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Best wireless charger 2023: Charge your phone without the cable from £14

Why fiddle around with a cable when you can charge your phone the easy way? These are the top wireless chargers for iPhone and Android

We’ve had wireless charging for over eight years, so why do so many of us still reach for the old-fashioned cable? Sure, nothing gives your phone a speedy top up like plugging it in, but wireless chargers are so much more convenient; place your phone on the charger and it charges, then you just pick it up when you need it again.

Up to a point, wireless chargers are much of a muchness, but there are some distinctions in speed, usability and compatibility with different phones. If you’re ready to stop charging the old-fashioned way, we will help you find the right charger for you.

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Best wireless charger: At a glance

How to choose the best wireless charger for you

How does wireless charging work?

For you as a user, incredibly simply. Place your phone on the charger and, hey presto, your phone begins to charge. No wires required.

The actual science is a bit more complex, but, in essence, it uses electromagnetic fields to move power from the pad to the phone based on magnetic resonance.

The wireless charger is plugged into the wall and the electricity from there is converted into a high-frequency alternating current, which creates a magnetic field within the transmitter coil underneath the charging plate.

When a device is put on the pad, the magnetic field spreads to the device’s receiver coil, where energy is converted into a direct current that flows into the battery charging it.

(If that was all over your head, just go with the simpler answer: magic.)

Is wireless charging as fast as using a wired plug?

No. If speed is important to you, then you’re better off using a wired fast charger. Wireless charging is more about convenience than efficiency.

However, the good news is that wireless chargers have got faster over the last few years. The first Qi standard wireless chargers delivered power at a maximum 5W, which meant they were pretty slow, but in 2015 the Wireless Power Consortium – the industry body responsible for wireless charger standards – introduced the Qi Extended Power Profile standard, which allowed chargers and phones to go up to 15W.

Right now, only a few chargers go up to that level, and it’s mostly high-end phones that support it. These include the Samsung Galaxy S7 and onwards and the Galaxy Note 8 and onwards, the Huawei P30 series, plus the Mate 20 and 30 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 9. iPhones from the iPhone 8 onwards will charge at 7.5W, while a range of other Android phones will charge at 10W. It’s best to check whether your phone supports wireless charging and what level it supports before you buy.

Generally speaking, the higher the wattage the faster the charge, though the difference isn’t always as dramatic as you might expect. A 15W charger won’t necessarily charge your phone in a third of the time that a 5W charger would normally take.

Pad or stand?

From a speed point of view, there’s no difference – it’s purely down to aesthetic preference. However, there is one advantage that stands have. As there’s more flexibility of how you place a phone on a pad, getting it into contact so that it charges can be a frustrating fight of trial and error. With a stand, theoretically, there should only be one position available and things should lock on right away.

Is there anything else I should look out for?

You will need to power the charger somehow, and while some come with their own power adapter, others rely on your existing charger and a micro USB, USB Type-C or Lightning cable. The cable is usually provided, but it’s worth checking that your existing charger has enough power to give your wireless charger what it needs. If your wireless charger wants 10W but your plug-in charger can only dish out 5W, then you will need to invest in a third-party fast charger to get the full benefit.

How we test wireless chargers

To assess a wireless charger, we connect it to a test iPhone or Android smartphone and record the battery percentage increase from zero following 30 minutes of charging.

If applicable, we will test wireless charging speeds with other supported devices, such as smartwatches and wireless earbud cases – where we apply the same 30-minute charging time. We benchmark the speeds of the supplied USB cable/plug, and, should the charger also support MagSafe, we test how secure the magnetic connection is.

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The best wireless chargers you can buy in 2023

1. Anker PowerWave Pad: The best cheap wireless charger

Price when reviewed: £16 | Check price at Amazon

The PowerWave Pad is a rock-solid charger at a bargain price, dishing out 7.5W to 10W for those phones that will take it and 5W for everything else. Unlike some budget Qi chargers it’s not too fussy about exactly where you place your phone and it doesn’t grumble when your phone is in a protective case (as long as it’s less than 5mm thick).

Anker’s pad is also reasonably speedy. Our Samsung Galaxy S8 charged to 18% in 30 minutes and 30% over an hour. It’s nothing more than a flat black disc with a micro-USB input and a single charging indicator, but who cares when it does the job?

Key specs – Type: Pad; Wattage: Up to 10W (7.5W iPhone); Devices charged at a time: 1

2. Apple MagSafe charger: The cheapest official MagSafe charger

Price when reviewed: £45 l Check price at John Lewis


MagSafe, Apple’s magnetic wireless charging solution, made the move from Mac to iPhone in 2020. If you’ve just forked out close to a grand on an iPhone 12 and you’re a bit strapped for cash, then Apple’s cheapest official MagSafe charger is a worthy addition. Priced at £45, this basic pad supports 15W charging to the Qi standard and you can securely attach your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro via the circular array of magnets underneath the rear panel.

