Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone X announcement went about exactly as the rumors predicted. Really, there was only one surprise — the fact that all of the new models will support the Qi wireless charging standard.
Wireless charging itself wasn't unexpected, but seeing Apple use a well-established standard like Qi is almost unbelievable.
This is like nothing Apple has ever done with an iPhone before. They used a standard that actually helps the consumer, as opposed to their typical approach of creating a proprietary setup that largely duplicates established standards in an effort to rake in royalties from accessory sales.
But not this time. With Qi, Apple put you first for once.
Why is this such a big deal? Because there are a ton of existing Qi wireless chargers, and they will all work perfectly with the new iPhone models. The standard has seen incredible market penetration since it was first introduced nine years ago. Hell, Ikea even sells tables that will charge your next iPhone.
I've used many Qi chargers with Android phones over the years, and let me tell you, it's a great experience. No, you can't hold your phone while it's charging, but that's inconsequential. Instead, you'll eventually outfit your entire house with charging pods so that any time you put your phone down, it's charging. This eliminates the need to charge while you're using your phone, because it's always topped up.
But what about the cost, you say. Yes, you'll need to invest a little money to make wireless charging ubiquitous in your life, but we're not talking Apple money — remember, this is an industry standard akin to USB or 3.5 mm headphones. Great Qi wireless chargers can be had for less than $10 apiece, so you can buy two for the price of a regular iPad charging cable/brick combo.
Apple has some official Qi chargers, including AirPower, which will charge three devices at the same time when it debuts in 2018. But buying one of those would miss the point of this awesome new Apple who doesn't care if you leave their walled garden. So to help you get your feet wet in the wonderful world of Qi (it's pronounced "chee," by the way), I'll show you the best wireless chargers that are already compatible with the next-gen iPhones.
This first recommendation is my personal favorite Qi wireless charger. It's not the prettiest, it doesn't hold your phone upright, but it's got a huge sweet spot. This means you won't have to finagle your phone on the charger to make sure it's aligned with the wireless charging coil inside, because the Choetech Stadium actually has three charging coils.
It can only charge one device at a time, but it does it efficiently. The shape and size of this pad makes it easy to pick your phone up off the table — that's an area where slimmer or wider charging pads suffer, as they don't give you enough space to get your fingers under the phone. It's made of a velvety plastic that won't scratch the finish on that gorgeous new phone, and though it doesn't come with a wall plug, you can use any Micro USB charger to power the whole thing.
Puck-style chargers have been dominating the Qi scene for a while now, and the Bezalel Slim Qi Charger is one of the best in this category (in fact, you can see an earlier iteration of this model in the cover photo for this article). It's got a rubberized ring to prevent any scratching, and the charger will glow for one minute after you lay your phone down to let you know that everything went off without a hitch.
The slim profile can be a little cumbersome when picking up your phone, but the round shape ensures that the upper and lower portions of your phone will be easy to grab. Unlike the Choetech model, there's only one charging coil, but it's easy enough to find the sweet spot thanks to the puck shape. Even better, this charger is available in three colors to help match your decor. Again, you'll have to buy your own cord for this model, but any USB charger will do.
If you want your next wireless charger to feel more like a docking station, the GooDee Fast Charger is a well-balanced option. It has two wireless coils aligned vertically to accommodate all sizes of phones, so it should line up easily when you prop your phone upright on the dock. While it does support "Fast Charging," this is a Samsung feature, so we doubt it will help with the new iPhone models. Nonetheless, the extra feature won't hurt anything if it goes unused.
Like the others in this list so far, there's no wall adapter in the box with this one, but any Micro USB charger will work. The GooDee Fast Charger has an anti-slip pad to keep your phone stable and free of scratches, and it even sports overheating protection in case the device or the charger get too hot while charging.
This next option is definitely the most premium Qi charger in this list, and it would've nabbed the top spot if it weren't for an above-average price tag. But you get what you pay for, and Samsung has crafted an elegant wireless charger here. It's both a dock and a puck — a sort-of "convertible" charger, if you will.
When laying flat, it's a little on the thick side, but that's a good thing, in my opinion, since it's easier to pick up your phone when there's room for your fingers underneath. The extra thickness is not only due to the convertible nature, but also because Samsung has included a fan to help dissipate heat while charging.
When propped up, there's a shelf at the bottom where your iPhone can rest, and the material is leather-like, so there's absolutely no risk of scratching. It's available in black or tan, plus it actually comes with a wall adapter, so that helps justify its higher price tag.
If you're looking to save some space, this Qi charger is for you. At roughly 2.5 inches in diameter, it has one of the smallest footprints of all the wireless chargers out there. This means there was only room for one charging coil, but that's all you really need, because the small form factor actually helps a bit with aligning your device.
It doesn't have any bells and whistles, just a small LED indicator to let you know when your phone is charging. It's a little on the thick side, which is always good, and the plastic surface is soft to the touch, so you won't have to worry about scratches. No charging cable is included, but again, a regular Micro USB is all you need to get the Zens charger up and running.
Which Qi wireless charger did you end up purchasing for your new iPhone 8 or iPhone X? Do you have any recommendations to share? Let us know in the comment section below.