If you’ve bought a relatively modern phone there is a good chance that is has wireless charging. This is a method of charging the phone without plugging the supplied power cord into the bottom of the device. The back of the phone is required to be rested or placed onto a wireless charging surface and that’s it, no need to fumble for a cable, especially in the dark.
If you buy a phone today it may have wireless charging capabilities but the manufacturer is still only including the cabled option in the box. A wireless charger does require a seperate cost. The likes of Samsung are now selling their own branded wireless chargers and Apple will be bringing one to the masses shortly also, but there are alternatives.
We’ve been testing three different options from EFM, Belkin and Laser. While it may seem like a simple buying decision, there was a lot of difference between them. Please note, we tested these devices using a Samsung Galaxy S8 (no case fitted), an iPhone X (with Apple Case fitted) and the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (with the provided silicone gel case fitted), all managed to charge these devices with the case on no problem.
EFM Wireless Charging Pad
This little black UFO looking device looks really nice and found immediately comfort on the bedside table. It takes a microUSB charger (included) and supports fast charging for Samsung devices too. Being a Qi certified product it will support Apple devices too. The charger worked great at any angle and immediately got to work charging the phones, once the lights went off though we had a problem.
Seeing as we charge the phones at night and on the bedside table the blue ring of light, which comes on when it is charging a phone, was so bright that it made sleeping in that direction impossible. It was a real problem which required me to place a magazine over the phone and charger at night. Not ideal.
Laser The Hills Wireless Charging Dock
This thing is a beast and is absolutely not meant for one person. This unit from Laser has a wireless charging pad which works on all Qi devices however it also has FOUR USB ports for any other device you might need to charge too. We can see this sitting in the kitchen or in an office where an iPad, iPhone, kids phones, wifes phone etc all gets a charge in this one place. The great thing about going with this option is that all the devices are not in the bedroom so sleep takes priority. The obvious downside for us was that if we wanted a device just for the bedroom then this was too big. It serves a totally different purpose but is a great option for those looking to charge a family of devices with one device.
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad
Belkin is not a company you have just heard of. In terms of companies who make very good accessories for your mobile device, Belkin often comes to mind. The all white charging pad has a very Apple looking design, something Jony Ive would have gazed over in approval we’re sure. We put this one on the bedside to see if we could sleep with it… ahem, next to it. There is a very small green LED which indicates wireless charging when in use but it is dim enough to not cast a beam. We did notice though that because it is a slightly larger surface we might require two placements of the phone on the device before it landed in the right spot to start charging. The EFM one seemed to hit the Qi easier than this one. Nevertheless, this is the one that has remained in the bedroom as it means a good night sleep and a charge that doesn’t require any fumbling with cables and holes in the dark.
With new phones arriving with wireless charging we’re starting to wonder how much longer the port at the bottom will even stick around for. With a wireless charger the question of what type of charger to you need to suit your phone goes away, no more Apple charger or Samsung charger, it is ONE charger. The fact that Apple and other manufacturers have set their sights on Qi wireless charging means that everything has gotten that little bit simpler. We did notice that the Apple Watch worked on none of these devices sadly and our electric toothbrush seemed to react to the wireless chargers but it wasn’t comfortable. We’re looking forward to the day when our bedside table surface is simply a large charging base and we know IKEA is on the way to doing that. If you’ve purchased a new smartphone, take a look to see if it supports wireless charging and remove the cords from your life.