While some Android manufacturers have included wireless charging in their devices for some time, it only hit mainstream consciousness when Apple added this feature to its latest iPhones.
It was only a matter of time before Apple integrated wireless charging into its iPhones. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X, XR, XS and XS Max are compatible with the Qi (pronounced 'chee') standard also in handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S9.
Can I use a third-party wireless charger with the new iPhone XS/XS Max and iPhone XR?
While the phones won't ship with wireless chargers, the universal standard means you can buy third-party wireless chargers that will work with the iPhone 8, X and the new iPhone XS/XS Max and iPhone XR models.
Apple is working on its own wireless charging pad called AirPower, which will be big enough and smart enough to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at once. We expect it'll come at a high price, and is yet to become available to buy.
To begin with, Apple's iPhones were capable of 5W wireless charging, but with iOS 11.2 this increased to 7.5W. But that's still not particularly fast, when you consider that wireless charging on Samsung phones can go up to 15W. In 2019 we could see Android phones that wirelessly charge at up to 27W.
It's important to note that not all wireless chargers come with a wall plug, which means that even if your iPhone and the wireless charging pad supports 7.5W or even 10W charging, you'll need to use a more powerful wall plug than a 5W iPhone plug (like the 30W USB-C adapter from Apple - £49/$49).
Now that we've explained the technical stuff, let's take a look at some of the best wireless chargers for iPhone.
Choetech Dual Fast Wireless Charger
Possibly one of the best alternatives to AirPower as we wait (and wait, and wait) for it to go on sale, Choetech's Dual Fast Wireless Charger can support two iPhones at the full 7.5W at once (provided it is plugged into a 15W power supply over its USB-C connection).
It's likely to be significantly cheaper than Apple's own device, available direct from Choetech for $39.99, which is around £30. You can also find this dual-wireless charger over at Amazon US for the higher price of $52.99.
It's not just iPhones it supports, of course, and the Choetech can support any two smartphones that use the Qi standard at 5W, 7.5W or 10.5W. It is not recommended for use with the Apple Watch or AirPods.
With five coils tucked away inside, the charging pad itself is about the same size as an iPhone XS Max. It's sleek in design, with a meshed top surface not unlike what you'd expect to find on a speaker, which aids grip. There's also a subtle LED to signal operation on the front edge, and on its belly some rubber strips to hold it to the desk and some vents to aid heat dissipation.
The Choetech Wireless Charger also comes with an 18-month warranty for peace of mind.
Dodocool Fast Wireless Charger
Dodocool's Fast Wireless Charger operates at up to 10W, which is actually faster than iPhones can handle right now, but it adds in a bit of future-proofing. It's unbeatable at this price, just £13.99 in the UK and $16.99 in the US, but it doesn't look or feel cheap.
Just 69g in weight and only 10mm thick, this compact wireless charger is square in shape with soft rounded corners. It has a matt surface, plus a C-shaped rubber strip that helps hold an iPhone in place. It won't move on a desk thanks to some handy rubber feet, and also here you'll find some vents to allow heat to escape.
With just a small LED that lights up green to let you know charging is in operation, there's no chance of this tiny device keeping you awake at night. A great deal.
ESR Wireless Charger 10W
The ESR Wireless Charger can the iPhone 8 up to the new iPhone XS and XR phones. It uses a metal frame that dissipates heat faster than plastic ones, to keep your iPhone from overheating. The bottom of the charging pad also has an anti-skid rubber pad
ESR claims its charger should charge the iPhone up to 1 hour faster than other wireless chargers. The Fast Charge Mode will need a Quick Charge adapter that's not included, though it does come with a 1m USB cord and lifetime warranty.
Native Union Dock wireless charger
One of two Native Union chargers in this round up, the Dock lets you charge any compatible iPhone standing up rather than flat on a surface. This is handy if you want to glance at notifications or even use Face ID without picking up the phone.
It can charge at up to 10W fast charging speeds but only comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, so you'll have to use your own plug or fork out for a larger power supply if you want 10W speeds. But it's the most premium wireless charger we've used and it works excellently, with a fabric texture to the unit and the power cable.
Perfect for desk or bedside table.
Thinkbee Wireless Charger 10W
The Thinkbee wireless charger works with iPhone models 8 up to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR. It uses two charging coils which, according to Thinkbee, charges the iPhone up to 1.4 times faster because it more effectively covers the charging area on the phone.
The Thinkbee charges the iPhone at 5W, however, you can get a faster charge if you use a more powerful adapter.
If you have any issues within 60 days of use, Thinkbee offers a 100% money back guarantee, plus a 12 month warranty on its product.
Anker PowerWave 7.5W Pad
Anker is well known in the world of phone charging, and this is one of several examples of its Qi chargers in our round-up. It's more expensive than some of the others, and that's because it has a much better specification, and comes bundled with a Quick Charge 3.0 mains adapter for when the iPhone's max 7.5W wireless charging is just not enough (you will need to supply your own Lightning cable for such an event, since the pad connects to the adaptor over Micro-USB).
