Even as cellphone technology constantly improves, one thing seems to have remained infuriatingly immutable: the need to plug in your phone. Just as you had to plug in your flip phone, you have to plug in your smartphone. With smartphones being able to do so many things — and burning through battery charge very quickly — it can feel like we’re spending all of our time crouched against the wall trying to send some emails (or more realistically, trying to beat our high score on one of those Messenger games).
Fortunately, most smartphones these days are Qi-enabled, which is the standard for wireless charging. There is now a wide array of wireless charging pads available online, which power your device quickly while freeing you from a tangle of cords — no more worrying if you and your friend have the same kind of charger. We’ve rounded up our favorite affordable options below.
1. Seneo Wireless Charger
Perfect for a nightstand or desk, the Seneo wireless charging stand allows you to stream videos or read articles handsfree while charging your phone. It’s compatible with all Qi-enabled devices, and will work whether a phone is placed horizontally or vertically.
Pros: Holds a phone upright to use while charging.
Cons: The LED indicator was too bright for some.
2. Anker 10W Wireless Charging Pad
Anker is one of the most trusted names in charging accessories, and their sleek, small charging pad is perfect for those with on-the-go lifestyles. Plus, it’s able to charge phones through most cases. The small LED indicator informs you that the phone is charging, without being obtrusive if you’re trying to sleep.
Pros: Compact, sleek design for multiple devices.
Cons: Curved design means the phone can potentially slip off the surface.
3. CHOETECH Wireless Charging Pad
Where most tech accessories seem to only come in gray-scale options, CHOETECH’s charging pad comes in a variety of colors like red, rose gold, and blue, as well as black and white. It’s the smallest and thinnest option on the list, making it perfect for traveling.
Pros: Sleek design available in a variety of colors, can charge through most cases.
Cons: May not charge as quickly as some top brands.