One of my last posts was about USB fast chargers that I recommend, which have replaced most of my other chargers. Even the iPhone, which annoyingly hasn’t adopted USB-C natively, still has a lightning to USB-C cable making it so that I can still use the same charger brick as all of my other electronics. Wireless chargers as I mentioned are an extra accessory and one that I find to be not really necessary anymore.
Why don’t I like wireless chargers?
For a long time, the battery on most smartphones were pretty terrible. My early twenties were plagued by nights that turned into chaos because a friend who drank too much disappeared and was suddenly unreachable because their phone died. Eventually, Android phones eclipsed iPhones in this regard, which I missed out on since I stopped using them around the time of the Samsung Galaxy 5. I would say for iPhones this started to change around the time they started making Plus sized phones, as those had larger batteries. Nowadays, I have an iPhone 13 Pro that allows me to not really care that much about my battery level. I frequently forget to charge it at night and end up just doing it the next night.
One of the main reasons I associate with needing a wireless charger is the need to be constantly charging your phone. With battery life now being much more reliable, it doesn’t really feel necessary to have a charger in every room like it used to, especially since wired chargers can be so fast. Wireless chargers on the other hand are quite slow in comparison, especially on an iPhone. The standard wattage for charging with wireless is just 7.5W unless you get a MagSafe which gets charging up to 15W (which you need a 20W charger for, which is confusing I know).
There is one place I used to like having a wireless charger, and that’s my desk. I liked the kind where it is on a charging stand, so I can see my phone while I work at my computer. However, I’ve since realized that there is something older that does this better, at least for an iPhone.
Here’s what was better:
That’s right, my favorite dock is the Lightning dock that was designed for the iPhone 6-8, but actually works perfectly with my 13. According to 9to5 Mac and many others, the Lightning dock hasn’t been sold in the US by Apple since sometime last year. Which is a shame! Not only does it angle the phone perfectly, but it is also incredibly sleek looking, puts your phone upright unlike Apple’s MagSafe charger, and even has a 3.5mm audio jack! This means that if you have one of these near your sound system, you could plug an aux cable from the dock to your receiver and pump party jams easily, and probably with better sound quality than over Bluetooth. Apple used to have their own routers which also had a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing for easy wireless play to your sound system as long as the router was connected. I digress, but this was a slept-on feature that sadly is gone now. The charging speed isn’t great since it’s so old, but works fine since I’m usually using it while working for hours.
If you want to have a wired dock that holds your iPhone upright, you can buy a lighting dock from eBay as I did. But if you want something new, you will likely need to buy wireless (I found a wired dupe but the quality was bad and it stopped working). If you want faster charging, then MagSafe is your only option. The MagSafe chargers from Apple aren’t upright, but the Belkin ones are. Now we are getting somewhere! But the cheapest option that they have that’s upright and has MagSafe is the 2 in 1 $99.99. There’s also a 3-in-1 that can hold Airpods/iPhone/Watch, but that one is $149.99.
This is the crux of what annoys me about these wireless chargers: they’re not really a good deal and the ones that are cheap don’t work as well. I can plug my phone into a fast wired charger while I shower and get ready in the morning and be nearly charged by the time I’m dressed and ready. The situation is a bit better with Androids as the charging speed on a regular Qi charger can be higher than with an iPhone. But overall I still find that wired ones are the way to go since the wireless options from the big brands are too expensive and the dupes aren’t quite good enough yet.