand out—check your phone model to see if they’re compatible:
An affordable charging pad for a range of Qi-enabled devices ($14.99).
A compact, travel-friendly disk for charging Qi-enabled phones. It promises to bring your phone’s battery from zero to 100% just as quickly as a conventional adapter ($39.99).
Features an attractive design that doubles as a stand and a large, powerful surface area that charges your phone, even if it’s upside down. The stands 45-degree angle also makes it easy to access calls and texts while your phone charges ($54.99).
Even if you don’t need a wireless charger today, stay tuned: more innovative, eco-friendly ones are on the way, including ones from Ikea that use side tables, lamps, and other furniture to power up phones and other devices.
Freelance writer Bev Bachel lives in Minneapolis and uses her phone to talk, text and email friends and family around the world. She’s the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go For It!
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