The Best Qi Charging Pad

Choetech T513 3 Coils Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Our Top Pick for 2016: Choetech T513 3 Coils Qi Wireless Charging Pad
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $30.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

There are few things more annoying in today’s connected tech world than trying to find the right orientation for a USB cable. As the need to keep our devices powered increases, so does the need for us to interact with the dreaded USB charging cable that comes with virtually all modern brands of Smartphone. Luckily, in 2009 a new system was established that makes charging our devices almost entirely effortless. Named after the Chinese term for energy, Qi enabled charging pads allow us to charge our favorite devices by simply placing them down on an inductive surface. Through the usage of magnetic energy, your phone’s battery will charge and you can move on to more important aspects of your day. Since its inception, there have been many different devices appearing on the market. To make things easier on you, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best devices that use Qi technology that are on the market today.

Table of contents

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Starts The Moment You Place Down Any Qi-enabled Device
Three Coils Built-in
Light-weight Qi Standard Wireless Charger Pad
No cables or USB interface required
Wider Charging Area
Intelligent Induction
Input: 5V/2A; Output: 5V/1A
No Need For Perfect Alignment
Prevents Overcharging With Standby Mode
Power-efficient Idle Mode Never Overcharges Your Battery
Intelligent & Safe Design
LED Indicator Lights
LED Indicator Lights
Temperature Control activates at 107° Fahrenheit
Power Source: AC Adapter with micro USB port

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Choetech T513 3 Coils Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Choetech T513 3 Coils Qi Wireless Charging Pad Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $30.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur Gold Pick comes from global electronics company Choetech. As our Gold Pick, this Qi charging pad has to be beloved by both critical groups and consumers alike and Choetech certainly has produced a product that shines in both of these areas. Designed to be simple, elegant in design, and durable, this three coil wireless charging pad provides everything you need to power your mobile device in a quick and efficient way.

So what does the three coils in “3 Coils Wireless Charging Pad” mean? Well, Qi chargers tend to use a coil system to power inductive charging. The more coils, the more surface area you’ll have to charge your Qi-compatible device. So that you’ll know where to charge your phone on this device, Choetech has included a design on the surface of the main charging pad that looks like six concentric semicircles. Each of these semicircles represents the location of a single coil, and as long as your device is touching these semicircles, it will charge. This elegant and intuitive system helps eliminate some of the issues with other chargers of this type; simply put, you’ll know exactly where to charge.

Insofar as physical dimensions, this device is also very small and unassuming. It only measures 4.72 inches in length, 2.76 inches in width, and 0.42 inches in thickness. This smaller size makes it perfect for transportation as it will fit easily in a pocket or purse. It’s also very light; the entire device only weighs about three ounces or so.

Aesthetically, this is a cool looking device that uses functional embellishments to ensure that the device looks great and also supports everyday usage. The first aesthetic feature that you’ll notice is the metallic band surrounding the charging pad. This band is made of aluminum and is helps support the device by beefing up its durability. The main charging pad is comprised of a softouch rubberized material that is at once gentle on your phone and also slip-resistant. Positioned on one of the device’s beveled edges is a blue LED that will alert you when your phone has begun to charge. This is a great feature that many Qi devices forget to include.

Along one of the shorter sides is a micro-USB connector that will help you power the device from an outlet or from a USB connector on your computer. Having this system of charging was a great move by Choetech as we’ve all reached a stage where this type of connector has become very common; thusly making it easier to replace or supplement with a longer cable. The device will charge any compatible phone with a one amp flow of current; you can even slightly remove your phone from the inductive surface and charging will still persist.

Included in the packaging are:
• One micro-USB cable
• A set of instructions

Unfortunately, there is no power adaptor for your wall outlets included with this device, but once again, micro-USBs have become fairly ubiquitous, so you’ll be easily able to use the one that comes with you phone or tablet.

