Apple has been offering wireless charging for all of its devices for some time now, including the latest iPhones 13 and 14, which bring wireless charging speeds up to 15W when used with the new Magsafe. They charge wirelessly and are compatible with Magsafe second-generation Airpods Pro and Airpods 3.
But the wireless charger can still be helpful for all owners of older iPhones (the first compatible ones were the iPhone 8) and for many other third-party devices that are recharged wirelessly, such as headphones, earphones and so on.
Why Buy A Wireless Charger?
Buying a wireless charging pad also exceeds the number of products compatible with this technology. We are talking about convenience and simplification. Even if you lose speed, you have the benefit of reducing clutter and cable management issues. In addition to this, a wireless charger is also universal.
It can be used to recharge any device that integrates this technology without resorting to different cables, plugs and wall chargers. The only precaution is that it is compatible with the Qi standard, a standard interface developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, to which practically all the major players in the electronics industry adhere to. Including Apple. Every single Apple product compatible with wireless charging is Qi certified even if Apple has introduced, as we will see, some peculiarities in this charging system.
Wireless Charging Of Apple Products
The main innovation that distinguishes Apple’s wireless chargers is the Magsafe standard. This proprietary technology that debuted in 2020 with the launch of the iPhone 12 allows a charger that adopts it to deliver up to 15W; this is the power possible when a charger adopts the so-called EPP profile (Extended Power Profile), which is opposed to the BPP (Baseline Power Profile) which allows reaching only 5W. The problem is that the enabling is connected to a chip that Apple provides only to those who adhere to the Magsafe license.
Otherwise, any EPP charger will supply a maximum of 7.5W to an Apple device. The problem probably lies in the costs a licensee has to bear in purchasing the rights to exploit Apple’s proprietary chip. A good move to preserve … Apple’s right to successfully support the sale of its Magsafe accessories, but it undoubtedly reduces the choice because many Chinese manufacturers that would have the ability to create Magsafe accessories at low costs cannot compete by offering them at the costs that they would be integrating the chip for charging 15W.
For this reason, there are currently not many products compatible with the Magsafe standard. Indeed there are very few; only those made by Apple and a couple of Belkin and Mophie. This still happens today, two years after the launch of Magsafe technology. You are right if that reminds you of what happens with the iPad smart connector. It is an ingenious solution to connect different types of accessories to an iPad without pairing and without the need for an internal battery, but which at the moment is adopted (almost) only by Logitech precisely for costs.
When buying a charger, you must pay attention to two factors: do not buy a 5W charger than those BPP (Baseline Power Profile); there are still many on the market with this specification using which charging would be unbearably slow. It is good to aim at least for chargers capable of delivering at least 7.5W.
According to what we said above, a second caveat concerns the numerous chargers defined as Magsafe. At the moment, those who exploit all the advantages of the Magsafe system, as mentioned above, are very few. The problem is that many manufacturers continue to use the term Magsafe for products that are not Magsafe but only magnetically attract the iPhone and accurately center the charging plate but charge the iPhone at the standard speed: 7, 5W.
True Magsafe Versus Non-Original Magsafe
The limit is only relevant for the charging speed of the iPhone because, in the case of AirPods, there is no problem since the charging performance is well below 15W. Even in the case of iPhones, the difference in nominal power must not be misleading; a Made For Magsafe charger is faster but not twice as fast.
In practice, a 7.5W charger recharges an iPhone in 4 hours. An Apple Magsafe charger recharges it in 3 hours. As we explain in our review of Apple’s Magsafe, the real difference is made during the first hour of charging when a Magsafe-certified charger charges an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 at roughly 45% during a 7.5W QI charger. It reaches just over 30%.
The Best Wireless Chargers
As mentioned, wireless chargers are in huge numbers and at prices starting from a few euros. In our list below, we have tried to select those that meet all the characteristics indicated above. We start with Magsafe chargers, but we also include non-Magsafe chargers with high specifications, good build quality and reasonable prices.
Apple MagSafe Charger
The first wireless charger that comes to mind is the Magsafe. It was the first to provide maximum power. As we say above, it can recharge iPhones 12 and 6succes almost to their maximum rated power, but only when they are combined with a 20W power supply. This way, the maximum charging power of 15W will be reached, a value declared by Apple to equal the Qi standard of 7.5W.
This Native Union charger takes precisely the shape and appearance of the Apple one listed above, so much so that it can be considered a clone. It costs no less than the official one, and then you may be wondering why we indicate it in this list. Simple, it has a much longer cable than the original, and it could benefit many. Of course, it can charge iPhones wirelessly up to 7.5W.
Even if not everyone considers the Magsafe Duo price-quality ratio set at the right level, there is no doubt that it is a reference product if you want to charge an iPhone 12 and an Apple Watch together. The Magsafe technological platform contains a magnet to position the iPhone correctly. It can restore the battery of the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch with maximum performance. It can also charge AirPods Pro or AirPods with wireless charging.