Wireless charging has been around for years, but Apple only recently added the technology to its latest devices. By incorporating a glass back into the design of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, users can now ditch the Lightning cable in exchange for the clear convenience of a charging pad.
With the introduction of wireless charging for iPhones comes the influx of a slew of wireless chargers. Apple uses the Qi wireless standard, and there are already quite a number of wireless chargers available — it can be difficult to figure out which one works to the best of its ability with the iPhone. To make your decision easier, we tested out three top wireless charging pads with the iPhone 8. If you’re looking for more, take a look at our guide to the best wireless phone chargers.
Wireless charging with the iPhone 8
For each charger, we used the respective wall adapter and a wall outlet as our power source. All three have a 7.5-watt output and support the Qi standard, but the iPhone 8 currently accepts only 5 watts of power from wireless charging. You’ll see manufacturers touting the higher value, but at present, using a charging pad capable of pushing 7.5 watts doesn’t mean your iPhone will charge any quicker than it would with a standard power cable.
Regardless, Apple does plan on releasing the ability for its iPhones to charge at 7.5 watts in an upcoming iOS update, so it’s worth planning for the future and figuring out which wireless charger you’d like to go with. Of all three of the wireless charging pads mentioned below, both Mophie and Belkin said they worked closely with Apple, with Mophie saying it has the most energy efficient charger. Let’s see which one came out on top.
Specs and performance test
On the outside, the Mophie is a sleek-looking puck-shaped charger with a rubberized finish. A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating covers it entirely, which allows you to drop your iPhone on the charger without having to worry about scratching or damaging the glass back. On the bottom, there’s an LED light to indicate the device is charging. Measuring in at 0.45 × 3.82 × 3.82 inches and weighing 4.37 ounces, it’s small enough to throw in your bag or backpack for use on-the-go.
The iPhone 8 began charging at 2 PM, and after three minutes it powered up at four percent. By 3 PM, it was halfway charged at 50 percent. By 5 PM, the device was at 100 percent — which means it took about three hours to fully charge the device. The rubber coating did keep the device from sliding around, and we didn’t feel like the charger itself was going to slide off the desk.
When using a wireless charger, it’s important to pay attention to how you place your phone down. Even though one of the pros to the Mophie is that it’s small and easy to carry around, this also means there’s more room for the iPhone to hang off and not line up on the charger correctly. We didn’t have any issues placing it down, but because the LED light is placed at the bottom of the device it’s not as easy to see that it’s charging at a glance.
Fail-safe circuitry recognizes when your phone is fully charged to prevent it from overcharging, Mophie claims. This also means it controls temperature to prevent your iPhone from overheating. You can charge your iPhone with a case on, which is nice, as long as it’s no thicker than 3 millimeters — otherwise it might not work. But it is compatible with any of Mophie’s wireless charging cases.
The RavPower Wireless Fast Charging Pad is the smallest of all three wireless chargers we tried, measuring in at 3.5 × 3.5 × 0.6 inches. Along the perimeter, there’s a silicone anti-skid design to make sure your phone doesn’t slide. On the front, there’s a multi-purpose smart indicator that lights up. Depending on the color, it will alert you of your current battery status — which will then automatically shut off after turning solid for a few seconds once your phone is fully charged.
With the iPhone 8, RavPower took the least amount of time to charge completely. We started at 1:30 PM with a drained battery and were at 50 percent by 2:40 PM. By 4 PM the device was at 100 percent which — only two and a half hours overall. Although it’s a small detail, we also noticed it took only two minutes for the iPhone to power up after connecting to the charging pad where the Mophie and Belkin took four minutes.
Since it’s extremely small, you’ll have to pay extra attention to lining up your phone in the middle of the pad. And beware, the silicone material is definitely a magnet for dust, and you might find yourself cleaning it often. But it took up the least room on our desk and was light enough that it didn’t feel heavy in our bag. We especially liked the rugged feel to the USB to Micro USB cable, which felt like it would last much longer than standard cables. The RavPower also includes over-current, over-temperature, and over-voltage protection.
When it comes to design, the BoostUp is larger than the other two chargers we tested — coming in at 7.5 × 1.75 × 5.5 — but is still capable of fitting inside your bag. While the charger itself has a sleek and circular design, the wall adapter is bulky and not very comfortable to carry around. But it’s still removable for easier storage. Similar to the Mophie, the Belkin BoostUp has a non-slip surface on both the top and the bottom, with plastic surrounding the outer sides of it.
When we charged our iPhone 8 with the BoostUp, we started at 11:00 AM from zero percent and reached 50 percent by 1 PM. Once it hit 3 PM, the phone was completely charged at 100 percent. Overall, the Belkin took about four hours to charge our device fully. We did like the larger space to be able to drop our phone down, knowing there was extra room to line up correctly and charge. The LED indicator is also in a spot on the front that’s easy to see without having to lift up the charger or move it.
While it’s not too large, it’s still much bigger than the RavPower and Mophie, which makes it more suitable to keep at home. Plus it has an extremely sleek look that looks more aesthetically pleasing. As with the previous two chargers we tested, the Belkin has foreign-object detection and a thermal protection sensor to keep your device safe. But in comparison to the Mophie and RavPower chargers, not only did it take longer to charge, but it’s on the pricier side at $60. With it also being bulkier — both the charging pad and AC adapter — it’s a lot to carry at once if you’re looking for one that’s more portable.
Winner: RAVPower Alpha Series Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad
Of all three wireless chargers, the RavPower wireless charging pad was our favorite. It includes all of the same features as the Mophie and Belkin with a non-slip coating, LED light indicator, and fail-safe circuitry to protect the device. But it also charges the quickest, is the easiest to transport, and has an unbeatable price at $42. The Ravpower’s 10 watt max power output appears to tap into Apple’s promised faster charging speeds. We have reached out to Apple and RAVpower for more info and will update this post if we learn more.
In the meantime, if it charges this quickly with the iPhone 8’s 5-watt intake, the Ravpower unit could only be quicker when Apple rolls out its update. You can purchase the RavPower wireless charging pad on Amazon.
We will update this review when Apple releases its iOS update with 7.5-watt charging capabilities.