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Best wireless chargers 2021: how to charge up your iPhone or Android without wires

Best wireless chargers
A collection of the best wireless chargers (Image credit: Future)
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best wireless chargers for 2021 are going to use the Qi standard compatible with any modern iPhone, Samsung phones, Google Pixel 4, OnePlus 8 Pro and every major smartphone that supports wireless charging. That part is easy.

What’s harder is deciding which is the best wireless charger for you. They all have different designs, prices, and power delivery specs. We’ve tested the top products on the market to find out the ups and downs of each, along with our personal recommendations, to give you final answers - and a variety of choices, too.

As anyone who’s bought a Qi-charging-capable phone can attest, you don’t just get a first-party wireless charger in the box, so you have to go out and buy one separately. Aside from Samsung, none of the major phonemakers even produce their own.

Our list is full of trusted third-party brands like Belkin, Anker, Mophie, and other recognizable names - along with a couple you might not have heard of. Most of them won’t juice up your devices as fast as wired chargers, but they’re handy when you don’t want to keep plugging your phone in or want to get rid of messy cables. It’s a lot more elegant to have small pads around the house to top up your phone when needed. 

We’ve tested these wire-free chargers with a variety of phones, smartwatches like the Apple Watch, and other rechargeable devices to see if they also charge those -  not all do. We also note charging rates, in wattage, which might juice up some devices faster depending on their maximum wireless charging rating.

Lastly, make sure your phone can actually use wireless charging, as some older handsets - especially those with metal backs - likely don’t.

Without further ado, here is our ever-growing list of the best wireless chargers we’ve seen. 

Best wireless chargers 2021

Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Stand

(Image credit: Belkin)

1. Belkin BoostUp Wireless Charging Stand

Nice-looking, convenient, uncomplicated

Specifications
Wattage: 10W
Reasons to buy
+Quality matte rubber + glossy plastic+Helpful "arms" couch phones
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest charging

The Belkin 10W is a step up in design and charging power - both of which are noticeable. That charging rate refilled 16% on our iPhone XS Max in 30 minutes.

The Belkin 10W has upstyled glossy plastic with matte rubber for the flat charging surface, as well as the ‘arms’ keeping your phone from sliding off the surface. It tangibly feels higher-quality, and in the solid black color, looks a bit more refined than cheaper chargers. 

Whether you like pads or stands is more up to personal taste, but we enjoy the usefulness of keeping your device upright to check the time and scroll through notifications. It only charges phones, though - no smartwatches or tablets.

Apple MagSafe Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Apple MagSafe Charger

Fast speeds with an uncomplicated interface

Specifications
Wattage: 15W
Reasons to buy
+Minimalist design+Fast speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Not exactly wireless

The Apple MagSafe Charger is best known as the new recommended method for charging the latest iPhone 12. It uses the smartphone's magnets to properly align so you get the fastest charging speeds possible. 

It doesn't feel entirely wireless as you basically have the magnetic charger clipped to the back of your phone but it's far less fiddly than using an actual charging cable.

While you'll get the most out of it in conjunction with an iPhone 12, it also works with older Apple devices and even Android phones too. If you need the official solution, this is the one for you.

Apple MagSafe Duo Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Apple MagSafe Duo

Expensive but highly portable

Specifications
Wattage: Up to 14W
Reasons to buy
+Minimalist design+Can charge multiple devices
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The MagSafe Duo is one of the more portable chargers out there, easily folding together for added convenience. You can use it to charge your iPhone as well as your Apple Watch or AirPods at the same time which is very useful for avid Apple fans. 

However, the MagSafe Duo is pricey to say the least at $129/£129/AU$199 not including a wall adapter, plus it's not the fastest at charging as you'll get either 11W or 14W charging depending on the wall adapter you purchase.

Still, if portability is everything, the MagSafe Duo certainly has the form being incredibly simple to pocket at a moment's notice. 