As mentioned before, Gold Pick products typically have a great reputation with consumers, and out of the 1,838 reviews on Amazon, 85 percent of these are of a four or five star level of positivity. Here is one review that provides a great testimonial for this product:

“So I have had this wireless charger for about two weeks now. I had purchased two different Qi chargers one coil and were a disappointment. This one here works great I place my LG G3 down and it charges my phone like a charm. No overheating. No endlessly looking for that sweet spot. And best of all I have a case on my phone and it still charges with the case on.”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Anker Wireless Charger PowerPort Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Anker Wireless Charger PowerPort Qi Wireless Charging Pad

View it on Amazon for $59.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerAnker is widely considered one of the U.S.’s premiere USB charging brands. Our Silver Pick, which comes from the company, is even smaller than our Gold Pick, but still manages to fold in some great features in its puck-like form factor.

Similarly to the Choetech device, this Qi charging pad utilizes a three coil system to ensure maximum coverage on its 2.6 inch diameter surface. You can charge Smartwatches, Smartphones, and even tablets on this tiny device. It sports a very similar concentric semicircle design as the Gold Pick, though this feature isn’t as crucial as the device has a round surface that doesn’t extend much past the coil illustration.

This device is also very thin; it is only about 0.8 inches from top to bottom. With this small form factor, it’s also very light; the device only weighs about two ounce in its entirety. When it comes to functionality in design, Anker made some very smart design decisions. Positioned along the bottom of the device is a slip resistant rubberized foot that will keep the Qi charging pad from slipping and sliding on the surface you put it on. This is definitely a weakness of some other devices, as you can actually push the device off of a desk when you are loading it up with your Qi enabled tech.

This gripping material is once again used on the outer ring of the device’s surface. This softtouch material keeps your phone in place while you are charging it and will also reduce the sharpness of the edging on the device while you transport it. Positioned along the base of this device, you’ll also notice two LEDs. The red LED will glow a stead crimson when the device is plugged in, and will blink intermittently when the Qi charging pad is starting to overheat. Overheating is a risk of this type of tech and it’s nice that Anker has built in some protection from this hazard. The second LED glows blue when you place a Qi-ready device onto the inductive surface.

Included in the packaging are:
• One four foot micro-USB cable
• A welcome guide
• A customer satisfaction sheet

Once again, you’ll find that a dedicated power adaptor is not included in the packaging, so you’ll have to use one of the units that’s included with another device, or you’ll simply have to plug the USB cable into a computer or other device with a powered USB connection.

As of this writing, there are 1,745 reviews for this product on Amazon. Of these reviews, 81 percent were of a four or five star rating level. Here is a review that touches on the experience that this charger provides:

“It is so convenient to just set your phone on this to charge. Just remember to have a wall charger for this to plug into. Remember to be patient when you set your phone on it to start charging, It takes 3 or 4 seconds for it to recognize your phone and start charging.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Yootech Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Yootech Qi Wireless Charging Pad

View it on Amazon for $8.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardOur third entry, the Bronze Pick Qi charging pad comes from Chinese electronics company, Yootech. Yootech specializes in products that target the ever-increasing mobile market, these include screen protectors, Smartphone cases, and of course, charging pads. This charging pad sports a great design and will charge your phone at a very reasonable rate; thanks to some great internal tech.

This is the first single coil Qi charging pad on our list; and as a result, this device can be a bit temperamental when you place your Qi compatible device on its charging surface. Typically, you should make sure that the LED on the device is on the outer edge on the phone and you should have an unimpeded charge.

Aesthetically, this is a very beautiful pad. It actually favors a guitar pick in its rounded-yet-triangular form factor, and it sports a very prominent charging zone in the middle of the device. This is a fairly small device; each of the three sides is about three inches in total and the entire device weighs about two ounces. To ensure charging stability, the manufacturer has placed three rubber feet along the base of the device that are slip resistant and soft on any surface. The main charging pad is coated with this same soft rubber and ensures that the whole device is well padded and durable.

Fortunately, with this device you can charge your Smartphone or tablet fairly quickly. It’s rated for 1.5A connections, so you’ll be able to charge your device at a crisp pace. Some users have even used the included fast charging cables that have been included with Motorolla or Samsung products to speed the charging process. With a fast charger cable attached, you should be able to go from five percent charge to 80 percent in about an hour.

