Wireless charging is in a good place right now and there's no better example of that than all the new products that are revolutionising the way we think about wireless chargers and what they can do for us.
Now that Qi is the universal industry standard for induction chargers, wireless charging brands are starting to let their hair down and experiment, safe in the knowledge that the Qi standard built into their products should remain an industry standard for a long time to come.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the best opportunities for brands to showcase their upcoming products for the year, and boy does 2018 look to be a good one.
Innovation really is the key here, whereas only a few years ago manufacturers were still focusing on products that did the basics right, industry experience has allowed them to start adding way more functionality
Here are our top 5 picks from CES 2018:
Our Top 5 Picks
5. Ventev Wireless Chargestand
First up we have the Ventev Wireless Chargestand. This inductive charger was an easy pick for our list simply because it alleviates the issue of coil alignment in a way we've never seen before: the puck on this stand is adjustable so that it can be moved to align with the receiver on your phone.
This is a one-time process as all you need to do is simply move the puck to the “sweet spot” for your device and then it will stay there bespoke to your phone. On top of this, the puck allows for both portrait and landscape charging.
The Ventev Wireless Chargestand is also just a well-made charging stand despite this innovation, boasting the optimum 15W fast charging and both Qi and PMA compatibility. The design is unique with a smooth looking puck that comes in both black and white with a robust metallic stand.
4. iHome iBTW38
If you are like basically everyone and like to charge your phone overnight, the iHome is a great solution.
The iHome design smartly combines a high end 752 dual alarm (allows you to set more than one alarm) with a 7.5W wireless charger and a Bluetooth speaker all rolled into one product.
The 7.5W output is optimised for iPhone and the speaker is sizeable, sporting both good sound quality and volume. The iHome iBTW38 also has a built-in speakerphone allowing you to answer calls and a USB charging port enabling charging of two devices at the same time.
If you already like using smart alarm clocks by your bedside then you really have no excuse not to buy this product. It fulfils the role of smart alarm, speaker and multi-device charger in one device and makes the charging process feel totally effortless, because after all, charging your phone is simply a case of putting it down on your alarm clock when you go to bed.
Hopefully this product should be released later this year. For updates be sure to check out the iHome iBTW38 page on their website.
3. Anker PowerWave Duo and Belkin BOOST↑UP Dual Wireless Charging Pad
Coming in at number 3 we have a double entry, and a double charger as well.
Anker and Belkin will both be releasing double wireless charging pads later this year, and while these aren't the first multi-device chargers on the market, it’s great to see this type of product getting more love from the top brands.
Now that Qi is a standard built into most of our phones, double chargers have become the ideal solution for communal charging. Not only do products like these offer a really simple way to charge up in group areas like kitchens and offices, they help reduce the number of cables and actively encourage people to engage in wireless charging who may not otherwise.
While both products function similarly and charge your device at up to 10W, they have slightly different designs:
Anker’s wireless charger, the PowerWave Duo, acts more like a widened charging pad, with two soft green LEDs on either side that indicate charge. What’s great about this product is that due to the multiple coil design you should have a bit more freedom in where you can place your devices.
The Belkin BOOST UP Dual Wireless Charging Pad on the other hand looks more like two separate charging pucks joined together with clear areas for placing each phone, the drawback being that there may be less freedom of positioning compared with the Anker double charger.
2. The Corsair MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mousepad
The Corsair MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad really was one of the coolest gadgets to behold at CES 2018. The mouse pad comes with a built in Qi transmitter in the top right-hand corner that lets you charge not only your Corsair Dark Core Wireless Mouse but any other Qi enabled devices. While this only provides an output of 5W we are still impressed by this feat of engineering, fitting a Qi transmitter into something as slim as a mouse pad is not something we've seen before.
The positioning area on the mouse pad is clearly indicated by white markings and a green LED indicator in the top left-hand corner will inform you when your device is being charged correctly. There is also an additional USB port too so in theory you could charge two devices at the same time using just this mouse pad.
But the Corsair MM1000 isn't just a cool gimmick, it’s both a high quality mouse pad and a high quality wireless charger simultaneously.
In the words of Corsair themselves the pad’s “performance micro-textured surface is stretched across a huge 260mm by 350mm surface area.” The base is made of a non-slip rubber surface area that will hold the pad in place and prevent it sliding on most surfaces - an issue that can occur with many standard wireless chargers.
This product will be a must-buy for wireless charging PC gamers.
HyperDrive 8-in-1 by Sanho Corporation
At the number 1 spot we have a product which will not disappoint. The HyperDrive 8-in-1 hub by Sanho. This really is the perfect solution to your charging needs, with a whopping 8 separate ports in 1 compact and stylish looking device.
This product boasts an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, 3 USB ports, 1 USB-C port, an SD and micro SD port and finally a Qi compatible wireless charging pad on the top which uses an adjustable laptop grade hinge to alternate between both a stand and a pad. The hinge is also fully adjustable, meaning you can position your Qi enabled phone at whatever angle you see fit.
The Hyperdrive has a 7.5W charging output optimised for the iPhone and a built in USB-C cable which allows you to connect it directly to your computer. In addition, the tri-coil functionality allows you to position your Qi enabled devices almost anywhere on the pad and in both portrait and landscape orientations.
There is even an LED display which informs you exactly how much power is being supplied to your charging device at any given time. The HyperDrive 8-in-1 is the ultimate friend to your computer (and your phone), covering all bases. It really is hard to fathom how anyone could beat so much functionality in such a compact device.
The release of this product is still TBD, but if you’re intrigued by this fascinating brand check out their website for similarly innovative products or if you feel inclined to support them check out the kickstarter for the HyperDrive 8-in-1.
These products are only the tip of the iceberg, it really seems like the floodgates have opened for wireless charging in 2018 and we are excited for the rest of what is to come.
If you'd like to try out similar wireless charging products for yourself check out our store.