Anker PowerWave 15 with Quick Charge 3.0

(Image credit: Anker)

4. Anker PowerWave 15 with Quick Charge 3.0

A classier pad-style charger

Specifications
Wattage: 15W
Reasons to buy
+Classy metal pad + braided cord+15W faster charging
Reasons to avoid
-Just one color

The Anker 15W is one of the faster chargers on our list for this low of price, though only some leading Android phones will be able to notice the difference. For instance, in our 30-minute test, an iPhone XS Max only regained 10% - respectable but not tuned for Apple’s phones. Which isn't a surprise, given the latest iPhones haven't been confirmed to charge above 10W.

The Anker 15W has a bit more of an industrial look than most of its peers, with a metal casing and rubber foot. It’s one of the few on our list that dispenses with plastic for refined material, which is a nicer aesthetic for your desktop.

Like other pads, you’ll need to leave your device flat to keep it charging, but the faster rate should ease the sting of leaving your phone in recharge time-out. And given the Anker PowerWave 15 is very inexpensive - $35 (£35, around AU$51) on Amazon - it beats out some pricier chargers with lower rates (perhaps by shirking the 'Qi' license, as its packaging materials claim it has "Fast-Charging via Leading Technology"). 

Aukey 10W wireless charger

(Image credit: Aukey)

5. Aukey 10W wireless charger

Fast speeds with the right plug

Reasons to buy
+Low key design+Capable of 10W charging
Reasons to avoid
-LED annoying at night

This affordable wireless charger can juice up compatible Samsung phones with its full 10W power when using the (not supplied) Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 wall charger brick. iPhones will have to settle for 7.5W, though that’s still faster than the 5W wired brick charger that still ships with every iPhone except the 11 Pro.

Its three coil design means you don’t have to fuss about how to place your phone down, with a charge picked up consistently. Your glass phone won’t slide around either thanks to the pleasant soft TPU coating.

The low profile black rubber look will blend in nicely on a desk, kitchen top or night stand though like with many wireless chargers there is a small LED to signal when it’s on which you might not like if it’s right by your bedside.

Anker 10W Wireless Charging Stand

(Image credit: Anker)

6. Anker 10W Wireless Charging Stand

Simple, inexpensive, vertical

Specifications
Wattage: 10W
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Can see your phone as it charges
Reasons to avoid
-Could charge faster

Wireless charging doesn’t have to be complicated or pricey - and the Anker 10W charger stand is an inexpensive, no-frills model to start you off. 

Over a 30-minute test, the Anker 10W recharged an iPhone XS Max 15% - not impressive, but given the XS Max’s 3,174mAh battery, would likely charge the smaller battery iPhone 8 far faster. Android phones with high wireless charging ratings will fare better: a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 charged 28% in the same time period.

The Anker 10W won’t speedily charge your phone - it’s best deskside if you repeatedly pick up and put down your phone, or bedside overnight. An affordable entry to see if wireless charging works for you.

Mophie Powerstation Hub

(Image credit: Mophie)

7. Mophie Powerstation Hub

Wireless charging on the go

Specifications
Wattage: 5W
Reasons to buy
+Charges up to four devices at once
Reasons to avoid
-Very pricey-Unimpressive capacity

The Mophie Powerstation Hub is a unique charger in that it’s mainly not a charger - it’s a battery pack. While it’s limited by its capacity, the capability to wirelessly charge on the go makes this a versatile (if pricey) solution.

The Powerstation Hub wirelessly charges up to 5W, which isn’t terribly fast - but you can do it while the battery simultaneously charges up to 3 other devices, which is cool. The other ports include one each of USB 1.0, USB 3.0, and USB-C slots. 

The charger plugs directly into a wall socket to recharge, though the wireless charging won’t work while it is - a regrettable feature, but perhaps safer for the device, given how the extra weight might put pressure on the power prongs. 

While the Powerstation isn’t as large and ungainly as higher-capacity power banks, it won't fit in your pocket either, leaving it mostly convenient for anyone packing a purse or small bag. 

But with versatility comes cost, and the Powerstation Hub is by far the most expensive charger on this list. With a retail price of $99 (around £81, AU$146), this isn’t affordable for most folks - and more a niche solution for those with the cash to throw around.