Unfortunately, this device doesn’t do too well with a phone case, and like stated before, proper placement is very important; as a matter of fact, some reviewers have stated that the device will sometimes turn on and off intermittently if the connection isn’t precisely aligned. One great feature of this device that stands out is “Intelligent Standby Mode”. This mode automatically cycles the device off when your phone hits 100 percent, thusly preventing overheating.

Included in the packaging are:
• One four foot micro-USB cable
• A welcome guide

78 percent of the 4,735 reviews on Amazon indicate that this is a quality product that’s worth a four or five star rating. Here’s a five star testimonial:

“Love the product – seems well made and works fine. I bought it for a Samsung Galaxy S6 and it charges the phone relatively quickly.”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Unifun Ultra-slim Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Unifun Ultra-slim Qi Wireless Charging Pad

View it on Amazon for $6.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickWireless charging, while not necessarily cheap, isn’t limited to those who have a lot of disposable income. If you are ballin’ on a budget, check out the Unifun Ultra-slim Qi Wireless charging pad; it has a great design, smooth charging, and for the amazing of price of about seven bucks.

Firstly, the device does feature the concentric semicircle design of our first two picks, but this is somewhat misleading as this is actually a single coil device, so you’ll have to be careful of the positioning of your phone when charging. Despite this issue, the device is perfectly shaped for a standard sized cell phone; it even features the rounded-edged design that is popular in today’s handsets. You’ll find that the dimensions are actually very similar to the dimensions you’d find in a modern phone; it measures in at 7.5 in length, 3.6 inches in width, and about 0.9 inches in thickness. Unifun did a great job on the edges, as they slope down evenly and sleekly on all sides.

There are two LED indicator lights on the unit that will tell you when the device is powered on and when it is charging a device. When it comes to charging, the device emits a one amp output that will charge most phones in about two and a half hours. The charger also features an idle mode that will ensure that the pad will never overcharge your device.

Included in the packaging are:
• One seven inch micro-USB cable
• A welcome guide

On Amazon, of the 113 reviews, 65 percent are positive. For the most part, reviewers have deemed this a strong Qi charger, but some have bemoaned the device’s tendency to overheat and the difficulty of lining up a Qi compatible device with the induction coils. Here is one five star review:

“It works with my Nexus 6 even with a thin protective case. This is a bit surprising because the Nexus 6 has a curved back, so the contact with the charger is not great. The bottom of the Nexus 6 (where the USB port is) must be aligned evenly with the bottom of the Unifun charger (where its USB power port is). Normally I would give 4 stars because the charger doesn’t come with the power cube. But at this price it’s an excellent deal: so I give 5 stars.”


Pre-purchase considerations

Device Support

Many of the current wave of Android devices support Qi charging, though be sure to check to ensure that your phone has compatibility with this form of wireless charging. Unfortunately, the current crop of iPhones don’t support this type of charging, but you can use external devices such as the iQi charging strip to enable this type of charging for Apple products. As a means of finding the device that will support this style of charging, here is a list:

1. Samsung Galaxy S5 and later
2. Google Nexus 4 and later
3. Motorola Droid Maxx
4. Nokia Lumia 920 and later

In the past, metal comprised phones cannot support Qi charging, though some do had options that would allow you to wirelessly charge your device with cases and items like the iQi. Last year, Qualcomm announced that they had finally developed a new tech that will allow even metal-backed devices to charge using Qi, though it has yet to be folded into the designs of some of the more popular devices like LG’s G series and HTC’s non Windows based flagship series. If Qi compatibility is a deal breaker for you, it might definitely be advisable to execute the due diligence to ensure that your device will have the ability to use a Qi charging pad. Also, remember that this list is far from definitive; some brands may release brand new versions of their devices that could utilize this technology.

