What To Know When Looking For A Wireless Charging Pad

As portable chargers get better and better, choosing the right one can still be tricky.

Wireless charging is freeing many of us from the tyranny of cables, using the power of low-level magnetic fields to get your phone powered up. Yet it's still a new enough technology that you might not know what to look for quite yet. If you're new to these pads, here's what you need to know.

wireless phone chargers for multiple phones
The ability to charge multiple smart phones at one time is clutch for traveling families. | ZealSound

First, you'll need to know your phone's wireless charging standard. For the most part, it'll be a standard called Qi, which was the first widespread technology to gain popularity among the major smartphone makers. However, check to ensure your phone's compatible before you buy; there are still some attempts to get new technologies out there, and it's still relatively young.

wireless phone charger
If your phone isn't glued to your hand, but you like to be able to grab it on the go, a small charging pad is ideal. | Anker

Look for a pad with a textured design on the top and a large surface. Since your phone isn't being held in place by anything other than gravity, you'll want to be sure it doesn't have a chance to fall off your charger either by it being too narrow or too slick. Some chargers will also come with handy "rails" to rest your phone between, so you'll never wake up with a dead phone under your bed.

Eggtronic Power Bar - USB-C Wireless Power Bank
Brand loyalists can't do better than one device that charges all of their gadgets at once. | Eggtronic

Consider other devices you might want to charge as well, to keep everything in one place. The Apple Watch, for example, uses inductive charging, so you can easily find charging pads that will charge both. Keep in mind, though, that technology can vary from device to device, so what works on one watch may not work on another.