Belkin Wireless Charging Dock

(Image credit: Belkin)

8. Belkin Wireless Charging Dock

A combo dock for iPhone and Apple Watch owners

Specifications
Wattage: 7.5W (phone)
Reasons to buy
+Nice design+Handy option for Apple Watch owners
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The Belkin Wireless Charging Dock is a rarity in the wireless charging world: it can juice up both your phone and your Apple Watch at the same time. Most chargers can't service Apple's smartwatch, and this product throws in a standard phone/device charger, too.

The stand is a classy off-white, like most of Belkin's charger range. The pill-shaped base has a matte finish, and the rounded, upright phone stand on the left side has a divoted lip for your device to rest in. The circular watch nub looks much like the charger that comes with the Apple Watch, including the magnet that clips the smartwatch in place.

While the Apple Watch portion charges at 5W/1A, the rate of the official Apple charger, the phone portion only recharges at 7.5W. While that's certainly a lower rate than other units on this list, it may be enough for iPhones: given Apple's reluctance to disclose its specs, it's unclear if its latest phones in the iPhone XS generation improved on the iPhone X's alleged 7.5W charge, per 9to5Mac.

Which means you might want to look elsewhere for a faster charger if you own an Android phone with a higher confirmed wireless charging rate. But if you have an Apple Watch, chances are you're all-in on Apple's ecosystem anyway.

Samsung Wireless Charger Pad

(Image credit: Amazon)

9. Samsung Wireless Charger Pad

Simple to use with a familiar brand

Specifications
Wattage:: 7.5W
Reasons to buy
+LED that shows when device is charged+Self-cooling fan
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive compared to competitors

If you're keen to stick to well-known brands, there's the Samsung Wireless Charger Pad with some useful features but a heftier price tag than third-party solutions.

For the price, you get 7.5W fast charging with compatible Samsung and Apple devices along with up to 5W for everything else. More distinct is the LED light that highlights when your device is fully powered up and a self-cooling fan that means you don't ever have to worry about the charger overheating. 

Pricier than the competition, there's some great peace of mind here if you don't mind paying the extra.

Yootech Wireless Charger

(Image credit: Amazon)

10. Yootech Wireless Charger

Straightforward and simple to use

Specifications
Wattage: : 10W
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Simple design
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest charger out there

If you simply want the simplest of wireless chargers out there and you're not too fussed about it being stylish, the Yootech Wireless Charger gets the job done admirably. 

A simple ring design, it offers a rubber outer edge so that you can place phones or AirPods on it safely without worrying about slippage. A green LED indicator lets you know when it starts charging but it turns off soon enough so you won't be disturbed. 

Charging times could be a little faster but at this price, it's hard to complain.

Rapoo XC100 Wireless Charging Pad

(Image credit: Rapoo)

11. Rapoo XC100 Wireless Charging Pad

Cheap and cheerful

Specifications
Wattage: 7.5W/10W
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Light status indicator
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest of chargers

Unremarkable but far from in the bad way, the Rapoo XC100 Wireless Charging Pad simply sits there, quietly working away at charging your phone. It offers all that you could need. It'll coexist with phone cases your phone might be donning, it has a light status indicator to show it's working, plus there's over temperature and overcharge protection too.

It all simply works and the white stylings of the pad means it fits into the modern aesthetics of many technology filled households. Just don't expect it to be the fastest at charging. 

Moshi Otto Q Wireless Qi Charging Pad

(Image credit: Amazon)

12. Moshi Otto Q Wireless Qi Charging Pad

Classy fabric finish

Specifications
Wattage:: 15W
Reasons to buy
+Smart fabric exterior+Charges through cases up to 0.2-inch thick
Reasons to avoid
-Dust magnet

If you want something a little less plasticky, you'll appreciate the Moshi Otto Q Wireless Qi Charging Pad. It uses microfiber fabric and a non-slip silicone ring to keep your devices safe, in the correct place, and looking good. Microfiber fabric means it may wind up a bit of a dust magnet if you're not too careful but it looks nice on your desk.

Offering up to 15W of power with a LED status light to let you know how things are faring, this Qi-compatible wireless charger covers all the bases for what you could need while being a little different from the competition.

David Lumb

David J Lumb is Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, covering phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made.