Until scientists figure out how to truly make us one with our smartphones, the most popular attraction at any music festival — apologies to Beyoncé — will be the charging stations. A fully juiced-up phone satisfies what has become a basic human need to be connected and available, sending data hither and thither. But if a charged phone equals a happy human, then a dead or near dead phone can leave a person anxious and discombobulated.
Progress, then, has come in the shape of the wireless charger. Cables and cords are, at best, less than ideal. Of course, wireless chargers themselves need to be plugged in to give you the power you need, but their convenience is the future and we want it now.
The six wireless chargers below all meet the Qi wireless-charging standard set by the Wireless Power Consortium, an industry group that includes Apple, Samsung, Belkin, and mophie. Scroll on to get (dis)connected.
A luxe wireless charger inspired by, quite possibly, the look of Mad Men and the interiors seen in Spike Jonze’s Her. Wrapped in pebble-grain Italian leather, Courant’s $175 Catch:3 wireless charging station and accessory organizer has a firm and appreciable weight to it and comes with a handsome braided nylon cable, along with an additional USB-A output. This thing of beauty screams understated luxury in a learned European accent.
RAVPower RP-PC069 Wireless Charging Stand
“Why lie down when you can stand?” is what the designers at RAVPower might have been pondering while designing the RP-PC069 Wireless Charging Stand. This device can charge compatible smartphones from half-dead to full in an hour, regardless of whether you’re an Apple or an Android person. The RP-PC069 also comes with a cable and wall plug just in case you need more life more quickly. With a simple, straightforward design in either black or white, the charger isn’t flashy and blends into most environments. And at $34, with an 18-month warranty, your phone is in good hands even if you’re on a budget.
Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Pad
At just $18, the Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Pad is the wireless charger equivalent of that pair of sunglasses you don’t mind misplacing every summer. While it doesn’t come with its own USB wall charger, this is ideal for your nightstand, as it’s that little bit slower than other wireless chargers on the market. The blue charging indicator light is great for light-sensitive sleepers, making the Anker PowerPort as unobtrusive and uncomplicated as they come. It also comes in an upright stand version.
ZENS Dual+Watch Aluminium Wireless Charger
As the name suggests, the ZENS Dual+Watch Aluminium Wireless Charger has an aluminum base with a grippy top surface. The two charging coils are indicated by logos that blaze a small white status light while powering a device. The platform can charge two phones and an iPhone simultaneously and costs $100, which is a smart price when compared with similarly efficient options. It also comes with a three-year warranty.
Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible
Samsung’s Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible stand is a premium and considerably more fun wireless charger than others out there. It’s $90, charges via a USB-C plug, and can be used while laying flat or standing upright (albeit at an angle, so your phone doesn’t vibrate itself off the charger and onto the floor). The ability to fold it down makes it a solid travel option, too.
The Fonesalesman FurniQi just makes sense when you see it. It’s a cute, unobtrusive bamboo side table standing 18 inches high that will be a smooth complement to your home. With a 16-inch surface diameter, there’s plenty of room for devices, although at $200 and charging more slowly than premium competitors, you’re paying as much for the furniture aspect as you are the charger. Still, it serves multiple utilitarian purposes, making it a worthwhile addition for those who believe standalone wireless chargers are a little unsightly.
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