Look for a Rich Set of Features

When it comes to wireless charging, the market is filled with devices that will certainly power your Smartphone reliably and wirelessly, but what if you travel a lot and don’t always have access to an outlet? Luckily, there are options for this and other conundrums on different models. Extra features are certainly a way to ensure that you get the functionality you need and each pad can vary greatly. Here is a list of some extra features that you can look out for when searching for a device of this type:

Backup Battery – This feature is the best for the situation listed above. Not only will this device charge your Smartphone via surface induction, but it will do this as long as the device itself is charged. These types have an internal battery that will hold a charge even when unplugged, making this feature particularly useful if you find yourself travelling a lot in areas without a lot of outlets.

Built in Temperature Control – Qi charging can sometimes cause an excess of heat in your phone and in the pad itself, so it’s very advantageous to have a device that has temperature control, which will ensure that there are protections for when the device gets a little too hot; typically over 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moving Coil – Some of the current Qi charging pad models have the coil arrayed in a certain pattern that makes it somewhat annoying to charge your phone; place it the wrong way and the device won’t line up properly and the charging won’t begin. An additional feature that exists on some models completely eliminates this annoyance by having moving coils that auto-detect your phone and move to establish a connection. This really helps maintain the “set it and forget it” philosophy of Qi charging.

Charging Speed

The industry standard at the time of this writing is one amp or 1a. This speed is relatively fast and is very comparable to the wired charges of the same amperage. Some devices are 2a compatible and will charge your device at a faster rate than those that use the one amp system. Finally, manufacturers like Samsung have developed their own Qi charging pads that are compatible with their “fast charge” system. These fast Qi chargers will allow you to charge your phone to about 60 to 70 percent with an hour of charge time. Unfortunately, fast charging isn’t available on all devices, so know what kind of charging system your phone has before picking one of these fast, Qi-based charging pads.

Durability

This might not seem like such a required feature of a Qi pad, but remember, you may be travelling with this device, so one that can’t last a single road trip in your bag might not be the best device for you. With so many manufacturers out there, it’s best to remember that while moving coils might make it easy to place your phone. It also adds a extra moving component to the device’s internals and extra moving parts are always easier to break.

Form Factor and Styling

Aesthetics should always be a consideration when purchasing an item that you’ll use frequently. These items are designed to blend in with your décor, but sometimes you want an item that’ll be a talking point. Did you know that there are Qi charging pads that are themed around various pop culture items? As a matter of fact, you can even purchase Qi chargers that are themed after Captain America’s shield.

There are also different form factors to consider when it comes to Qi charging. You don’t have to be limited to something that will fit on a side table or nightstand; there are Qi chargers that serve as car mounts for your phone and are even designed to look like wood, so that they’ll easily blend into your workshop.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Using induction to power our devices almost seems like the dream of some sci-fi author, yet this seemingly magical technology is easily available for all of us to keep our devices topped off. In the beginning, this technology was limited to sleeves that you’d put on your phone to charge them wirelessly. Today, most major phone manufacturers are building in Qi compatibility into their devices. We hope that this brief guide has given you all of the help that you need in order to find a Qi charging pad that will serve you excellently. There are currently thousands of these types of devices available on the market today, so if our reviewed items aren’t for you, check out our considerations section and you’ll have the tools to use the power of Qi, right in your own home.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. CooLoserTech, ChoeTech Qi Wireless Charging Pad T513 Stadium, YouTube, Feb 23, 2015
  2. muwen360, CHOETECH Stadium Qi Wireless Charger Review!, YouTube, August 2, 2014
  3. KERMIT WOODALL, CHOETECH T513 Stadium 3-Coils Qi Wireless Charger Charging Pad, Gadget Nutz, January 1, 2015
  4. Joshua Bane, Anker PowerPort Qi Wireless Charger All Qi-Enabled Devices, YouTube, August 2, 2015
  5. iTechUOutGuy, ANKER Qi Wireless Charging Review!, YouTube, Sep 30, 2015
  6. ANKIT BANERJEE, Best Wireless Chargers for Samsung Galaxy S6, Android Authority, April 15, 2015
  7. MyTech Reviews, UNIFUN® Pando U1 Ultra-Slim Wireless Charging Pad, YouTube, Jul 3, 2015
  8. How does Qi Wireless Charging work?, QiInside

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