Oh, you still charge your phone by plugging it into the wall each night? That’s . . . cute. One of the best things about the new iPhone is its wireless charging capability. Powered by Qi technology, it transfers energy from the coils in one device to similar coils in your phone.
But the best thing about wireless charging? You don’t need to know how it works. All you need to do is place your iPhone on a compatible charger and wander away. No cords, no fuss.
There are a lot of chargers out there that do multiple things—they charge your phone, your watch, your earbuds. They often have an extra USB port out the back. They light up, don’t light up, light up in patterns—the point being they're needlessly complicated. This 7.5-watt Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad does one thing. You put your phone on it and it charges that device. The most complicated thing about it? Deciding if you're okay with the lower-wattage 5W black version. I've been using this charger since Apple added Qi charging to the iPhone and it's been completely reliable.
If you want the ultimate in stealth charging, grab an IKEA Jyssen. It may just be a 5W charger, but if you have a FIXA bit for your drill, you can cut a perfect hole into whatever furniture you’ve got, drop in the Jyssen, route the cable to an outlet and just like that, you’ve made your nightstand (or coffee table or end table) “smart.” It's a great solution for that friend who constantly shows up at your house, cord in hand, trying to find an outlet.
If you’re like me, then you were saving up your pennies, waiting for the unicorn product that was the Apple Charging Pad. It was going to do everything—charge your Apple Watch, AirPods and iPhone, and smartly manage the power delivered to each device with proprietary iOS notifications. Unfortunately, all that didn’t happen. Which is why Mophie now has this Apple Store exclusive 3-in-1 charger. Sure, it doesn’t have the iOS integration that the fabled Apple product was going to have, but it does have room for all three of Apple’s wireless charge-capable devices. What I particularly like is that it holds the Watch horizontally so that you get the benefit of Nightstand mode. It's also a 7.5W charger, so you'll have plenty of power for all of your devices.
If you’re looking for something a little more portable and rugged, grab the wireless version of the Lifeproof Lifeactív Power Pack. With Qi charging, an emergency flashlight and emergency LED built in, it’s perfect for just about any situation. Good thing that it’s also water-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof and, well, life-proof.
The new Otterspot Wireless Charging System from Otterbox is on track to be in my top five tech innovations of 2019. Not only is it an easy-to-use Qi charging pad, but you can also stack up to three battery packs on top of the charger. The charger itself puts out an incredible 36W of power. Even better? Each of those battery packs is its own 10W Qi charger. Grab one as you head out the door, use it throughout the day, then pop it back on the stack when you get home. Each battery pack (you only get one with the base system) comes with a USB A-C charging cable, so you can also charge up the battery pack itself or additional devices when you’re away from home. The batteries themselves have no-slip grip so you don’t have to worry about them sliding away or your iPhone sliding off (a problem I’ve actually had when my phone got a little too buzzy). In short, it’s the perfect system. You can get it only on OtterBox.com at the moment, but keep an eye out for it at your local retailer soon.
I’ve been writing about technology, gadgets, and pop culture for the past two decades. I’ve seen the rise and fall (and rise again) of Apple. I've watched c-beams glitte...
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