If someone in your household is an Android phone user, it's also good to know it can ramp up the power to 10W on supported devices.
The Anker is very well designed, with a fan in its base to prevent it overheating when it's left on longer than necessary, and a small blue activity LED that is functional but won't keep you awake at night. We like the light grey non-slip surface too, so your precious iPhone won't accidentally end up on the floor.
The Anker will wirelessly charge through cases up to 5mm.
Anker PowerWave 7.5W Stand
Identical to the Anker PowerWave 7.5W Pad in all but design, this Anker PowerWave Stand costs a few pounds more but has a handy upright design that enables you to carry on using your phone as it charges.
It has all the same features as the pad listed above, including the grippy surface, activity LED, Quick Charge 3.0 mains adaptor and fans built into its base.
Moshi Symbus Q USB-C Dock
If all you want is a wireless charger, then the Moshi Symbus Q is overkill - you can get one for a lot cheaper than this.
But what makes the Symbus Q interesting is that it doubles as a USB-C dock, making it ideal if you want to expand the functionality of a modern MacBook while keeping your iPhone topped up too.
The charge base is coated in a soft fabric with rubber ribbing to prevent slippage, and supports speeds up to 15W - faster than the current iPhone top speed, so there's some future-proofing here.
Beyond that, you get two USB-A ports, HDMI, and ethernet, and it will double as your MacBook charger too.
Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad
Belkin has been first out the door with a pad marketed for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X. The Boost Up Bold Charging Pad is now compatible with the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR too. (You can find the 7.5W version of the Boost Up, which costs slightly less, via the Apple or Amazon links above).
Belkin's offering is a neat black or white disk that has an LED to indicate when your phone is charging, and an AC adapter is included.
Mophie Wireless Charging Base
Mophie's Wireless Charging Base is a simple black disk capable of charging the new iPhone XS/XS Max and iPhone XR along with the older iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X models.
The charging indicator is a small light that shines downwards onto the surface of whatever you've rested it on, which we expect could be a bit tricky to spot but at least it can't get covered up by the phone itself, unlike the Belkin charger.
It's typically ships within a week if you choose the free delivery option, though you can get it by the next day if you pay the premium.
Case-Mate Power Pad
Currently only available in the US, it's still worth an import to the UK if the design, price and functionality suits you as it does us.
You can use the pad flat on a table or in the stand to charge your iPhone and yes, it's a fast charger thanks to the 10W output. Fast charging is compatible with the iPhone XS/XS Max, iPhone XR and iPhone 8/8 Plus.
The stand doesn't clip into place but when lying flat the rubber surface stops your glass iPhone from sliding about. An LED shows your phone is charging, making it a decent all-round wireless charger.
Native Union DROP Wireless Charger
This smart, luxury-feeling wireless charger by Native Union is a top choice. Its subtle crosshatch design is grippy to ensure your glass iPhone doesn't slip off when charging.
It's also fast-charge compatible with a 10W output, so your iPhone X/XS/XS Max and iPhone 8 models will charge that bit quicker. We also tested it with Samsung devices and it fast charges too.
It does make a slight noise while in use so it may not be best for overnight charging. It also doesn't come with a plug, just a USB-C cable, so you'll need to provide your own 10W charge plug to charge at all, let alone fast.
Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Dock
Not just a wireless charger but also an iPhone dock, Anker's PowerPort Wireless 5 Dock (£19.99/$17.49 from Amazon) makes it easy to carry on using your iPhone as it charges. It has a 5W output, but Anker says it can cut 30 minutes off the charging time for an iPhone X (3.5 hours rather than 3.9 hours) over comparable wireless chargers.
It can charge through cases 5mm thick, and features a nice design with a blue circular LED at the front to let you know it's charging. Charging is possible with the iPhone in both landscape and portrait mode.
Anker PowerPort Wireless 5 Pad
If all you want is to throw your phone onto a wireless charger at any angle, this second option from Anker is for you. The iPowerPort Wireless 5 is couple pound cheaper than the dock, which is nice, and also promises to charge an iPhone X thirty minutes faster than other 5W wireless chargers.
The Anker has a rubberised surface that prevents your phone slipping off when it isn't in a case (though it will charge through cases up to 5mm thick), and the LED that lets you know charging is in operation is small enough that it won't distract you at night.
Anker Wireless Charging Pad
Here's a third offering from Anker. It doesn't look quite as stylish as some of the other options here, with a black, slightly squared design, but its LEDs let you check whether your iPhone is charging at a glance. Plus, it allows fast charging.
You don't get a wall adapter, but this wireless charger does come with an 18-month warranty. Like the previous two models, it works with all the new iPhone X range phones and the iPhone 8 range.
Choetech Wireless Charger
Another cheap option is the Choetech Wireless Charger, which is probably the simplest of all of the chargers listed here hence its low price tag. It works with all the iPhone models that are compatible with wireless charging.
There's an anti-slip portion in the centre of the pad to keep your iPhone in place, and a small light at the front to indicate when it's charging.