This charger can still be used to wirelessly charge an iPhone 8 or later, too, if you aren’t lucky enough to own the latest model. A word of caution, though: Apple’s official MagSafe charger doesn’t come with a power adapter in the box, so instead you will have to buy one of Apple’s own USB-C charging plugs (£19) if you don’t already have one. The good news is that the integrated USB-C cable measures 1 metre, which is quite long.

Key specs – Type: Pad; Wattage: Up to 15W; Devices charged at a time: 1

Check price at John Lewis

3. Samsung Wireless Charger Duo: The best for charging phone and watch

Price when reviewed: £44 | Check price at Amazon

Wireless charging is all well and good, but what if you want to keep both your phone and smartwatch topped up at the same time? Samsung has the answer with the Wireless Charger Duo.

One of its two pads supports Samsung’s latest Fast Charge 2.0 wireless charging standard, giving you super-fast recharging on Samsung Galaxy S10 series smartphones and 10W fast charging on everything else. The other supports the Fast Charge standard, and can charge your Galaxy Watch or, alternatively, another watch or phone – any Qi-compatible device should work. You might not want to have it in the bedroom, though, as the fan gives out a quiet but high-pitched whine.

Key specs – Type: 2x Pad; Wattage: Not specified; Devices charged at a time: 2

4. Ikea Riggad LED work lamp: The best wireless charging furniture

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Ikea

If you like your wireless charger to blend into the background and offer a bit more functionality at the same time, the Ikea Riggad lamp is the answer. It will look great by the bedside or on your work desk and charge your phone at the same time.

Okay, at 5W it’s going to take a while, but it also lets you charge a second device via the USB port at the same time, which is handy.

Key specs – Type: Lamp; Wattage: 5W; Devices charged at a time: 2 (one via USB)

Check price at Ikea

5. Belkin Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1: The best high-end MagSafe charger

Price when reviewed: £110 l Check price at Apple

If you’re fully embedded within Apple’s ecosystem, and you’re looking for a do-it-all MagSafe charger (with plenty of money to spend), then Belkin’s Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1 is just the ticket. With a stylish design with a chrome-finished arm and a choice of two colours (white and black), the Boost Charge Pro is a bit of a style statement on your desk, but it also functions exceptionally as well.

The strong magnetic mount at the top makes for a secure connection with your iPhone 12, delivering 15W of charge, but there’s also a bowl-shaped mount on the base (not magnetic) which can be used to wireless charge your AirPods Pro headphones or any other Qi-compatible device. It looks the part, does the job nicely, and is an ideal choice if you often need to top up more than one device at a time.

Key specs – Type: Pad; Wattage: Up to 15W; Devices charged at a time: 2

Check price at Apple

6. SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger: The wireless charger that also does backup

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at Amazon

SanDisk’s new wireless charger has a trick up its sleeve. Not only will it charge your phone – with a 10W fast charge – it also backs up your photos, videos and contacts while it’s at it, onto 128GB of built-in storage. It does so over Wi-Fi using the accompanying app, and while the transfer’s slow it’s incredibly convenient – and it will even handle multiple users and multiple phones.

It’s got a lot to offer as a charger, too, despite the annoyance of needing its own proprietary power supply; our Galaxy S8 reached 20% in thirty minutes and 34% with an hour of charging. It’s bigger than other wireless chargers, and we’re not sure that the recessed pad will handle the biggest phablets, but you have to love this dual-purpose design.

Key specs – Type: Pad; Wattage: Up to 10W (7.5W iPhone); Devices charged at a time: 1

7. Pixel Stand: The best wireless charger for Pixel owners

Price when reviewed: £69 | Check price at Google

Why are we keeping a space on this list for one brand of phone? Because the Pixel Stand is very much what we hope the future of wireless chargers looks like.

Yes, you need a Pixel to get the most out of it, but if you have one, the stand turns your phone into a Google Home Hub, blasting out Google Assistant, streaming live video from your Nest doorbell and even filling your room with a gradual yellow light shift to match your sleeping patterns and help you wake up naturally. If you want to make the most of your Pixel, there’s simply no contest.

Key specs – Type: Stand; Wattage: 10W; Devices charged at a time: 1

Check price at Google

8. ESR Ultra-Slim Wireless Charger: The best thin wireless charger

Price when reviewed: £10 | Check price at OnBuy

If you want slim, it’s hard to argue with ESR’s device. It’s just 6mm thick, giving it next to no footprint at all. If you have a recent flagship Samsung phone, it will kick into 10W fast charging mode as well, although it’s bog-standard 5W territory for everything else, including iPhones.

Still, as minimalist chargers go, it’s hard to beat. And, rather neatly, it won’t keep you awake at night as the LED indicator light automatically flicks off after 60 seconds.

Key specs – Type: Pad; Wattage: 10W; Devices charged at a time: 1

Check price at OnBuy

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